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Supermarine Seafire F17 Fighter Plane

The Supermarine Seafire was developed to meet Specification N.7/44 for a fighter bomber to be used on the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers, they were navelised by the addition of an arrestor hook, and on later variants folding wings. The Supermarine Seafire F17 (Supermarine Seafire F XVII) was powered by the Rolls-Royce Griffin engine, it incorporated a new strengthened undercarriage and main spar to help resolve landing problems which had been prevalent on it's predecessor, production commenced in 1945 but it did not enter operational service until after WWII had ended.

Supermarine Seafire F17 Fighter Plane

 

The Supermarine Seafire F17 (XVII) was based on the existing Seafire XV which had been based on the RAF's Supermarine Spitfire XII, the main differences being an improved undercarriage, an additional 33 gallon fuel tank fitted in the rear fuselage, and on most aircraft produced, a high visibility teardrop canopy with a cut down rear fuselage as depicted in the above picture, it retained the folding wings of the Seafire XV.

 

The Supermarine Seafire was withdrawn from front-line service with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm in 1951 but remained in service with RN reserve squadrons until November 1954 when 764 NAS retired it's Seafire F17 fighters, in consequence the Supermarine Seafire F17 was the last Seafire variant to serve with the Royal Navy Air Service .

It is of note that a small number of photo-reconnaissance Seafire F17 fighters were produced and were designated the FR.XVII, these had their rear fuselage fuel tank replaced with two F.24 cameras, one  vertical and one oblique.

 
 
 
Seafire F XVII Arrestor Hook detail:

As can be seen on the picture to the left, the arrestor hook on the Supermarine Seafire F XVII (F 17) is unusual, it is faired-in to effectively become part of the rudder.

The frame in front of the tail wheel was intended to deflect the arresting wire downwards to ensure it cleared the tail-wheel, without this the tail wheel could easily be torn off by the arresting wire and the Supermarine Seafire and it's unfortunate pilot end up in the sea!

  Supermarine Seafire F17 Arrestor Hook
 
Supermarine Seafire F17 (F XVII) Specifications:
  • Crew: Pilot only
  • Wingspan: 36ft 10in
  • Height: 12ft 9in
  • Length: 33ft 7in
  • Weight: 8,010lb loaded
  • Engine: Single 1,850hp Rolls Royce Griffon VI
  • Maximum Speed: 387mph at 13,500ft
  • Range: 440miles with auxiliary fuel tanks fitted
 
 
 
Supermarine Seafire F17 with wings folded
 
Supermarine Seafire F17 (F XVII) Armament:
  • Two 20mm cannon
  • Four 0.303 machineguns
  • Eight 60lb under-wing mounted non-guided rocket projectiles

Supermarine Seafire F Mk XVII SX336 pictured flying on this page was built by Westland Aircraft Ltd and was delivered to the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm in May 1946, it remained operational until 1954 and was then sold as scrap. SX336 is the only airworthy Seafire in the UK and is currently operated by Kennet Aviation

 
 
 
Supermarine Seafire F XVII Fighter
 
 
Seafire F17 F XVII Fighter
 

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