Infobox Defunct Company
company_name = Supermarine Aviation Works
company_logo =
fate = merged and name dropped
successor = Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft)
foundation = 1913 (as Pemberton-Billing)
defunct = 1960 (incorporation into BAC)
location = Woolston
industry = Aviation
key_people = Noel Pemberton-Billing, R. J. Mitchell, Joe Smith
products =
num_employees =
parent = Vickers-Armstrongs (1928 onwards)
subsid =

Supermarine was a British aircraft manufacturer that become famous for producing a range of sea planes and the legendary Supermarine Spitfire fighter.


Noel Pemberton-Billing set up a company, Pemberton-Billing, Ltd, in 1913 to produce sea-going aircraft. It also produced a couple of prototypes using quadruplane designs to shoot down zeppelins; the Supermarine P.B.29 and the Supermarine Nighthawk. The aircraft were fitted with the recoilless Davis gun and the Nighthawk had a separate powerplant to power a searchlight.The World's Worst Aircraft James Gilbert ISBN 0-340-21824-X] Upon election as an MP in 1916 Pemberton-Billing sold the company to his factory manager and long time associate Hubert Scott-Paine who renamed the company Supermarine Aviation Works, Ltd. The company became famous for its successes in the Schneider Trophy for seaplanes, especially the three wins in a row of 1927, 1929 and 1931.

In 1928 Vickers-Armstrongs took over Supermarine as Supermarine Aviation Works (Vickers), Ltd and in 1938 all Vickers-Armstrongs aviation interests were reorganised to become Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd, although Supermarine continued to design, build and trade under its own name.

The first Supermarine landplane design to go into production was the famous and successful Spitfire. The earlier Hawker Hurricane and the Spitfire were the mainstay of RAF Fighter Command fighter aircraft which fought off the "Luftwaffe" bombing raids with fighter escorts during the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940. While the Hurricane was available in larger numbers and consequently played a larger role, the new Spitfire caught the popular imagination and became the aircraft associated with the battle.

Other well-known planes from World War II were the Seafire (a naval version of the Spitfire). Supermarine also developed the Spiteful and Seafang, the successors of the Spitfire and Seafire, resp., and the Walrus flying boat.

The Supermarine main works was in Woolston, Southampton which led to the city being heavily bombed in 1940.

The last of the Supermarine aircraft was the Supermarine Scimitar. After that, in the shakeup of British aircraft manufacturing, Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) became a part of the British Aircraft Corporation and the individual manufacturing heritage names were lost. Northshore Marine builds a range of motorboats under the Supermarine name in Chichester.

upermarine aircraft

* Pemberton-Billing P.B.25 (1915)
* AD Flying Boat (1916)
* AD Navyplane (1916)
* Supermarine Nighthawk (1917) - anti-Zeppelin fighter aircraft
* Supermarine Baby (1917) - single seat fighter flying boat
* Supermarine Sea Lion I (1919) - Schneider race flying boat
* Supermarine Sea Lion II and III
* Supermarine Channel (1919) - civil version of the AD Flying Boat
* Supermarine Scylla early (1920s)
* Supermarine Sea Urchin early (1920s)
* Supermarine Commercial Amphibian (1920)
* Supermarine Sea King (1920) - single seat fighter flying boat
* Supermarine Seagull (1921) - amphibian Fleet Spotter
* Supermarine Seal (1921)
* Supermarine Sea Eagle (1923) - civil amphibian flying boat
* Supermarine Scarab (1924) - military version of Sea Eagle
* Supermarine Sheldrake
* Supermarine Swan (1924) - experimental amphibian
* Supermarine Sparrow (1924) - two-seat ultralight
* Supermarine Southampton (1925) - flying boat
* Supermarine S.4 (1925) - Schneider Trophy race seaplane
* Supermarine S.5 (1927) - Schneider Trophy race seaplane
* Supermarine Nanok (1927)
* Supermarine Solent (1927)
* Supermarine Seamew (1928) - twin-engined flying boat
* Supermarine S.6 (1929) - single-seat racing seaplane
* Supermarine S.6B (1931) - racing seaplane (first aircraft over 400 mph)
* Supermarine Air Yacht (1931) - six-passenger flying boat
* Supermarine Scapa (1932) - flying boat
* Supermarine Stranraer (1932) - general-purpose flying boat
* Supermarine Walrus (1933) - reconnaissance amphibian
* Supermarine Spitfire (1936) - single seat fighter
** Supermarine Spitfire variants part one - single-stage Rolls Royce Merlin powered variants
** Supermarine Spitfire variants part two - two-stage Merlin and Griffon engine variants
* Supermarine Sea Otter (1938) - flying boat
* Supermarine 318 (1936) - four engined heavy bomber to B.12/36
* Supermarine 322 also S.24/37 or "Dumbo" (1939)
* Supermarine Spiteful (1944) - replacement for the Spitfire
* Supermarine Seafang (1946) - development of Spiteful
* Supermarine Attacker (1946) - jet fighter
* Supermarine Seagull ASR-1 (1948) - air-sea rescue and reconnaissance
* Supermarine Swift (1948) - jet fighter
* Supermarine 508 - V-tailed prototype of the Scimitar
* Supermarine Scimitar (1956) - naval ground attack aircraft

Designs and submissions only
* Supermarine Type 224 - failed design for a fighter aircraft in 1934
* Supermarine Type 305 (1938) - design project for a turret armed derivative of the Spitfire
* Supermarine Type 324 - design project for a twin Merlin engined, tricycle undercarriage fighter based on Spitfire wing and fuselage.
* Supermarine Type 545 - supersonic version of Swift
* Supermarine Type 553 (1953) - mach 2 research aircraft project
* Supermarine Type 559 (1955) - submission for Operational Requirement F.155 for a high altitude supersonic fighter
* Supermarine Type 571 - submission for GOR.339 TSR.2 requirement


External links

* [ British Aircraft Directory]
* [ Spitfire Society article]
* [ Vickers-Supermarine aircraft designs]

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