Aviation Historian 4
D.Hamilton - Taking the Seafire to Sea
A superb wartime colour image of a Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve lieutenant standing beside his Supermarine Seafire.
Seafire XV takes the wire aboard HMS Pretoria Castle in the summer of 1945. The Mk XV initially encountered opposition from some officials as yet another Spitfire conversion. The Department of Air Warfare responded robustly: “It has been decided to produce a naval version of the [Spitfire] Mk XII and when we get this, we shall have far and away the best interceptor in the world, greatly in advance of anything the Americans have now”.
Cunliffe-Owen-built Supermarine Seafire F.XV PR431 of No 804 Sqn departs HMS Theseus during the type’s tenure with the unit during 1946-48. The Seafire XV was an upgraded Griffon-engined version of the naval fighter and first flew in February 1944. The Mk XV was a marked improvement over the preceding Seafire III, being capable of nearly 400 m.p.h. (645 km/h) and a rate of climb of more than 4,000ft/min (1,200 m/min).
The Seafire Mk XVII, also flown by the author during training, was a further modified Mk XV fitted with a cutdown rear fuselage and “teardrop”-style canopy to bring the type into line with the RAF’s Mk XIV.
Seafire Mk 17 из 800-й эскадрильи и Fairey Firefly Mk I из 827-й эскадрильи готовятся к взлету с борта авианосца "Триумф", Средиземное море, вероятно, 1948 год.
Seafire XVIIs and Fairey Fireflies of the 13th Carrier Air Group aboard HMS Triumph. The unit and the ship were the fi rst to deploy in-theatre during the 1950-53 Korean conflict.
Seafire плохо подходил для эксплуатации на авианосцах, много машин пришлось списать после аварийных посадок на палубы. Тем не менее в боевых действиях самолеты Seafire использовались очень интенсивно, особенно на Дальнем Востоке.
With “sting” hook down, this Seafire XVII has been given the “wave-off” and will have to go around again. Opening the throttle too sharply at this point could result in a torque stall - gently does it!
The somewhat snug cockpit of Seafire XVII survivor SX336/G-KASX, owned by Kennet Aviation and currently under rebuild at North Weald. In common with many British wartime-era aircraft, there was little thought for ergonomics, with instruments being fitted where there was room. Note the “basic six” flight instruments in front of the control stick.