Supermarine was a British aircraft manufacturer that produced, among
the others, a range of seaplanes, flying boats and the Supermarine
2 Pemberton-Billing Ltd
2.1 Early aircraft
2.2 World war I
Supermarine Aviation Works
4 Post World War I
Schneider Trophy 1919 to 1924
6 Bird takes over
7 The Southampton
Schneider Trophy 1925 to 1927
9 Purchase by Vickers
10 The Depression
Schneider Trophy 1929 and 1931
12 Walrus and Stranraer
14 Increasing production capacity
15 Heavy bomber
16 Death of Mitchell
17 World War II
17.1 Air raids
17.2 Complete dispersal of production
17.3 New designs
18 Post World War II
19 Representation in media
21 Reuse of the
23 See also
25 External links
Noel Pemberton Billing
Noel Pemberton Billing purchased a number of engineering
workshops on 3,000 acres of land at South in Sussex which he intended
to develop as an airfield. At the same time he built a number of
unsuccessful aircraft of his own design. To promote the venture he
founded his own magazine Aerocraft. Despite attracting some aircraft
constructors the airfield venture failed within a year and about the
same time he sold Aerocraft. In 1911 Billing decided to establish a
motor launch and yacht trading business. To this end he purchased
facilities to provide a suitable base at White's Yard off Elm Road
(later renamed Hazel Road) on the Itchen river, upstream of Woolston.
To manage the business Billing hired his friend Hubert Scott-Paine,
who he had first meet while involved in property speculation in
Shoreham. Billing, his wife and Scott-Paine lived on Billing's yacht
Utopia. Under Scott-Paine's management the business was soon
profitable, which allowing Billing (with the assistance of
Scott-Paine) to design a series of flying boats with detachable
propeller and wings so that with them removed it could be used as a
motor launch. He submitted a patent application for his design in
October 1913. After obtaining his aviator's certificate on 17
September 1913 following a ₤500 bet with Frederick Handley-Page that
he could obtain it within 24 hour of commencing flight training, he
decided to build his own aircraft.
In partnership with Alfred Delves de Broughton, Billing established
Pemberton-Billing Ltd on 27 June 1914 with capital of ₤20,000.
Billing had 6,800 shares, Broughton 3,700 and works engineer Lorenz
Hans Herkomer (1889-1922), 500. Herkomer's background was in
electrical engineering and automobiles. Rumanian Carol Vasilesco was
employed to prepare drawings and undertake the detailed design of
airframes. On land at Oakbank Wharf on the river Itchen in Woolston,
Southampton that Billing had previously purchased the company
established a factory with
Hubert Scott-Paine as work manager. Its
registered telegraphic address, used for sending telegrams and cables
to the company, was; Supermarine, Southampton.
The first aircraft built by the new company was the Pemberton-Billing
P.B.1 a single-seat open cockpit biplane flying boat. Following
the modifications, the P.B.1 entered testing, but failed to achieve
flight during testing. Billing who had designed the aircraft
claimed he "wanted a boat which would fly rather than an aircraft that
would float". Though no proof can be found Billing claimed that the
aircraft made a short hop but other sources state that the PB.1
never flew. The sole P.B.1 was subsequently dismantled and no
other examples were constructed.
Another early design was the P.B.7, a flying lifeboat with detachable
wings. The next significant design was the P.B.9 which used a set of
wings that Billing had been obtained from Radley-England. One example
was built and while it flew it was felt that production was not worth
pursuing. With no orders coming in Billing had to sell one of his
yachts and lease out part of the facilities to Tom Sopwith who used it
for assembly and then testing of his Bat Boat.
World war I
The outbreak of the war saw Billing enlisting in the Royal Navy
Volunteer reserve and thus he was no longer involved in day to day
activities. With the business in by now in serious financial
trouble 80% of the staff were fired, leaving only 14 employees. On 14
November 1914 Broughton used his resources to pay off the company's
debits which allowed the company to continue in business. Some work
was obtained repairing aircraft subcontracting from Sopwith. Broughton
then enlisted which left Scott-Paine in charge. At some point in
1914 Carol Vasilesco died suddenly of a heart attack, which left the
company without a designer.
In early 1915 the company obtained work building 12 Short S.38
seaplanes under licence. 
Work still continued on the company's own designs with the next to see
the light of day being the P.B.23. The prototype was delivered in
September 1915 with tests conducted at Heldon indicating that the
design had some promise. As a result a reversed version designated the
P.B.25 was produced, for which an order for 20 was received from the
Royal Naval Air Service. In late 1915 having completed serving
with the RNVR and RNAS Billing returned to the company. As a result of
his experience while involved in the organising of the air raid in
November 1914 on the
Zeppelin sheds at Friedrichshafen on Lake
Constance Billing believed that England was defenceless against
attacks by Zeppelins.
As a result his return lead to the company concentrating on designing
the quadruplane P.B.29, which was designed to shoot down zeppelins. ,
In May 1916 the company was awarded by the
Air Department of the
Admiralty a contract to build the flying surfaces for the AD flying
boat and to undertake the detailed design and construction of the AD
AD Flying Boat
AD Flying Boat was initially found to have poor
performance in the water, which were eventually resolved. This lead to
34 being built, though none saw service.
Supermarine Aviation Works
In March 1916 Billing was elected as an MP. Once in parliament he was
very vocal in his support of air power, constantly accusing the
government of neglecting the issue. As he intended to run a campaign
Royal Aircraft Factory
Royal Aircraft Factory and its products, it became
apparent that if the company was to maintain a good relationship with
Air Department and gain any further orders it was necessary for
the company to distance itself from Billing. As a result Billing sold
his shares in the company for about ₤12,500 to Hubert Scott-Paine
and the other directors who renamed the company
Works Ltd and officially registered it under that name on 27 June
1916. As well as Scott-Paine, the other directors were Alfred
Delves de Broughton and solicitor Charles Cecil Dominy.
The first product of the new company was the P.B.31E Nighthawk which
was a carryover from Billing's time for a quadraplane heavily armed
and searchlight-equipped home defence fighter. Fitted with a
recoilless Davis gun, it had a separate powerplant to power the
searchlight. Only the prototype was built, which was found to have
insufficient performance to be of any use against Zeppelins. After
completion of the Nighthawk Scott-Paine dropped Billing’s fixation
Zeppelin defence fighters, and in the hope of gaining orders
for flying boats forged a strong relationship with the RNAS through
their local liaison officer James Bird.
In early 1916 William Abraham Hargreaves was hired as chief
By 1917 realizing that he needed to strengthen the company's technical
capability Scott-Paine advertised for a personal assistant. The
successful applicant was R. J. Mitchell, who so impressed Scott-Paine
he was hired on the spot and given a range of roles within the company
to expose him to every aspect of the business including within a year
acted for a period as assistant works manager.
In 1917 the company was contracted to build Short 184 torpedo bombers
and Norman Thompson NT2B trainers.
In response to the issue of Navy Air Board Specification N.1(b) in
early 1917, the company designed what later was called the Supermarine
Baby. > Three were subsequently built.
Post World War I
Despite the signing of the armistice agreement and with little
prospect of any military contracts for some time lead to the company
diversifying by employing its woodworkers in constructing everything
from toilet seats to wooden framed bodies for Ford Model T cars.
At the end of the war
Supermarine was the only British aircraft
constructor dedicated to building flying boats and Scott-Paine still
wished the company to continue in this specialist field. To this end
Supermarine joined the Society of British Aircraft Constructors in
late 1919 and purchased from the government about 16 surplus AD Flying
boats and the two completed
Supermarine modified 10
of the AD Flying boats to produce the commercial "Type C" Channel
flying boats. The reconfigured aircraft provided accommodation for a
pilot and three passengers in three open cockpits. Once the ban on
civilian flying was lifted in May 1919 the ten aircraft were
registered in June 1919, with three being granted civil certificates
of airworthiness at the end of July of that same year. Services
commenced in August from Southampton with typically three in service.
To pilot the commercial services Scott-Paine employed ex-RNAS pilots
Henry Biard, Francis Bailey, Philip Brend. John Hoare, Basil Hobbs and
Following the completion of his duties for the Royal Naval Air Service
NZAS James Bird (1883 - 1946) was invited in 1919 by Scott-Paine to
Supermarine as a director. A qualified marine architect he had
previously been supervising contracts being undertaken by various
companies in the Solent area for the RNAS.
In the summer of 1919 William Hargreaves left to work for Vospers and
later in the year Mitchell at the age of 24 was promoted to succeed
him as chief designer. In 1920 Mitchell role was expanded to
include that of chief engineer. In 1927 he was offered and accepted a
position on the board as Technical Director. Other than the income
form operating commercial flights the main income between 1919 and
1921 came from selling Channels with a modified design known as the
Channel II being developed. As well as sales within Great Britain the
company was able to sell 19 overseas, to customers, including Chile,
Japan, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.
Schneider Trophy 1919 to 1924
In 1919 Scott-Paine decided to enter an aircraft from
the upcoming 1919
Schneider Trophy contest. A suitable aircraft was
produced by heavily modifying N61, the youngest of the two Babys that
it had purchased from the government. Fitted with a Napier Lion engine
it was given the name Sea Lion. Flown by Basil Hobbs the aircraft sank
on 10 September 1919 after it struck flotsam while completing in the
The company became famous for its successes in the Schneider Trophy
for seaplanes, especially the three wins in a row of 1927, 1929 and
1931. In early 1920 the company developed the
Supermarine Sea King
Supermarine Sea King a
single seat flying boat fighter resembling the Baby and the
contemporary Sea Lion racing aircraft. While the prototype of which
was exhibited at the Olympia air show but obtained no sales. This was
subsequently fitted with new wings and tail surfaces and fitted with a
more powerful engine, which
Supermarine designating it as the Sea King
II. No sales were however forthcoming.
For the 1922
Schneider Trophy contest, which was being held in Naples,
Italy the company modified the Sea King II by increasing the size of
the rudder and fin and fitting a more powerful engine which gave a 50
per cent increase in power. This was sufficient to ensure that the
aircraft won the contest and thus stopping the Italians from winning
the trophy outright.
With it looking likely that no British company would be entering an
aircraft in the 1923
Schneider Trophy contest Scott-Paine was
persuaded by the British organisers to enter. As
Supermarine being in
a poor financial state, ,Mitchell was restricted to modifying the Sea
Lion II, the result which was designated Sea Lion III and proved to be
uncompetitive. For the 1924 contest Mitchell began design work on a
completely new flying-boat biplane design called the Sea Urchin, which
would have been fitted with a Rolls-Royce engine. However there was
insufficient time to overcome a number of design issues which lead to
Supermarine withdrawing from the event.
Bird takes over
In the early 1920s the company developed a series of similar one-off
amphibians. The most notable of these was the Seal II, which was a
three-seater fleet spotter paid for by the Air Ministry. After it
performed well during its evaluation by the RAF, two examples of an
improved version, named the Seagull were subsequently purchased by the
Air Ministry in 1922. Once these were completed faced with no further
orders the company considered closing down part of the factory and
laying off staff. Bird approached the Air Ministry for assistance and
while he received no orders they were encouraging. At the same
time Scott-Paine was close to forming the British Marine Air
Navigation Company, which it was expected would place an order for
aircraft with Supermarine. In expectation of receiving an order the
directors decided not to reduce staff numbers. Meanwhile to meet the
requirements of the expected order Mitchell designed the Sea King in
late 1922 to carry six passengers in an enclosed cabin. After
receiving confirmation that subsidies would be available from the
British government Scott-Paine was able together with Southern Rail
and the Asiatic Petroleum to establish the British Marine Air
Navigation Company in 1923. They subsequently ordered three Sea Kings,
which were used to commence a daily service on 25 September 1923
between Southampton and Guernsey. Then late in 1922 orders were
received from the Air Ministry for five Seagull IIs followed by two
further orders in early 1923. Later orders for what was called the
Seagull III were received in 1925 from the Royal Australian Navy.
Partly due to Scott-Paine's preoccupation with developing the airline
business the relationship between him and Bird began to breakdown. As
a result Bird assembled sufficient funds and on 16 November 1923 he
confronted Scott-Paine who after negotiation accepted Bird's offer of
₤192,000 of his shares and left the company.
In 1925 in an attempt to obtain additional funds with which to expand
the business the original company was wound up with all creditors paid
in full and a new public limited company with the same name was
established and listed on the Stock Exchange with a capitalisation
rising from ₤13,500 to ₤250,000.
In 1926 existing Chief Draughtsman Frank Holroyd was promoted to
become Assistant Chief Engineer, while Joseph "Joe" Smith was
designated as Chief Draughtsman.
Looking to expand away from the market for small amphibians and flying
boats which was becoming more competitive as Blackburn and Short
Brothers entered the market, the company designed large multi-engine
flying boats to Air Ministry specifications. As a result one example
was built of the Scylla, a torpedo bomber triplane flying boat to
specification 14/21. No orders were forthcoming. One example was also
built of the Swan, a twin-engined biplane commercial amphibian to
specification 21/22. Capable of carrying 12 passengers it was first
flown in March 1924 and tested by the MAEE. The Air Ministry was so
impressed with the results that they ordered a military derivative to
specification 18/24. Six were ordered, subsequently entering service
in 1925 as the Southampton. A further orders soon followed. To
manufacture the Southampton, which was much larger than their previous
designs a new fabrication workshop were built in 1924 and a erection
hanger in 1926. Still short of room, in early 1927 the company took
out a lease on the Air Ministry's large wartime flying boat assembly
and testing facilities at Hythe. Final erection and testing of the
Southamptons was then moved to Hythe, which was on the opposite side
of the Solent from the Woolston works.
While the Southampton Mk I had wooden hulls, the Air Ministry
indicated that they wanted future flying boats to be metal hulled and
paid for the construction of a prototype. Compared with wooden hulls,
metal hulls were stronger, lighter and didn't become and thus heavier
over time as the wood soaked up water. To enable them to construct
Supermarine established a metallurgy department headed by
Arthur Black (who joined the company at the end of 1925) and
established metal production facilities at their Woolston works.
The resulting metal hulled version of the Southampton entered service
as the Mk II. The Southampton series was very successful with a total
of 83 of all types being built.
As a result of the success of the Seagull and Southampton between 1923
and 1927 sales rose from ₤137,683 to ₤403,868 and profits from
₤58,002 to ₤111, 935.
Schneider Trophy 1925 to 1927
While it had been Scott-Paine' love of speed and competitive nature
that had been the driving force behind the company's entry's in the
Schneider Trophy contests, Bird was happy to continue
Supermarine's involvement as he wanted to use it to enhance the
company profile. After the failure of the their 1924 entry, and
realizing that other countries designs were far superior, Mitchell
reached the conclusion that racing flying boats were no longer
competitive. As a result he designed a monoplane seaplane called the
S.4 which was used to set a new world air speed record over
Southampton Water of 226.75mph (364.9 kmh). . However the sole example
crashed during testing prior to the event, forcing the company to
withdraw from the event.
With sponsorship from the Air Ministry, Mitchell began to design a new
streamlined monoplane aircraft designated the S.5. Compared with the
S.4 which was complete fabricated from wood, the new design had metal
floats and fuselage. This was a major risk as at the time Supermarine
had no prior experience in metal construction and had still to
commission their new metalworking department. Unfortunately as either
the S.5 or any other design from a British company was ready in time
Britain did not enter the 1926 contest. Once the design was finished
Supermarine received an order in late 1926 for two examples, with an
order for a third following in early 1927. The S.5 dominated the 1927
contest, finishing first and second. The third example crashed killing
its pilot while he was attempting to set a new air speed record over
the Solent in 1928.
Purchase by Vickers
In the late 1920s Vickers Ltd began a series of divestments and
mergers as it attempted to improve the strength and profitability of
the group. The most notable was their merging with long term rival in
January 1928 with
Armstrong Whitworth to form Vickers-Armstrongs, with
the exception of the " Armstrong-Whitworth aircraft division and
Armstrong Siddeley motor car division were bought out by J. D.
Siddeley and so did not join the new group.
The new Vickers-Armstrong entity retained the existing Vickers
aircraft manufacturing diversion which was restructured as a
semi-independent subsidiary called Vickers (Aviation) Ltd under the
management of Robert McLean. McLean was tasked with expanding the new
company which he undertook by improving the capability of the existing
factory and looking for new facilities. Identifying that a
manufacturer of flying boats would be good fit with their existing
expertise deigning and constructing land based they evaluated a number
of possible acquisitions. Blackburn was in poor condition, Saunders
was potentially too costly as a consortium headed by A.V. Roe was
proposing to purchase them, while Short was too big and diverse.
That left Supermarine.
Aware that Supermarine's ability to modernise and expand was limited
by a lack of financial resources, Bird and the other directors agreed
to sell to Vickers in 1928. Vickers paid £390,000 and renamed it as
Supermarine Aviation Works (Vickers) Ltd.
Subsequently in December 1938, following both Air Ministry's and the
Vickers board’s concerns over delays to the Spitfire and Wellington
manufacturing programmes, all
Vickers-Armstrongs aviation interests
were reorganised to become
Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd, with
both Vickers and
Supermarine now under a single management team.
Both were subsidiaries were then formally wound up although
Supermarine continued to design, build and trade under its own name.
The phrase Vickers
Supermarine was applied to the aircraft.
Despite selling his shares to Vickers-Armstrongs, Bird stayed on
Managing Director of
Supermarine while Mitchell continued as chief
designer. He had signed a 10 year employment contract in 1923, that
included a clause that said, if he left
Supermarine he could not work
for any other competitor without the directors written consent.
Supermarine was extremely profitable McLean and his management
team were of the opinion that as well as it's wages were than at
Vickers. it was also not being run efficiently, had poor record
keeping, stock control and was poorly equipped to build all-metal
aircraft with the ratio of unskilled to skilled labour at 1:3 compared
with Vickers' 3:1. They therefore saw numerous opportunities to
improve the profitability.
One measure Vickers undertook was to send their experienced engineer
Barnes Wallis to overhaul the work practices in design department. He
arrived while Mitchell was away on his 1929 Christmas holidays and
after installing himself in Mitchells' office began to make changes.
Mitchell returned in the New Year, expressed his outrage at Wallis's
presumption and immediately moved him to a disused loft in a remote
corner of the Woolston works with orders to his staff not to make the
interloper comfortable. Wallis eventually complained to McLean, who
raised it with the board of Vickers-Armstrongs. Faced with Mitchell's
threat to resign if Wallis remained, they backed down and Wallis was
recalled back to Weybridge.
Shortly after Wallis's departure Major Harold Payn, an engineer from
Vickers design department was appointed by Vickers as Mitchell's
deputy. A former pilot with experience from World War I as well as
testing aircraft despite little design experience it was hoped that he
would be more diplomatic in bringing Supermarine's design office into
agreement with Vickers work practices.
That said the parent provided the combined Vickers (Aviation) Ltd with
₤250,000 in 1929 to support research and development. As a
consequence the capabilities of the design team at
expanded by employing among others Alfred Faddy, William Munro (who
had expertise in hydrodynamics and meta hull construction) and
Beverley Shenstone who was the first academically trained
aerodynamicist at Supermarine. As a consequence the services of
Mitchell's deputy Frank Holroyd were no longer required and he was
dismissed. By 1931 the restructuring of the company structure ended
with Mitchell still technical director and reporting to him, the
Technical Office under Alan Clifton and the Drawing Office under Joe
Vickers' own pilots took over test flying, which lead to Henri Biard's
role as Supermarine's test pilot since 1919 coming to an end. As a
result he left in 1933.
Trevor Westbrook a 28 years old and relatively inexperienced protégé
of Robert McLean was installed as Works Manager with a brief to
improve the factory. His direct and forthright manor was not met
with universal approval by the staff but under his direction the
factory was rebuilt, rationalised and extended, while the production
methods were improved. In 1937 he was promoted with the Vickers
group and left Supermarine. He was succeeded at
Supermarine by H.B.
In response to the onset of the Depression in 1929, with completion of
contracts for Southampton running down and no new aircraft orders
being received it was necessary to reduce construction staff numbers
by a third over the winter of 1930. Vickers supported Supermarine
by contracting it to build the wings and undertake the final
completion of two Vickers Viastraairliners and then employing it to
construct a special version called the Viastra X, for the Prince of
Wales. The other notable work was the design of the Type 179, a
six-engined flying boat, which lead to the company being awarded a
contract to build a prototype. Construction proceeded as far as the
construction of the hull before the contract was cancelled.
Schneider Trophy 1929 and 1931
For the next contest Mitchell created the all metal S.6 which featured
the smallest possible airframe that he could design around a
Roll-Royce engine instead of the Napier engines used in the S.4 and
S.5. This design won the 1929 contest. For the 1931 contest Mitchell
created the S.6a, a derivative of the S6. This won the contest and as
Britain had won the trophy three times in a row it confirmed Britain
as the outright and final winner of the Schneider trophy.
Following the contest a S6b, flown by Flt Lt G. H. Stainforth went on
to set a new world air speed record of 407.5 mph.
Walrus and Stranraer
In response to a 1929 Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) requirement
for an aircraft to replace their Seagull IIIs, but with the ability to
be catapult-launched from cruisers, the company in 1931 designated the
Type 223 Seagull V as a private venture and built a prototype. This
eventually lead to the RAAF placing an order in 1934 for 24 production
version which were designated Type 228 Seagull V. The
Royal Navy was
impressed by the new design and placed an order for 12 aircraft which
were virtually identical except for a more powerful engine. Given the
designation Type 236, they entered service as the Walrus. More orders
were to follow until a total of 740 were built in all by Supermarine
and other firms.
Following on from the Southampton Mk II the company developed the
biplane twin-engined Southampton IV in response to specification
R.20/31 for a general reconnaissance flying boat. Featuring all-metal
construction with fabric covered flying surfaces, it had an enclosed
cockpit. The prototype first flew in July 1932. Renamed the Scapa
fifteen were built.
Soon after the design of the Scapa was finalised the Air Ministry
issued specification R.24/31 for a twin-engined general purpose flying
boat in response to which
Supermarine developed the Stranraer. The
prototype first flew in July 1934 and they entered service from April
1937 with the last being delivered to the RAF in 1939. Vickers in
Canada also built them for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
In 1930, the Air Ministry began formulating the requirements for an
advanced high-performance which were spelt out in specification
F.7/30,which was in turn issued in the autumn of 1931 to a number of
aircraft manufacturers. Among them was
Supermarine who were keen to
broaden its product range from seaplanes and flying boats. In response
to the specification, Mitchell designed the Type 224, a all-metal
monoplane design, with a open cockpit, un-braced cranked wing and
fixed undercarriage. A single prototype was built and first flew in
February 1934. Flight testing however identified that it had only
average performance and so
Supermarine received no production
Unhappy at how the Type 224 had turned out Mitchell as was his wont
commenced in July 1934 designing what he hoped would be a much
improved fighter, which was given the designation Type 300. It was
much better streamlined than the Type 224, with a shorter wing,
retractable undercarriage and an enclosed cockpit. Mitchell continued
to evolve the design, striving for the maximum performance he could
get from the engine and airframe combination. In November 1934 the
design was further revised to accommodate the promising new
Rolls-Royce PV.XII (PV-12) engine, which was later named the Merlin.
The estimated performance of the new design was such that McLean
approved in November 1934 expenditure on detailed design of a
prototype, as he and was confident that funding of a prototype was
extremely likely from what was a supportive Air Ministry. Within a
month of receiving the initial data, the Air Ministry issued
specification F.37/34 to cover the construction of a prototype Type
Given the name Spitfire by the Vickers board, the prototype Type 300
when it first flew on 5 March 1936 at nearby Eastleigh airport marked
a revolutionary advance for the RAF. The Air Ministry was so impressed
that on 3 June 1936 it ordered 310.
Hawker Hurricane and the Spitfire were the mainstay of RAF
Fighter Command fighter aircraft which fought off the Luftwaffe
bombing raids with fighter escorts during the
Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain in the
summer of 1940.
While the Hurricane was available in larger numbers and consequently
played a larger role, the new Spitfire caught the popular imagination
and became the aircraft associated with the battle. It went on to play
a major part in the remainder of the war, in a number of variants and
marks, and it was the only allied fighter aircraft to be in production
through the entirety of the Second World War.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XIX in 2008
Increasing production capacity
At the time of receiving its first order for the Spitfire the company
did not have the management skills, organisation tools and physical
space as this one order was more than double the total number of
aircraft they had built in the previous 20 years. As a result much of
the work had to be sub-contracted out to other firms, which led to
chaos with drawings and the delivery of parts. To compound the problem
skilled sheet-metal workers were in short supply.
contracted to deliver the first Spitfire in September 1937, but by
early 1938 not a single plane had still not left the factory. Upon
receipt of the order
Supermarine commenced fitting out its Woolston
Works for production of the new fighter. With the orders for the
Spitfire as well as for the Stranraer and Walrus the company a new
factory to the designs of the noted 1930's modernist architect, Oliver
Percy Bernard and known as the Itchen Works was built on land
reclaimed from the River Itchen just upstream from the Woolston Works.
Opened in 1939, it was originally intended that it would be used to
build the Walrus and Sea Otter, but because of its importance it was
soon being used to construct Spitfire fuselages.
In 1938 with Walrus production having peaked the previous year the
facility at Hythe was closed.
While it was intended that outside sub-contractors would be employed
in manufacturing many major components,
initially reluctant to see companies from outside of the group
involved and so was slow in releasing the necessary sub-components and
drawings. As delays mounted the Air Ministry proposed that Supermarine
would only complete the initial order and then once the Hawker Typhoon
was ready for service in 1941 switch over to making Bristol
Supermarine was able to convince the Air Ministry that
the problems would be overcome, which allayed the concerns sufficient
for them to receive on 24 March 1938 another order for 200 Spitfires.
Supermarine was subsequently to organise over 200 sub-contractors to
produce components for the Spitfire with 27 of them being producing
fully assembled major components, with four building the main section
of the wing, four building wing tips and other five building flaps.
The major components were then taken on trucks to Eastleigh Airport
where fitting of the engines, final assembly and flight testing was
undertaken before being distributed to operational RAF bases.
Due to the production delays, the first RAF unit, 19 Squadron at
Duxford, didn’t start receiving Spitfire Mk Is until 4 August
1938. Even then, production was slow to build-up, and only 49
Spitfires had reached the RAF by the 1 January 1939. By 3
September 1939 a total of 306 Spitfire Mk Is had been delivered to the
In response to Air Ministry specification B.12/36 which was issued in
July 1936 to all the major aircraft manufacturers for a four-engined
heavy bomber Mitchell designed the Type 316 which carried it's bombs
in both the fuselage and wings. After submitting the Supermarine
proposal, Mitchell in characteristic fashion began a total redesign
called the Type 317 with new wings and different gun turrets. Two
prototypes of the Type 317 were ordered in March 1937.
Following the death of Mitchell in June 1937 after a long battle with
cancer and with
Supermarine having problems meeting the demand for the
Spitfire the Air Ministry realised that work on the prototypes would
be delayed. Therefore as a precaution they provided funding in 1937
for the development of the completing design from Short Brothers. This
design eventually entered service as the Short Stirling.
Work on the Type 317 never progressed to where the prototypes flew
before they were destroyed by an air raid in 1940.
Death of Mitchell
Following the death of Mitchell, his deputy Harold Payn was appointed
Chief Designer. However a security check in September 1939
identified that Payn had a German born wife. Concerns about the risk
this posed to a major war program saw Payn dismissed. Joe Smith
was promoted from Chief Draughtsman to at first, acting manager of the
design department and finally to chief designer in 1941 following
approval from the Ministry of Aircraft Production.
World War II
In 1940 Bird retired as general manager and was superseded by W.T.
Upon the commencement of the war to protect the
Supermarine factory at
Woolston, anti-aircraft guns were placed at Peartree Green, the
Railway Bridge and Taggarts Wharf.
At the time completed Spitfire wings and fuselages were taken on
lorries from the Woolston and Itchen works, to the assembly hangar at
Eastleigh Airport where the Merlin engines were fitted and the
assembled aircraft tested. Under the supervision of works manager H.B.
Pratt, a partial dispersal of Spitfire production away from the works
at Woolston also begun. However, the production delays at Castle
Bromwich meant that
Supermarine could not afford any interruption in
production at Woolston and Itchen which constrained dispersal. However
progress was made on identifying suitable sites and requisitioning
Supermarine to concentrate on Spitfires, Saunders Roe on the
Isle of Wight took on the manufacture of the Walrus and Sea Otter.
Supermarine factory and right next door to the Woolston works, the
Thornycroft naval shipyard (which was producing destroyers) made
Southampton a prime target for the Luftwaffe. Shortly after 5.30pm on
the evening of 15 September 1940 the factory was directly attacked by
eighteen Me 110s each carrying two bombs. Only a few windows were
broken, though nine people were killed in nearby houses.
The raid bought home that immediate action was now needed to disperse
production. The buildings that had been sitting idle were prepared and
tools and jigs were slowly moved out of Woolston and Itchen to the new
facilities and commenced work.
The Commercial and personnel departments (which included the payroll)
were also moved to Deepdene House in Bitterne. This was fortunate as
it allowed workers to receive emergency pay following later raids,
when it was desperately needed as the homes of many were destroyed by
On 24 September 1940 the works were attacked by 17 aircraft at 1.50pm
and again by three aircraft at 4.15pm. The initial raid of Me 110s
was led by Martin Lutz of TG210 and flying low and fast achieved
complete surprise with the workforce receiving little warning of the
raid. 29 high explosive bombs and one incendiary were dropped.
There was little damage to the factory as of the 17 of bombs which
fell on the site, most landed in the mud of the river. However 42 were
killed and 161 injured, many when the railway bridge, under which
workers were still making their way to air raid shelters, received a
direct hit, as did one of the already occupied bomb shelters beneath a
railway embankment, where 24 were killed and 75 injured. Also many
nearby houses were destroyed with terrible loss of life. Works manager
H.B Pratt was wounded and badly traumatised by the attack.
Two days later on 26 September 1940 sixty Heinkel He 111s of KG55
escorted by 60 Me 110 fighters of ZG26 attacked from 5.45pm onwards in
two waves. The incoming attack was detected early with factory
sirens sounding just after 4pm, which gave the workers ample time to
evacuate. In spite of anti-aircraft fire more than 70 tons of bombs
were dropped with seven bombs directly hitting the Woolston works and
one hitting the Itchen works. The factory buildings at Woolston were
so badly damaged they was never rebuilt and it's ruins were at one
stage used as a training ground in which commandos were trained in
street-fighting. Both prototypes of the Type 317 bomber and three
complete Spitfires were destroyed, while over 20 Spitfires were
damaged.  Luckily several of the critical production jigs had
already been moved to other locations and the remainder of the most
important precision machines were virtually undamaged. One bomb scored
a direct hit on a bomb shelter, but it was unoccupied as after the
experience of previous raid, many of the employees had run well away
from the factory area. Even so 55 were killed 55 and 92
Complete dispersal of production
By this time the new factory at Castle Bromwich was producing
Spitfires, but with a desperate need for more aircraft Lord
Beaverbrook, the minister of aircraft production visited Southampton
and immediately ordered a complete dispersal of Supermarine's
facilities. The top floor of the Polygon Hotel in the centre of
Southampton was immediately requisitioned by the Ministry of Aircraft
Production (MAP) for the use of Supermarine's production team.
Work immediately began by the production team under the leadership of
the company's works engineer, Leonard G. Gooch on a dispersal program.
Gooch's impressive efforts meant that by December 1940 he formally
replaced Platt as Works Manager. The replacement of Pratt is also
believed to have been partially orchestrated by Beaverbrook in
retaliation for Pratt’s refusal prior to the air raids to allow
staff from the (MAP) into the
Supermarine factories without the proper
credentials. Pratt, overworked and suffering from depression committed
suicide soon afterwards.
During the 26 September air raid at least one bomb had passed through
the drawing office, out of the window and into the mud on the river
bank below, another went straight through the floor without exploding.
As a result the majority of the design material and drawings survived.
The design team were quickly moved to temporary accommodation in old
world War 1 army huts, being used by the University College in
On 7 December 1940 all of the company's design, production and
administration was moved to a new permanent home at Hursley House.
Located close to Winchester, this large stately house was
requisitioned by the Ministry of Aircraft Production from the Dowager
Lady Mary Cooper, who remained in residence until June 1942.
It was decided that new dispersed facilities staying within 50 miles
of Southampton so that control and communication could be maintained.
By mid November 1940 35 different workshops were up and running.
Eventually there were with 250 different sub-contractors supplying
60 different workshops in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire,
clustered around four production centres: Reading (with assembly at
Aldermaston and Henley) Salisbury (with assembly at Chattis Hill and
High Post), Southampton (with assembly at Eastleigh) and Trowbridge
(with assembly at Keevil). An additional area around Winchester
and Chandler’s Ford was linked to the main design base at Hursley
Each production centre had workshops able to make each part of the
plane and an airfield at which final assembly and delivery could be
performed. The smallest assembly centre was High Post where the
assembly hanger was so small that only three Spitfires could be
assembled at a time. Production was six a week. Castle Bromwich
concentrated on the standard models of Spitfires; including the Mk II,
V, IX and XIVs as it was time consuming to change it's mass production
assembly lines from one model to another. In contrast the dispersed
production and small output from each individual production centre
surrounding Southampton had the advantage of allowing a flexibility
and responsiveness without major disruption to the overall production.
Each production centre tended to specialise on a particular model of
Spitfire and so much more quickly provide small number of specialised
aircraft in response to a new threat or requirement of the RAF and
Royal Navy. The Southampton workforce increased from 2,880 at the
start of the war to 3,660 in September 1940 then dropped to 3,079 in
December 1940 as a result of the air raid before 10,000 workers (half
of them women) by the end of 1944. When looking for suitable sites
preference was placed on buildings with wide concrete floors,
uncluttered by pillars, high ceilings, large access doors. While
garages, vehicle showrooms and other workshops were capable of
constructing sub-assemblies and even complete fuselages, bus depots
with their extra height were valued for the making of wings. Many
local garages and large store premises were requisitioned to provide
the required facilities.
Among the buildings requisitioned were Carey & Lambert's showroom
at Austin House in Southampton, Chiswell's Garage, Elliott's furniture
factory in Newbury, Hendy’s Garage, off Pound Tree Road in the
centre of Southampton, Hendy's Agricultural Equipment Showroom at
Chandlers Ford, Lowthers Garage on Park Road in Shirley, Seward’s
Garage, on Winchester Road in Shirley, Shorts Garage, Southampton,
Sunlight Laundry also on Winchester Road, Vincent's Garage in Reading.
While most owners left with little complaint there were some who
objected. The Hants and Dorset Bus Depot on Winchester Road in
Southampton was already being used to store sandbags and pumps needed
by the Fire Brigade the event of an air raid. The deputy town clerk
refused to move the pumps as he considered them to be more important.
Eventually sufficient official pressure was bought to bear and the
council moved the bus and pumps out, leaving
Supermarine with the job
of disposing of sandbags.  The Mayor of Salisbury initially
objected to the takeover of the city's bus depot until it was pointed
out to him by MAP that as the local patron of the Spitfire Fund, it
was no use collecting money if there was nowhere to build the
aircraft. In Trowbridge the owner of the Barnes Steamroller
factory on Church Street in Southwick thought his steamrollers were
more important and appealed to his local MP. An arbitration panel,
Supermarine could have 75% of against the factory. A wall
was built to separate the two activities. Later a large
purpose-built facility was built on Bradley Road in Trowbridge where
the main body and wing was made and parts incorporated from other
Towbridge factories added before being transported on trucks to Keevil
Airfield. In hanger at Keevil the Spitfire would be completely
assembled, tested and then flown by an ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary)
pilot to a frontline airfield.
Often there were also conflicts with other Ministries, who had already
requisitioned sites needed by Supermarine, but the Ministry for
Aircraft Production usually ruled supreme as the production of
aircraft had the highest priority.
Production fell from 363 aircraft in the quarter before the raids to
177 and 179 respectively in the next two quarter. It took another nine
months before it was back to 100 per month, as the programme both had
to find suitable new facilities, sufficient skilled workers to replace
those killed and wounded and also the additional numbers needed to
increase production, while at the same time provide accommodation for
them. There was a great reluctance of Southampton based workers to
move away to the new dispersal facilities. Once the existing skilled
workers were relocated it took time to train the semi-skilled new
workers had to be trained. Many were straight out of school or older
men who had undergone the Government’s basic engineering training.
As the war progressed more woman entered the workforce and began to
take on more senior roles. By the end of the war, 8,000 planes had
been built in the dispersal factories around Southampton.
In addition to the Spitfires and Seafires made at Supermarine's
dispersed Southampton factories and at Castle Bromwich several
companies were subcontracted to make entire
Supermarine designs. The
most significant were
Westland Aircraft who were responsible for the
manufacture of the majority of the Seafire, making over 2,000, while
Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft at their shadow factory at Eastleigh from 1942
converted 118 Spitfires VBs into Seafires before constructing over 520
Joe Smith was confident that the Spitfire had great development
potential and was successful in obtaining the maximum capability from
the Spitfire and its naval version the Seafire through numerous
variants, including the introduction of the Rolls-Royce
Griffon-engined series, all of which ensured that it remained a front
line fighter until the end of World War II.
By 1942, the designers had realised that the characteristics of the
Spitfire's wing at high Mach numbers might become a limiting factor in
further increasing the aircraft's high-speed performance As a result
work commenced on the Spiteful and Seafang, which were designed to be
successors of the Spitfire and Seafire, respectively. However the with
the advent of jet propulsion, the future of high-performance fighters
was clearly with the jet fighter, so only a small number were built.
Post World War II
Swift FR.5, Farnborough air show, 1955
Following the end of the war with no further need for a dispersion of
production the Itchen works was rebuilt but not the Woolston
works. The manufacturing facilities was split into the Southern
(Chilbolton, Eastleigh, Hursley and Itchen) under Leonard Gooch and
Northern (South Marsden and Trowbridge) under Stuart Lefevre.
With little demand for flying boats and lacking expertise in large
Supermarine concentrated on jet fighters,
building the Royal Navy's first jet fighter, the Attacker. To expedite
it's development Smith used the wings of Spiteful mated to a new
fuselage housing a Nene engine. It served front line squadrons aboard
aircraft carriers and RNVR squadrons at shore bases. The Attacker was
followed by the more advanced Swift which served in the fighter and
The last aircraft to bear the
Supermarine name was the Scimitar, the
final examples of which were delivered in 1957.
In the late 1950s
Supermarine became engaged in non-aviation related
work ranging from film equipment to hovercraft (from 1961). The
Vickers-Armstrongs VA-3 hovercraft which was constructed in the
reconstructed Itchen works.
In the consolidation of British aircraft manufacturing in the late
Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) became a part of the British
Aircraft Corporation in 1960 and the individual manufacturing heritage
names were lost.
Supermarine design office continued to exist at Weybridge
until 1957 when many staff were absorbed into the main
Vickers-Armstrong organisation or re-located to the new Supermarine
headquarters at South Marston in Hampshire. In response to government
specification GOR.339, Vickers-Armstrong whose design team largely
consisted of ex-
Supermarine engineers (based in Weybridge) offered the
Type 571. This design was eventually merged with that proposed by
English-Electric/Short design to create the final design for the BAC
Representation in media
Premiering in February 2018 at NST City in Southampton Howard
Brenton’s play The Shadow Factory told the story of the impact of
the air raids on the
Supermarine factory in 1940. The production
starred David Birrell (Fred/Hugh), Catherine Cusack (Lil/Sylvia),
Lorna Fitzgerald (Jackie Dimmock), Hilton McRae (Lord Beaverbrook) and
Daniel York (Len Gooch).
The former Woolston Works is today the site of an aggregate unloading
wharf and an apartment block. A nearby memorial plaque remembers those
who died during the three air raids in 1940 that targeted the
Reuse of the
The name was revived in 1990 by a company in
Supermarine Aero Engineering Ltd. that hand builds parts for Spitfire
Northshore Marine Motor Yachts builds a range of motorboats under the
Supermarine name in Chichester, Portsmouth, England.
The name is also used for Spitfire replicas made by an Australian
company in Cisco, Texas.
Initially the company had no system for naming projects with
structured system only coming into use just prior to the company being
purchased by Vickers-Armstrongs. The new owners imposed the Vickers'
system where once a new project was approved for further work a Type
number was allocated. Vickers initially assigned a block of Type
numbers from 178 to 190 to Supermarine.
Pemberton-Billing P.B.1 (1914)
Pemberton-Billing P.B.23 - A single-seater pusher biplane.
Pemberton-Billing P.B.25 (1915) - A revised version of the P.B.23.
AD Flying Boat
AD Flying Boat (1916)
AD Navyplane (1916)
Supermarine Nighthawk (1917) – Anti-
Zeppelin fighter aircraft.
Supermarine Baby (1917) – Single-seater fighter flying boat.
Supermarine Sea Lion I
Supermarine Sea Lion I (1919) –
Schneider race flying boat.
Supermarine Sea Lion II
Supermarine Sea Lion II and III (1922)
Supermarine Channel (1919) – Civil version of the AD Flying Boat.
Supermarine Scylla early (1920s)
Supermarine Sea Urchin early (1920s)
Supermarine Commercial Amphibian (1920)
Supermarine Sea King
Supermarine Sea King (1920) – Single-seater fighter flying boat.
Supermarine Seagull (1921)
Supermarine Seagull (1921) – Amphibian Fleet Spotter.
Supermarine Seal (1921)
Supermarine Sea Eagle
Supermarine Sea Eagle (1923) – Civil amphibian flying boat.
Supermarine Scarab (1924) – Military version of Sea Eagle.
Supermarine Swan (1924) – Experimental amphibian.
Supermarine Sparrow (1924) – Two-seater ultralight.
Supermarine Southampton (1925) – Flying boat.
Supermarine S.4 (1925) –
Schneider Trophy race seaplane.
Supermarine S.5 (1927) –
Schneider Trophy race seaplane.
Supermarine Nanok (1927)
Supermarine Solent (1927)
Supermarine Seamew (1928) – Twin-engined flying boat.
Supermarine S.6 (1929) –
Schneider Trophy race seaplane.
Type 171 Southampton X (1928)
Supermarine Air Yacht
Supermarine Air Yacht (1931) - Six-passenger flying boat.
Supermarine Type 179 (1931) - Six engine transport flying-boat.
Supermarine S6A - Refurbished S.6 with new floats.
Supermarine S.6B (1931) –
Schneider Trophy race (first aircraft over
Supermarine Scapa (1932) – Flying boat.
Supermarine Seagull V – Amphibian fleet spotter.
Supermarine Stranraer (1932) – General-purpose flying boat.
Supermarine Walrus (1933) – Amphibian fleet spotter.
Supermarine Type 224
Supermarine Type 224 (1934) - Unsuccessful design for a fighter
aircraft to Air Ministry specification F.7/30.
Supermarine Spitfire (1936) – Single-seat fighter.
Supermarine Seafire (1941) – Single-seater carrier-based fighter
version of the Spitfire.
Supermarine Spitfire (early Merlin powered variants) – Merlin engine
Supermarine Spitfire (late Merlin powered variants) – Two-stage
Merlin engine variants.
Supermarine Spitfire (Griffon powered variants) – Two-stage Griffon
Supermarine Spitfire variants: specifications, performance and
Supermarine Sea Otter
Supermarine Sea Otter (1938) – Flying boat.
Type 322 also S.24/37 (1939) - Naval Dive-Bomber prototype. Nicknamed
‘Dumbo’ this was an unsuccessful prototype wooden dive-bomber with
variable incidence wing. Used as a design test-bed.
Supermarine Spiteful (1944) – Replacement for the Spitfire.
Supermarine Seafang (1946) – Naval development of Spiteful.
Supermarine Attacker (1946) – Jet fighter.
Supermarine Seagull ASR-1
Supermarine Seagull ASR-1 (1948) – Air-sea rescue and
Type 508 (1951) – Twin Nene engined fighter prototype with Attacker
wings and a V-tail which initially had no undercarriage as it was
designed to Naval specification for “mat” landings on aircraft
Type 510 (1948) – Prototype which had a Attacker fuselage fitted
with swept wings and tail surfaces. It was the first fully swept wing
aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier
Supermarine 521 (1950) – Modified Attacker fuselage as basis for
Handley Page HP.88.
Type 535 (1950) – Swift predecessor with Nene engine.
Supermarine Swift (1951) – Jet fighter.
Type 525 (1954) – Similar to the Type 529 but with swept wings and
conventional tail arrangement. Immediate predecessor of Scimitar.
Type 545 – Supersonic version of the Swift. Prototype built but
cancelled before flown.
Supermarine Scimitar (1956) – Naval ground attack aircraft.
===Designs and submissions only===
Supermarine Type 178 00 (1929) - Sea Hawk 3-engined civilian flying
Supermarine Type 178 01 (1931) - Monoplane civilian mail carrier.
Supermarine Type 178 02 (1931) - Single-engine bomber and
Supermarine Type 178 03 (1931) - Twin-engined air mail flying boat.
Supermarine Type 178 04 (1931) - Twin-engined Southampton flying boat.
Supermarine Type 178 05 (1931) - Twin-engined flying boat.
Supermarine Type 178 06 (1931) - Sea Hawk three-engined biplane flying
Supermarine Type 178 07 (1931) - Southampton IV.
Supermarine Type 178 08 (1931) - Proposal to reduce landing speed of
Supermarine Type 178 09 (1931) - High performance day bomber.
Supermarine Type 178 10 (1931) - Single-seater day and night fighter.
Supermarine Type 178 11 (1932) - Three-engined monoplane flying boat.
Known as the Military Air Yacht.
Supermarine Type 178 12 (1932) - Single-seater biplane day and night
fighter. Modified from the Type 178 10.
Supermarine Type 178 14 (1932) - Single-seater monoplane day and night
fighter. Modified from the Type 178 10.
Supermarine Type 180 (1929) - Four-engined civilian flying boat.
Supermarine Type 182 (1931) - General purpose civilian high-wing
Supermarine Type 183 (1931) - General purpose civilian low-wing
Supermarine Type 238 (1934) Biplane flying boat to Air Ministry
Supermarine Type 239 (1934) Four-engined flying boat to Air Ministry
Supermarine Type 240 (1934) Twin-engined coastal reconnaissance
Supermarine Type 305 (1935) - Two-seater day and night fighter with
all four guns in a turret to Air Ministry specification F.9/35.
Supermarine Type 306 (1935) - Four-engined high wing monoplane flying
Supermarine Type 307 (1935) - Seagull V with Pegasus VI engine
Supermarine Type 308 (1935) - Long range flying boat to Air Ministry
Supermarine Type 312 (1936) - Single seat day and night fighter to Air
Ministry specification F37/35.
Supermarine Type 313 (1936) - Single seat day and night fighter to Air
Ministry specification F37/35.
Supermarine Type 314 (1936) - High performance flying boat to Air
Ministry specification R.1/36.
Supermarine Type 315 (1936) - Walrus for Argentina.
Supermarine Type 316 (1937) - Four-engined heavy bomber to Air
Ministry specification B12/36.
Supermarine Type 317 (1937) - Four-engined heavy bomber with Hercules
engines to Air Ministry specification B12/36. Abandoned after
prototypes destroyed by German bombing attack.
Supermarine Type 318 (1937) - Four-engined heavy bomber with Merlin
engines to Air Ministry specification B12/36.
Supermarine Type 319 (1937) - Two-seater turret fighter, developed
Supermarine Type 305 (1938) – Design project for a turret armed
derivative of the Spitfire
Supermarine Type 310 (1935) - Long range flying boat.
Supermarine Type 323 (1938) - Speed Spitfire.
Supermarine Type 324 (1938) – Twin Merlin engined, tricycle
undercarriage fighter based on Spitfire wing and fuselage to Air
Ministry specification F18/37.
Supermarine Type 325 (1938) - Twin-engined fighter to Air Ministry
specification F18/37. Version of the Type 324 but with two pusher
Supermarine Type 327 (1938) - High speed single-seater pusher fighter
to Air Ministry specification F18/37.
Supermarine Type 328 (1939) - Flying boat to Air Ministry
Supermarine Type 333 (1939) - Two-seater fleet fighter to Air Ministry
Supermarine Type 553
Supermarine Type 553 (1953) – Mach 2 research aircraft project to
Supermarine Type 559
Supermarine Type 559 (1955) – Submission for Operational Requirement
F.155 for a high altitude supersonic fighter.
Supermarine Type 571
Supermarine Type 571 – Submission for GOR.339 TSR.2 requirement.
Aerospace industry in the United Kingdom
^ a b Pegram, page 13.
^ a b Pegram, page 14.
^ London 2003, p. 8.
Air Enthusiast Forty-eight, pp. 7–8.
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Air Enthusiast Forty-eight, p. 9.
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Air Enthusiast Forty-eight, p. 10.
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University of Kent.
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Supermarine Spitfire Mks.I-III". Aeroflight. Retrieved March
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^ McKinstry, page 247.
Luftwaffe Raid on Southampton - 24 September 1940". Spitfire
Society. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
^ a b c Gale, Jez (6 March 2016), "Hampshire's vital role in keeping
the Spitfire flying", Southern Daily Echo, retrieved 16 March
2018 CS1 maint: Date and year (link)
^ McKinstry, page 248
Luftwaffe Raid on Southampton - 26 September 1940". Spitfire
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^ Bishop, Patrick (2009). Battle of Britain: A day-to-day chronicle,
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London: Quercus Editions. ISBN 978-1-84916-224-1.
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^ a b "The Dispersal (1940-1941)". The Supermariners. Retrieved March
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Supermarine dispersal sites in and around Southampton".
www.airfieldresearchgroup.org.uk. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
^ "Discovering the history of Trowbridge Spitfires and RAF Melksham.
What role did your town play during World War Two?". Forces War
Records. February 25, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
^ Walpole, page 17.
^ a b Walpole, page 20.
^ Clode, George (December 13, 2017). "New Southampton theatre stages
The Shadow Factory". Travel GBI. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
Supermarine Aero Engineering Ltd. "
Supermarine Aero Engineering
Ltd". companiesintheuk.co.uk. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
Supermarine Aero Engineering Ltd. "Supermarine". Supermarine.net.
Retrieved 16 April 2016.
Supermarine Aero Engineering Ltd. "Engineer Mark Harris supplies
Spitfire spare parts". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
^ Andrews and Morgan 1987, pp. 294–196.
^ Pegram, pages 229 to 234.
^ Buttler. British Secret Projects : Jet Fighters since 1950,
pages 327 to 328.
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Supermarine Aircraft since 1914,
Second edition (Hardback)format= requires url= (help). London:
Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-800-3.
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the Spitfire the aviation icon (Hardback)format= requires url=
(help). Sherborne, Dorset: Evro Publishing.
Bruce, J.M. (1969). War Planes of the First World War: Volume Three:
Fighters. London: Macdonald & Co. ISBN 0-356-01490-8.
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( 2nd edition) (Hardback)format= requires url= (help). Manchester:
Crecy Publishing. ISBN 978-1-910-80905-1.
Chorlton, Martyn (2012). Supermarine: Company Profile 1913–1963.
Cudham, Kent: Kelsey Publishing Group (Aeroplane).
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Pemberton-Billing Flying Boats". Air Enthusiast. No. Forty-eight.
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Mitchell (Hardback)format= requires url= (help). Brimscombe Port:
The History Press. ISBN 978-0-75096-515-6.
Phipp, Mike (2013). Flying Boats of the Solent and Poole
(E-book)format= requires url= (help). Stroud: Amberley Publishing.
Ritchie, Sebastian (1997). Industry and Air Power: The Expansion of
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url= (help). Abington: Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-4724-1.
Shelton, John (2008).
Schneider Trophy to Spitfire – The Design
Career of R.J. Mitchell (Hardback). Sparkford: Hayes Publishing.
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(help). Barnsley: Pen and Sword Aviation.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Supermarine.
Spitfire Society article
Pemberton -Billing and
Supermarine Production List of aircraft
production at Woolston.
The Supermariners Website which documents the history of Supermarine
and it's workforce.
Aircraft produced by Supermarine
Sea Lion I
Sea Lion II
Sea Lion III
Reconnaissance and patrol
AD Flying Boat
R. J. Mitchell
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Hants and Sussex Aviation
Hybrid Air Vehicles
Lockheed Martin UK
Thales Air Defence
Air Navigation and Engineering Company
The Airscrew Company
Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft
Austin Motor Company
William Beardmore and Company
Boulton & Paul
Boulton Paul Aircraft
Bristol Aeroplane Company
British Aerial Transport
British Aircraft Company
British Aircraft Corporation
British Aircraft Manufacturing
Central Aircraft Company
Clayton & Shuttleworth
Comper Aircraft Company
Aeronautical Technical School
Desoutter Aircraft Company
Dunlop Standard Aerospace
Edgar Percival Aircraft
Elliotts of Newbury
Fairey Aviation Company
Fane Aircraft Company
Foster, Wikner Aircraft
Garland Aircraft Company
General Electric Company
Gloster Aircraft Company
Heston Aircraft Company
Hewlett & Blondeau
Lakes Flying Company
M. B. Arpin & Co.
Matra Marconi Space
Moss Brothers Aircraft
D. Napier & Son
Nash & Thomson
National Aircraft Factory No. 2
Nieuport & General Aircraft
Norman Thompson Flight Company
Parnall & Sons
Port Victoria Marine Experimental Aircraft Depot
Reid and Sigrist
Rollason Aircraft and Engines
Royal Aircraft Establishment
Seaplane Experimental Station
SELEX Sistemi Integrati
Sopwith Aviation Company
J. Samuel White
Civil Aviation Authority
Defence Electronics and Components Agency
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
European Aviation Safety Agency
Air Service Training
Royal Aeronautical Society
British Aerospace Compani