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Supermarine Seagull ASR

The Supermarine Seagull ASR was a British amphibious, military flying boat and the last to be built by the Supermarine company.

Design started during the Second World War but it did not fly until three years after the war had ended and the project was cancelled without it being adopted for service.

In October 1940, the British Air Ministry issued Specification S.12/40 to Supermarine and Fairey for a catapult launched, amphibian, reconnaissance and spotter aircraft to replace the Supermarine Walrus and Supermarine Sea Otter.

An order for three prototypes of Supermarine’s aircraft was issued in March 1943.

There was an interruption in design due to the necessity of moving the Supermarine design office, after the bombing of the facility at Woolston.

Further delays were caused by the extensive wind tunnel testing that was needed and the change from a Rolls-Royce Merlin to the more powerful Rolls-Royce Griffon.

Also, the design specification was changed in 1944 to a new requirement, S.14/44 (later S.14/44/2), the role of the aircraft being changed from ship based reconnaissance and gunnery spotting to land based Air-sea rescue.

This change removed the four-gun turret the design had featured.

The first prototype, Seagull serial PA143, first took off on 14 July 1948 from Southampton Water, flown by test pilot Mike Lithgow.

The second aircraft, PA147, flew in September 1949, and was used for carrier trials on HMS Ark Royal later in that year, during which it demonstrated the capability to carry five passengers. 

Experiments were also carried out with rocket assisted take-offs.

By the early 1950s, helicopters were taking over the air-sea rescue role.

In 1952, the two completed prototypes and the partially built third aircraft, PA152, were scrapped.


(Seagull ASR.1) 




Up to seven survivors


44 ft 1.5 in (13.449 m)


52 ft 6 in (16.00 m)


23 ft 6 in (7.16 m) wings folded


15 ft 10.5 in (4.839 m) on wheels

Wing area

432 sq ft (40.1 m2)



NACA 23018


NACA 3410

Empty weight

10,510 lb (4,767 kg)

Gross weight

14,500 lb (6,577 kg)


1 × Rolls-Royce Griffon 29, 

V-12 liquid cooled piston engine,

1,815 hp (1,353 kW)


6 bladed Rotol, 10 ft (3.0 m) diameter contra rotating propeller with Duralumin blades


Maximum speed

260 mph (420 km/h, 230 kn) at 11,800 ft (3,597 m)

Cruise speed

131 mph (211 km/h, 114 kn)


875 mi (1,408 km, 760 nmi) at cruise speed

Service ceiling

23,700 ft (7,200 m)

Rate of climb

1,430 ft/min (7.3 m/s) at 7,000 ft (2,134 m) in MS supercharger gear ratio

Take-off run from deck

312 ft (95 m) with 31 mph (27 kn; 50 km/h) wind over deck

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