Supermarine Seagull (1921)
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Supermarine Seagull 1921

Seagull III Richmond 1928 AWM P02332.006.jpeg
Australian Seagull III at RAAF Base Richmond circa. 1928
Role Reconnaissance flying boat
Manufacturer Supermarine
First flight May 1921
Primary users Fleet Air Arm
Royal Australian Air Force
Supermarine Seal

The Supermarine Seagull was a British amphibian biplane flying boat developed from the Supermarine Seal by the Supermarine company. The Seagull was constructed of wood. The lower wing was set in the shoulder position and had two bays. The engine was mounted in a nacelle slung from the upper wing and powered a four-blade propeller in tractor configuration. The fuselage had an oval cross-section and had a planing bottom with two steps.

Design and development

The prototype, which became known as the Seagull Mk I, was modified from an existing Supermarine Seal II in 1921. Only one aircraft was built. A Napier Lion II engine was fitted and there were modifications made to the nacelle.

Produced from 1922, the production aircraft, the Seagull Mk II, had a Napier Lion III engine, and these were supplied to the Air Ministry and Royal Navy. A total of 25 were built, although some of these were later modified.

The Seagull Mk III was the Australian version, built in 1925. These were similar to the Seagull II but with a Napier Lion V engine and radiators modified for tropical use. Six of these were supplied to the Royal Australian Air Force in 1926 and 1927; one other Seagull III was built for Japan.

One Seagull II was rebuilt and fitted with Handley-Page leading edge slots and twin fins and rudders in 1928. This was considered to be the Mark IV, although Supermarine never designated it as such. Three ex-service aircraft were later placed on the British Civil Register.

In 1930 work was started on a flying boat of similar size and layout but with a predominantly metal airframe, powered by a Bristol Jupiter IX engine in pusher configuration. First flown in 1933 this became known as the Seagull V and later as the Walrus.

Operational history

The type was used operationally as a fleet spotter by 440 (Fleet Reconnaissance) Flight, operating from HMS Eagle. They were superseded in 1925 by the Fairey IIId. The Seagull II was the first British aircraft to be catapult launched in 1925. The crew was normally three (Pilot, Observer, and Radio-Operator). The sole armament was a .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun.

The Australian Seagulls were operated by the No. 101 Flight RAAF; these were used to carry out a photographic survey of the Great Barrier Reef,[1] and later served on board HMAS Albatross.


 United Kingdom

Surviving aircraft

  • The Fleet Air Arm Museum owns the front hull of an unknown Seagull. It was in use until 1974 as a garden shed, and presented to the museum in exchange for a new shed. It is currently on long-term loan to Solent Sky, an air museum in Southampton.[2]
  • The Royal Air Force Museum London had a Seagull V on display in their Battle of Britain hall until October 2016 after which it was moved into storage.[3]

Specifications (Seagull II)

Data from Supermarine Aircraft since 1914 [4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3 (pilot, wireless operator & observer)
  • Length: 37 ft 9 in (11.51 m)
  • Wingspan: 46 ft 0 in (14.02 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 0 in (4.27 m)
  • Wing area: 593 sq ft (55.1 m2)
  • Empty weight: 3,820 lb (1,733 kg)
  • Gross weight: 5,691 lb (2,581 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Napier Lion IIB W-12 water-cooled piston engine, 492 hp (367 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 98 mph (158 km/h, 85 kn) at 3,000 ft (914 m)
92 mph (80 kn; 148 km/h) at 6,500 ft (1,981 m)
  • Endurance: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Service ceiling: 9,150 ft (2,790 m)
  • Time to altitude: 3,000 ft (914 m) in7 minutes 43 seconds


See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


  1. ^ Brown 1972, p.27.
  2. ^ "Supermarine Seagull". Solent Sky. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ "Supermarine Seagull V". Royal Air Force Museum. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ Andrews, C.F.; Morgan, Eric B. (2003). Supermarine Aircraft Since 1914 (2nd Revised ed.). London: Putnam Aeronautical. pp. 68-82.


  • Brown, David. "Supermarine Walrus I & Seagull V Variants". Aircraft in Profile, Volume 11. Windsor, Berkshire, UK: Profile Publications Ltd., 1972.
  • Kightly, James and Wallsgrove, Roger. Supermarine Walrus & Stranraer. Sandomierz, Poland/Redbourn, UK: Mushroom Model Publications, 2004. ISBN 83-917178-9-5.
  • Shelton, John (2008). Schneider Trophy to Spitfire - The Design Career of R.J. Mitchell (Hardback). Sparkford: Hayes Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84425-530-6.
  • Thetford, Owen. British Naval Aircraft Since 1912. London: Putnam, 1982 (5th ed.) ISBN 0 370 30021 1

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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