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Supermarine Baby

Towards the end of the first World War, the marauding German Brandenburg fighter seaplanes had become a nuisance to Allied patrol airships and flying boats which were guarding coastal convoys and Naval flotillas from U-boats. These were beyond the effective range from shore bases of fighters, and the need for a small fighter flying boat to counter this menace was recognised by Supermarine which built the Baby in 1918 for just this purpose. It had the strength in its hull which twin-float seaplanes lacked and it seemed full of promise, particularly in the open waters of the North Sea in times when engines lacked reliability. It was too late to see war service, but the design led to the successful Sea Lion series and, eventually, to the Walrus.



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