ⓘ Supermarine Sea King

Supermarine Sea King

ⓘ Supermarine Sea King

In 1919, Supermarine commenced design of a single seat flying boat fighter resembling the Baby of the First World War and the contemporary Sea Lion racing aircraft. The resulting aircraft, known as the Sea King, was a single seater biplane powered by a pusher 160 horsepower 120 kW Beardmore 160 hp engine, first flying in early 1920, and later refitted with a 240 horsepower 180 kW Siddeley Puma.

In 1921, Reginald Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine, had prepared a revised design, it is possible to meet the requirements of specification N6 / 22 for a fighter capable of operating from the deck of an aircraft carrier and from water. Sea King II was a single seat biplane, with a wooden hull, retractable landing gear and fixed tail skid. The tail was of monoplane type mounted half way up one edge with one blade. The sea king II was powered by a single 300 a power of 220 kW Hispano-Suiza 8 engine.

The sea king first flew in December 1921. While it demonstrates excellent manoeuvrability, the Sea king was not selected for production. In the Fairey Flycatcher and Parnall Plover, both biplanes that could be converted between a conventional tail wheel, undercarriage and floats were ordered in small numbers for further evaluation, the Flycatcher finally being successful in equipping the Royal Navy equipped carriers.

It was not the end for the Sea king, however, as the Sea King II was rebuilt to become the sea lion II racer, winner of the 1922 Schneider Trophy.