Bringing 92 Vintage Aircraft to Life
Home Aircraft Database Articles Museums & Memorials Sit in a Spitfire
Home  -  Aircraft Database  -  British Aircraft  -  Supermarine Type 224

Supermarine Type 224

 Jump to: Variants : Photos : On Display


The 'first' Spitfire the Type 224 would prove unsuccessful and would never enter production ending its days as a target on a firing range. Despite this important data was gleaned from the Supermarine Type 224 project which would help the company in their future monoplane fighter designs.

Quick Facts
Sorry, no image available
First flight
19th February 1934
Entered service
Non-operational
Total built
1

Front view
Sorry, no view photo available
Side view
Sorry, no view photo available
Rear view
Sorry, no view photo available

With the release in October 1931 by the Air Ministry of Specification F.7/30 the search for a successor to the Gloster Gauntlet, which was still four years away from entering service, began. The intended day and night fighter was to be able to reach 250 mph, be all metal and have armament consisting of four machine-guns. Other requested requirements included good pilot visibility, low landing speed and long endurance although any engine could power the aircraft.

The Supermarine design would have to compete against seven other entries and the Type 224, as it was known, was a monoplane featuring a inverted gull wing, similar to the Vought F4U Corsair, and fixed undercarriage. The engine chosen by the company was the 600-hp Rolls Royce Kestrel IV which would later be renamed the Goshawk II. An experimental engine this was cooled by evaporation as opposed to the normal radiator engines which meant less water was needed and thus saved weight. As required by the Specification four machine-guns would be fitted one in each side of the undercarriage fairings and one in each wing near the cockpit.

Using the gull wing design which was laterally unstable, meaning the aircraft moved from side to side whilst in flight, lead to the design undergoing heavy testing in the wind tunnel which showed that the aircraft was directionally unstable. To resolve this issue the fin area was increased.

In the hands of J 'Mutt' Summers Supermarine's new fighter, which was unofficially named the Spitfire, made its maiden flight on the 19th February 1934. However the top speed of the Type 224 was only 228 mph some 22 mph down on the requirement and only 18mph faster than the Gauntlet which it was intended to replace. Making an appearance at the Royal Air Force Display at Hendon on the 30th June 1934 this was to be it for the Type 224 as in the end it was to be the Gloster Gladiator, which was born out of a design study of the Gauntlet, which was chosen.

Only one example was built and this arrived at the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment at Martlesham Heath on the 25th May 1937 where it was used on a firing range as a target. Whilst the Type 224 never enter production the experience and data gained from the aircraft would prove beneficial for Supermarine's next design, the Spitfire.



Variants

Click on the aeroplane image to view a larger version.

Max Speed Range Service Ceiling Armament
Type 224 228 mph 38,800ft four 0.303-in machine-guns



Photos






On Display

(C) = Cockpit only exhibit. (F) = Fuselage only exhibit. (R) = Remains of an aircraft.

Variant Location
No known examples currently on public display in the UK.

Back to British aircraft










     Avro Anson
     Hawker Hind
     Battle of Britain Timeline
     The History of Lead Assembly
     Ships of the Eighth Air Force
     Fairey Gannet



Comments or Suggestions?










Back to the top