Supermarine Spiteful

The Supermarine Spiteful was a British Rolls-Royce Griffon engined fighter aircraft designed by Supermarine to Air Ministry specification F.1/43 during the Second World War as a successor to the Spitfire.

It had a new wing design to improve its critical Mach number, and allow safe operations at higher speeds.

The new design also had a modern inwards-retracting undercarriage.

Other changes included a larger fin to improve the somewhat marginal stability of Griffon Spitfires and changes to the mounting of the engine to tilt it down slightly for better visibility over the nose.

The Spiteful was ready for production as the war was ending, but was passed over in favour of jet-powered designs.

The Royal Navy continued development as the Supermarine Seafang

 As it was not clear jets could safely operate from aircraft carriers, but the success of the de Havilland Sea Vampire led to this project being cancelled in 1945.

Discussions with the French firm SNCAC to produce the Spiteful under licence were abandoned when France produced jet engines.

Of the original order for 150 Spitefuls, only a small number were completed.

Variants

Spiteful F Mk 14 

19 built (two prototypes and 17 production)

Engine: Griffon 69 – 2,375 hp (1,771 kW)

Weight: 9,950 lb (4,513 kg)

Max Speed: 483 mph (777 km/h)

Spiteful F Mk 15 

1 built – converted to Seafang prototype

Engine: Griffon 89 – 2,350 hp (1,752 kW)

Weight: 10,200 lb (4,627 kg)

Max Speed: 476 mph (766 km/h)

Spiteful F Mk 16 

2 built – simple, three-speed Griffon conversions from F Mk 14s

Engine: Griffon 101 – 2,420 hp (1,805 kW)

Weight: 9,950 lb (4,513 kg)

Max Speed: 494 mph (795 km/h) at 28,500 ft, 408 mph (656 km/h) at sea level

Supermarine Seafang

Seafang F.Mk 31 – Eight built

Engine: Griffon 61

Seafang F.Mk 32 – Ten built

Engine: Griffon 89 – 2,350 hp (1,752 kW)

Specifications

Crew

1

Length

32 ft 11 in (10.03 m)

Wingspan

35 ft (11 m)

Height

13 ft 5 in (4.09 m)

Wing area

210 sq ft (20 m2)

Airfoil

Root

Supermarine 371-I

Tip

Supermarine 371-II

Empty weight

7,350 lb (3,334 kg)

Gross weight

9,950 lb (4,513 kg)

Powerplant

1 × Rolls-Royce Griffon 69,

V-12 liquid cooled piston engine,

2,375 hp (1,771 kW)

Propellers

5-bladed constant-speed propeller

Performance

Maximum speed

483 mph (777 km/h, 420 kn) at 21,000 ft (6,401 m)

Cruise speed

240 mph (390 km/h, 210 kn) at 255 mph (222 kn; 410 km/h)

Range

564 mi (908 km, 490 nmi)

Service ceiling

42,000 ft (13,000 m)

Rate of climb

4,890 ft/min (24.8 m/s) at 2,000 ft (610 m)

Armament

Guns

4 × 20 mm (0.787 in) Hispano Mk.V cannon with 156 rpg

Rockets

8–12 × 3 in (76 mm) 60 lb RP-3 rocket projectiles

 Or

4 × 300 lb (140 kg) rockets

Bombs

2 × 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs

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