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Short S.B.6 Seamew


The Seamew was conceived as a cheap, rugged anti-submarine aircraft able to operate from small carriers used by the UK and some other allied nations. To this end it was built with a fixed landing gear and a strong structure. The fixed undercarriage legs could be jettisoned in the event of a ditching at sea. The need to house a large search radar under the belly led to the adoption of a tailwheel undercarriage layout. Despite this, the prototype was badly damaged on its first landing, although it was repaired in time for the Farnborough Air Show.

The Mamba-powered anti-submarine Short Seamew with 1,590 s.h.p. underwent intensive development with two prototypes. The higher lift characteristics at slow speeds for operation from escort type carriers have been improved by the installation of fixed slats at the mid-span of each wing, while the slat under the inner tailplane leading edge was replaced by a vented fillet. The Seamew can power-fold its wings and extended them.




In handling terms the Seamew was described as having some 'vicious tendencies'. It was capable of aerobatics, but the chief test pilot seemed to be the only one able to wring the full manoeuvrability out of the Seamew - until he stalled the prototype Mk.2 during a display and was killed.

Production began for RAF Coastal Command and the Royal Navy, but the RAF order was cancelled in 1956 and the Navy's was a victim of the defence cuts of the following year. The Mk 2 was a version for Coastal Command with larger wheels and manual wing folding. It was cancelled after rwo were completed.


Short SB-6 Seamew AS1

S.B.6 Seamew
Engine: 1 x 1780hp Armstrong Siddeley Mamba turboprop
Max take-off weight: 6804 kg / 15000 lb
Wingspan: 16.75 m / 55 ft 11 in
Length: 12.50 m / 41 ft 0 in
Max. speed: 378 km/h / 235 mph
Crew: 2

Short S.B.6 Seamew




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