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Supermarine Type 508 (RAF)

Jet-Powered Day Fighter / Interceptor Proposal

United Kingdom | 1951

"The Supermarine Type 508 was revised from its navalized form to become a Day Fighter proposal for the British Royal Air Force."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/27/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Supermarine was the third aero-concern to offer its proposal - the Type 508 - to the British Air Ministry's F.43/46 (Operational Requirement 228) seeking to satisfy a Day Fighter requirement for the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Type 508 followed the Gloster P.234 and the Hawker P.1054 / P.1061 proposals (both detailed elsewhere on the Military Factory) of which none were formally selected outright. The Hawker designs, however, went down an evolutionary road to begat the "P.1067" which, in turn, became the classic swept-wing, jet-powered Hawker Hunter jet-powered fighter of the early Cold War period for Britain and led a healthy and long operational service life from there.

For Supermarine's part in the project, the company simply worked off of its naval-minded Type 508 which flew for the first time, in prototype form, on August 8th, 1951. The original, relatively oversized fighter aircraft had side-mounted intakes, straight mainplanes, and "V-type" tail unit with outward-canted planes. Planned armament was 4 x 30mm Aden automatic cannons and power would come from a pair of Rolls-Royce Avon RA.3 turbojet engines of 6,500lb thrust each.

At any rate, the Type 508 in its navalized form never materialized beyond prototypes but was resurrected for the RAF requirement. One of the primary requirements of the new fighter would be carrying a massive, still in-development, 4.5" automatic cannon in the fuselage with seven proximity-based rounds afforded to it. The Rolls-Royce AJ.65 or the competing Metrovick F.9 turbojets were the preliminary powerplant and this would appear in paired form for maximum power and performance at the expense of fuel burn. Maximum speed of the resulting aircraft would be in the 580 miles-per-hour range with an operating ceiling of around 45,000 feet.

Unlike the original straight-wing-only Type 508 aircraft, the revised version being offered was displayed in both a straight-wing and swept-wing forms to satisfy the Air Ministry on both fronts. The straight-winged model would be a fail-safe design against the more advanced, though still untested, swept-wing model. As such, the straight-wing design could, at some future time, be converted to swept-wing form as technology and research allowed. Similarly, the intended 4.5" autocannon could someday be revised to a 4 x 30mm cannon battery as needed by the service.

Like its navalized Type 508, the revised Type 508 was not furthered.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Supermarine Type 508 (Revised) Jet-Powered Day Fighter / Interceptor Proposal.
2 x Rolls-Royce AJ.65 OR Metrovick F.9 turbojet engine developing 6,500lb of thrust each unit.
662 mph
1,065 kph | 575 kts
Max Speed
429 mph
690 kph | 373 kts
Cruise Speed
44,997 ft
13,715 m | 9 miles
Service Ceiling
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Supermarine Type 508 (Revised) Jet-Powered Day Fighter / Interceptor Proposal.
46.4 ft
14.15 m
O/A Length
40.0 ft
(12.20 m)
O/A Width
17,251 lb
(7,825 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Supermarine Type 508 (RAF) Jet-Powered Day Fighter / Interceptor Proposal .
1 x 4.5" internal automatic cannon (initial) OR 4 x 30mm Aden automatic cannons (perhaps to come later).
Notable series variants as part of the Supermarine Type 508 (RAF) family line.
Type 508 (RAF) - Revised air force form drawn up in straight-wing and swept-wing proposals (neither selected).
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Supermarine Type 508 (RAF). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Supermarine - UK
National flag of the United Kingdom

[ United Kingdom (cancelled) ]
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Image of the Supermarine Type 508 (RAF)
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Going Further...
The Supermarine Type 508 (RAF) Jet-Powered Day Fighter / Interceptor Proposal appears in the following collections:
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