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A Seafire III landing on a carrier.[1]

The Supermarine Seafire was the carrier-based counterpart of the Supermarine Spitfire.



Supermarine first responded to Admiralty interest in a carrier capable version of the Spitfire, complete with arrester hook and folding wings, in January 1940 but, due to RAF requests for Spitfires taking precedence, the first 'Hooked Spitfire' - a modified Spitfire VB - did not take to the air until January 7th 1942.[2] This aircraft was then used by Commander P. H. Bramwell for a series of deck landing trials aboard the carrier HMS Illustrious, which led to an order for a batch of forty eight Seafire IBs,[N 1] produced through the conversion of existing Spitfire VB airframes by Air Service Training Ltd at Hamble.[3]


  • IB: Navalised Spitfire VB. 1,415hp Merlin 46. Fixed wings. 166 examples.
  • IIC: Equivalent to Spitfire VC, with catapult spools, strengthened landing gear and universal wing. 1,645hp Merlin 32 with four bladed propeller. Production: 262 by Supermarine, 110 by Westland.
  • III: Version with manual double fold wing. 1,585hp Marlin 55M. Production: 870 Westland, 350 Cunliffe-Owen.
  • XV (later F.15): 1,850hp Griffon VI, four bladed propeller and asymmetric radiators.[N 2] 390 produced.
  • XVII (later F.17): Increased fuel and cut down fuselage with bubble hood.232 produced.[N 3]
  • 45: New aircraft corresponding to Spitfire 21. Griffon 61 with 5 blade propeller or Griffon 85 with contraprop. Fixed wing with four 20mm cannon. 50 produced.
  • 46: Bubble hood like Spitfire 22. 24 produced.
  • 47: Navilised Spitfire 24 with hydraulic folding wings, carb air intake behind propeller and increased fuel. 140 produced.[4]



  1. Known to Supermarine as the Type 340.[3]
  2. Cross between Seafire III and Spitfire XII
  3. Production cut back due to the end of the war.


  1. Spitfires Flyer
  2. Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. Complete Book of Fighters. Salamander Books. 2001. ISBN 1-84065-269-1 Page 560
  3. 3.0 3.1 Green, William. Famous Fighters of the Second World War. Purnell Book Services. 1975. Page 137
  4. Gunston, Bill. Illustrated Directory of Fighting Aircraft of World War II. Salamander Books. 1988. ISBN 0-86101-390-5 Page 59

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