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Supermarine Swift

Interceptor Aircraft / Low-Level Reconnaissance Fighter

Supermarine Swift

Interceptor Aircraft / Low-Level Reconnaissance Fighter

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Supermarine Swift never lived up to the intended role of high-level interception and was instead relegated to low-level reconnaissance duties for a bulk of its flying career.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United Kingdom
YEAR: 1954
STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Supermarine - UK
PRODUCTION: 197
OPERATORS: United Kingdom
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Supermarine Swift FR.5 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 41.99 feet (12.8 meters)
WIDTH: 32.48 feet (9.9 meters)
HEIGHT: 13.45 feet (4.1 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 13,435 pounds (6,094 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 20,679 pounds (9,380 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Rolls-Royce Avon 113 turbojet engine developing 7,175lb of thrust.
SPEED (MAX): 713 miles-per-hour (1147 kilometers-per-hour; 619 knots)
RANGE: 631 miles (1,015 kilometers; 548 nautical miles)
CEILING: 45,801 feet (13,960 meters; 8.67 miles)




ARMAMENT



2 x 30mm ADEN cannons
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• F.Mk 1 - Initial Production Model Designation; grounded by design flaws.
• F.Mk 2 - Fighter Variant; grounded by design flaws.
• F.Mk 3 - Fighter Variant; fitted with Rolls-Royce Avon 114 engine with afterburn; 25 examples produced.
• F.Mk 4 - Fighter Variant; variable incidence tailplane instituted to help correct flight handling.
• FR.5 - Converted Low-Level Reconnaissance Platform; at least 35 converted from F.Mk 4 airframes; lengthened nose section for specialized camera equipment.
• PR.6 - Proposed Unarmed Photo-Reconnaissance Variant.
• F.Mk 7 - Proposed Fighter with provision to carry guided missiles.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Supermarine Swift Interceptor Aircraft / Low-Level Reconnaissance Fighter.  Entry last updated on 1/2/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Supermarine Swift series of aircraft was initially designed to supplant the aging and outclassed post-World War Two Gloster Meteor turbojet fighters and was a further development of the Supermarine Attacker. The system would become Britain's first swept-back wing design and feature a full-afterburn capable Nene powerplant (later models would feature the Rolls-Royce Avon engine). Along with a full tricycle landing gear design, the system was a step above the previous incarnation of the Supermarine Attacker (detailed elsewhere on this site).

The Swift was, much like the Attacker before it, a very rudimentary design. The identifiable swept-back wing system was low-mounted onto the fuselage which featured twin air intakes on either side of the cockpit seating area, feeding into the single powerplant held at rear. A single rudder assembly was mounted above the jet exhaust and smaller elevators were also present. Beyond this, the Swift had very little to recommend itself.




Initially intended as a high-level interceptor though in practice proved to be a better low-level reconnaissance platform fighter instead. As such, only one squadron was ever fully fitted with the Supermarine Swift combat system. Once in full operational status, the system proved to be quite a fatally flawed design - particularly by suffering from engine flameouts - amounting to the system being removed from service in 1955 However, the reconnaissance forms continued to serve until the early 1970's. In the end, the Swift left much to be desired and was shortly outclassed by bigger, faster and better alternatives - mainly the Hawker Hunter.

To its credit, the Supermarine Swift did operate effectively in the reconnaissance role though the fighter form was never to see combat of any type. By the last production variant, the Swift was a competent form which saw many of its deficiencies irons out including the powerplant and handling issues. The Swift was the basis of several short-lived speed records as well before being forced into retirement.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (713mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Supermarine Swift FR.5's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
197
197

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Supported Arsenal
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.