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Supermarine 371 Spiteful / Seafang


Conceived as a successor to the Spitfire, the Type 371 was projected from November 1942, initially mating a laminar flow wing with a Griffon-engined Spitfire XIV and progressively embracing a new fuselage. Three prototypes were ordered to Specification F.1/43, which was written around the project, and the first of these flew on 30 June 1944. This prototype comprised a Spitfire XIV fuselage with the new wing, a 2,035hp Rolls-Royce Griffon 61 engine and an armament of four 20mm cannon.

Named Spiteful, the second prototype flew on 8 January 1945 with the new fuselage, an all-round vision cockpit canopy and a 2,375hp Griffon 69 driving a five-bladed propeller. Production orders were placed for 188 Spitefuls, but only 16 were flown of 19 built or partially-completed (from April 1945) as the end of World War II and the advent of the jet fighter terminated plans for RAF use of the Spiteful. The designation F Mk 14 was applied to the Griffon 69-powered Spiteful; the proposed F Mk 15 had either the Griffon 89 or 90 with a six-bladed contraprop, and a single F Mk 16 had a Griffon 101 with a three-speed supercharger and five-bladed propeller. The two conversions from the Mark XIV, RB516 and RB518 were fitted with the Griffon 101 engine producing 2,420 hp and a top speed of 494 mph.

Development of a navalised Spiteful was pursued during 1945 to Specification N.5/45, and a contract was placed for two prototypes and by May 1945 nearly 150 fighters were ordered for production, the name Seafang being assigned. This aircraft was created as part of a project by Supermarine to design a new wing with a laminar profile. This began in November 1942. The machine, designated ‘Type 382’, was based on a Spiteful single seat fighter.
A Spiteful F Mk 15 with a "sting"-type arrester hook was tested early in 1945, and the Seafang prototypes flew in the following year. One of these represented the production Seafang F Mk 31 with Griffon 61 engine and a long-stroke undercarriage, but non-folding wings. The other represented the Seafang F Mk 32 with a Griffon 89 engine with contraprop, and upward-folding wings. The Seafang F. Mk.32 was a second production series that differed drastically from the first Mk.31 variant, and this was the version planned for mass production. Armament comprised four 20mm cannon and provision was made for carrying a pair of 454kg bombs or six 136kg rockets.
The prototype VB895 was only finished in early 1946. The aircraft was equipped with a system that allowed the wingtips to fold up for carrier flight decks. The fighter was powered by a 2350hp Rolls-Royce Griffon 89 engine and coaxial propellers. The design included all the necessary equipment to operate from aircraft carriers.
Four 20-mm Hispano cannons made up the main armament, additionally the fighter could carry rockets and bombs.
After completion during 1946-47 of 10 Mk 31s and six Mk 32s (some of which were never flown) production was cancelled, and attempts to interest other countries in purchasing the Seafang also failed.
All the produced aircraft were used extensively for various testing programs.


Spiteful F 14
Max take-off weight: 4513 kg / 9950 lb
Empty weight: 3334 kg / 7350 lb
Wingspan: 10.67 m / 35 ft 0 in
Length: 10.03 m / 33 ft 11 in
Height: 4.08 m / 13 ft 5 in
Wing area: 19.51 sq.m / 210.00 sq ft
Max. speed: 777 km/h / 483 mph
Ceiling: 12800 m / 42000 ft
Range: 908 km / 564 miles

Supermarine Spiteful F 16
Engine: Rolls Royce Griffon 65, 2342 hp
Length: 32.349 ft / 9.86 m
Height: 13.419 ft / 4.09 m
Wingspan: 35.499 ft / 10.82 m
Wing area: 210.006 sq.ft / 19.51 sq.m
Max take off weight: 10202.5 lb / 4627.0 kg
Weight empty: 7351.5 lb / 3334.0 kg
Max. speed: 413 kt / 764 km/h
Service ceiling: 42995 ft / 13105 m
Wing loading: 48.59 lb/sq.ft / 237.00 kg/sq.m
Maximum range: 1143 nm / 2116 km
Range: 490 nm / 908 km
Crew: 1
Armament: 4x 20mm MG, 454kg Bomb

Seafang F Mk 32
Max take-off weight: 4740 kg / 10450 lb
Empty weight: 3629 kg / 8001 lb
Wingspan: 10.67 m / 35 ft 0 in
Length: 10.39 m / 34 ft 1 in
Height: 3.82 m / 13 ft 6 in
Wing area: 19.51 sq.m / 210.00 sq ft
Max. speed: 764 km/h / 475 mph
Ceiling: 12500 m / 41000 ft
Range: 632 km / 393 miles

Supermarine Spiteful



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