The authors have combined clear text with an outstanding collection of photographs, illustrating the Supermarine Southampton story in design and construction and in service with the RAF, Japanese Navy, Argentina, Turkey and Australia. The Southampton seems an unlikely father of the Spitfire as the design that established RJ Mitchell. – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Supermarine Southampton, The Flying Boat That Made RJ Mitchell FILE: R3342 AUTHOR: Jo Hillman, Colin Higgs PUBLISHER: Air World, Pen and Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Supermarine, Southampton, flying boats, maritime patrol, RAF, Japanese Navy, Felixstowe Flying Boat Station, RJ Mitchell, biplanes, multi-engine aircraft, open cockpits, long range flights, aircraft design, export sales, Argentina, Turkey, Australia. ISBN: 1-52678-494-7 PAGES: 229, extensive illustration with many rare and unpublished images in B&W through the body of the book IMAGE: B3342.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/4hjuc928 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The authors have combined clear text with an outstanding collection of photographs, illustrating the Supermarine Southampton story in design and construction and in service with the RAF, Japanese Navy, Argentina, Turkey and Australia. The Southampton seems an unlikely father of the Spitfire as the design that established RJ Mitchell. – Very Highly Recommended
The Supermarine, Southampton, was first and foremost a producer of flying boats. During WWI, the Royal Navy ran land convoys that took gold from the Bank of England to Southampton, to pay for war materials and equipment from the US, and then went from Southampton to Liverpool to collect Curtis flying boat hulls and bring them down to Southampton to be fitted with wings, engines and equipment. The trip with the Curtis hulls was not without challenges. On one stretch of narrow road South the convoys had to snake between telephone poles, following a man on foot. Supermarine was firmly established as a supplier of flying boats by the end of the war and was closely connected to the RNAS Naval Air Station at Felixstowe that was part of the important contribution from the Royal Navy to the establishment of the RAF.
RJ Mitchel, a young designer at Supermarine, was responsible for the design of the Southampton flying boat which bore a strong relationship to the Curtis hulls, with open cockpits and gun positions, biplanes and twin engines. This was logical as the Southampton was designed to replace the wartime Felixstowe flying boats. The aircraft proved not only to be a successful replacement in RAF service but was also successful in generating export orders.
Supermarine took a great many photographs, many more than was common at the time for a manufacturer, and this really makes this book exceptional in its illustration. It also shows how the aircraft developed and the attempts to provide enclosed cockpit protection for crews who had to fly long distances over water.
The aircraft made RJ Mitchel into a proven engineer who went on to design the Schneider Cup winning aircraft that secured the trophy for Britain, with the SE5 and SE5b employing advanced monoplane configurations that led Mitchell to design the immortal Spitfire.
This book provides a very capable history through its text and an outstanding visual treat in its illustrations that take the story to 2018 with the surviving hull being restored for display at the RAF Museum.