The Supermarine Swift is a British single seat jet fighter aircraft that was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF).
It was developed and manufactured by Supermarine during the 1940s and 1950s.
The Swift featured many of the new jet age innovations, such as a swept wing.
On 26 September 1953, a Swift F.4 piloted by Commander Mike Lithgow broke the world absolute speed record, reaching a speed of 737.7 mph (1,187 km/h).
After a protracted development period, the Swift entered service as an interceptor aircraft with the RAF in 1954.
However, due to a spate of accidents incurred by the type, the Swift was grounded for a time, and experienced a relatively brief service life.
These issues with the Swift led to a public scandal surrounding the aircraft, harming the reputations of the British government, the RAF, and the aircraft industry.
Ultimately, the less problematic Hawker Hunter assumed much of the intended role for the type and only half as many Swifts were manufactured as had once been intended.
A later produced photo reconnaissance variant of the Swift had resolved some of the teething problems that the type had suffered from, but this proved to be too late for it to regain favour.
An advanced derivative of the Swift that was to be capable of transonic speeds, the Supermarine 545, was also under development during the early 1950s, however in 1955, it was cancelled principally due to the poor performance of the Swift.
Prototype developed from the Vickers Supermarine Attacker still with a tail wheel undercarriage but with swept wings and tail.
Prototype fitted with a variable incidence tailplane.
Prototype fitted with a nose wheel undercarriage.
Swift F.Mk 1
Single seat fighter aircraft, fitted with a fixed variable incidence tailplane, powered by a Rolls-Royce Avon RA-7/109 turbojet engine without an afterburner, armed with two 30-mm ADEN cannons.
Swift F.Mk 2
Single seat fighter aircraft, armed with four 30-mm ADEN cannon.
Swift F.Mk 3
Single seat fighter aircraft, powered by an afterburning Rolls-Royce Avon RA-7A/114 turbojet engine, armed with two 30-mm ADEN cannon.
Swift F.Mk 4
Single seat fighter aircraft, fitted with a variable incidence tailplane.
Swift FR.Mk 5
Single seat tactical reconnaissance aircraft, fitted with a lengthened nose to accommodate three cameras, equipped with a frameless cockpit canopy, powered by a Rolls-Royce Avon 114 turbojet engine, armed with two 30-mm ADEN cannon.
Swift F.Mk 7
Single seat fighter aircraft, fitted with a lengthened nose to accommodate a radar, armed with two Fairey Fireflash air-to-air missiles and no cannon.
(Swift FR Mk.5)
42 ft 3 in (12.88 m)
32 ft 4 in (9.86 m)
13 ft 2 in (4.01 m)
327.7 sq ft (30.44 m2)
13,435 lb (6,094 kg)
21,673 lb (9,831 kg)
778 imp gal (934 US gal; 3,540 l) internals with 220 imp gal (260 US gal; 1,000 l) belly drop tank