STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Supermarine - UK
OPERATORS: United Kingdom
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)
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.
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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.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (713mph).
Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Supermarine Swift FR.5's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
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