Supermarine 508 / 529


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Supermarine 508 / 529

Responding to Admiralty interest in "undercarriage-less" aircraft suitable for operation from flexible decks on aircraft carriers, Supermarine designed the Type 505 single-seat fighter in 1945. Two Rolls-Royce AJ65 (later to be named Avon) turbojets were located side-by-side in a broad centre fuselage to provide a stable base for alighting on the "carpet" and a Vee configuration kept the tail surfaces clear of the jet efflux. An armament of twin 20mm cannon was planned and provision was made to provide for a fixed tricycle undercarriage for flight development and operation from shore bases. It was thus relatively simple to incorporate a retractable undercarriage in the design when Admiralty interest in the flexible deck concept waned in late 1947 and the fighter was modified as the more conventional Type 508. Three aircraft were ordered to Specification N.9/47 for a naval fighter, and, configurationally similar to the Type 505 apart from the undercarriage, the first of these flew on 31 August 1951. The second (as the essentially similar Type 529) followed a year later, on 29 August 1952. Prior to these events, in February 1950, the contract covering the third prototype was amended to introduce sweptback wings, and this, as the Type 525, became, in effect, the prototype of the Scimitar. The Types 508 and 529 were each powered by a pair of 2948kg Avon RA3 engines and had provision for an armament of four 20mm cannon.

Supermarine 508 / 529A three-view drawing (1633 x 1073)

 MODELType 529
  Empty weight8373 kg18459 lb
  Wingspan12.50 m41 ft 0 in
  Length15.24 m50 ft 0 in
  Height3.54 m12 ft 7 in
  Wing area31.59 m2340.03 sq ft
  Max. speed977 km/h607 mph

brian hallett, e-mail, 13.01.2012 22:14

saw this aircraft at chilbolton hants when i was a young lad


Roger Tirner, e-mail, 06.01.2011 12:17

On a visit to AWRE Foulness in 1957 with ATC 1312 Squadron (Southend), we saw this aircraft. There were other types too including the abandoned Vickers 1000 large transport. Also hundreds of bits of Spitrire (wings etc) which sickened all we schoolboys!


Gareth McCarthy, e-mail, 14.12.2010 11:33

I saw this airframe being used for Fire training at Predannack in Cornwall during the summer of 1972. I photographed it and thought that it was just the Scimitar prototype.


Paul scott, e-mail, 15.10.2009 22:08

A bit like a heftier type of 'Magister'! Oh, ok, it's stating the obvious, sorry!


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