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Supermarine Seamew

The Supermarine Seamew was a British twin engined amphibian, built by the Supermarine company, intended as a small, shipborne aircraft.

The British Air Ministry placed an order for two Seamews in 1925, to meet Specification 29/24. 

The Seamew featured a wooden hull and two bay folding biplane wings with mainplanes utilizing a wood and metal composite construction with fabric covering and braced tail unit with twin fins and rudders.

The aircraft was powered by two 238 horsepower (177 kW) geared Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IV radial engines mounted between the wings, driving two-bladed tractor propellers.

As an amphibian, it had a retractable main undercarriage with fixed tailskid.

The crew of three had a single pilot in the nose cockpit, a forward gunner behind the pilot but forward of the lower wing and rear gunner aft of the lower wing.

Development of the Seamew was slow, as Supermarine were busy with other projects, including the Southampton flying boat and the S.4 and Supermarine S.5 racing floatplanes for the Schneider Trophy. 

The Seamew first prototype N212 made its maiden flight on 9 January 1928.

Testing showed several major problems with the Seamew.

The aircraft was nose heavy in flight, and water spray during take-off damaged the 10 feet (3.0 m) diameter propellers.

The second prototype was fitted with reduced (8 feet (2.4 m) diameter, four bladed propellers in an attempt to reduce the spray damage problem, but these gave a poor rate of climb. 

Another problem was corrosion of stainless steel fittings.

These required replacing at considerable expense and as the type was unsatisfactory, the two prototypes were instead scrapped in 1930.





36 ft 5+58 in (11.116 m)


45 ft 11+12 in (14.008 m)


15 ft 1 in (4.60 m)

Wing area

610 sq ft (57 m2)


Goettingen 387

Empty weight

4,675 lb (2,121 kg)

Gross weight

5,800 lb (2,631 kg)


1 × Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IV, 

7 cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine,

238 hp (177 kW)


2 bladed fixed pitch wooden propellers,

10 ft 0 in (3.05 m) diameter

(N213, the 2nd Seamew, was fitted with 4 bladed 8 ft (2 m) diameter propellers to reduce damage by water striking the propellers).


Maximum speed

95 mph (153 km/h, 83 kn)

Service ceiling

10,950 ft (3,340 m)

Rate of climb

523 ft/min (2.66 m/s)



2 × .303 in (7.70 mm) Lewis Guns

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