No. 10043. Supermarine 508 (VX133) Royal Navy
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Supermarine 508

09/30/2010. 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 V-configuration kept the tail surfaces clear of the jet efflux.

An armament of twin 0.787 in (20 mm) 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 August 31, 1951. The second, as the essentially similar Type 529 (featuring straight wings, a slightly re-designed tail with variable incidence and strakes, and changed intakes), followed a year later, on August 29, 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 6,500 lb (2,948 kg) s.t Avon RA3 engines and had provision for an armament of four 0.787 in (20 mm) cannon. The data relate to the Type 529.

Created September 30, 2010