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Seafire, British Carrier Fighter


Photograph of Seafire

U.S. Navy. Via Wikimedia Commons. Cropped by author.


Supermarine Seafire Mark IB


Specifications:


Crew 1
Dimensions 36'10" by 29'11" by 12'8"
11.23m by 9.12m by 3.86m
Weight 4517-5796 lbs
2049-2629 kg
Maximum speed       354 mph at 17,550 feet
570 km/h at 5350 meters
Climb rate 42 feet per second
12.8 meters per second
Service ceiling 31,500 feet
9600 meters
Power plant 1 1440 hp (1074 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 vee-12 liquid-cooled engine.
Armament 2 20mm fixed wing cannon
4 0.303 fixed wing machine guns
Range 410 nautical miles (670 km) on internal fuel
Fuel 180 gallons
680 liters
Production From 6/42:
  166 Mk.I conversions from 1942-2
402 Mk.II from 1942-6
1220 Mk.III from 1943-4
Variants Mark II had better landing gear, catapult spools, and a 1645 hp (1227 kW) Merlin 46.
Mark III was a fully navalized version with folding wings and a 1585 hp (1182 kW) Merlin 55M.


The Seafire was the navalized version of the famous Spitfire. The initial Mk.Is were converted from Spitfire VBs for the Torch landings in North Africa. Later versions were purpose built as carrier aircraft. The Seafire was unfortunately not a success, lacking the sturdy undercarriage required for carrier operations and having a rather short range. However, it stood at least some chance against the Zero, which could not be said of the other British carrier fighter of that period, the Fulmar.

References

Gunston (1986)

Wilson (1998)



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