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Supermarine Type 505

Carrierborne Day Fighter Proposal

United Kingdom | 1950

"The Supermarine Type 505 was to feature an undercarriage-less design to be used in combination with a spring-loaded carrier deck."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Supermarine Type 505 Carrierborne Day Fighter Proposal.
PROPOSED: 2 x Rolls-Royce AJ.65 turbojet engines developing 6,500lb of thrust each unit.
685 mph
1,102 kph | 595 kts
Max Speed
44,997 ft
13,715 m | 9 miles
Service Ceiling
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Supermarine Type 505 Carrierborne Day Fighter Proposal.
46.8 ft
14.25 m
O/A Length
35.0 ft
(10.67 m)
O/A Width
15,498 lb
(7,030 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Supermarine Type 505 Carrierborne Day Fighter Proposal .
2 x 30mm Aden internal automatic cannons in fuselage mountings.
Notable series variants as part of the Supermarine Type 505 family line.
Type 505 - Base Project Designation; none built; abandoned.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/21/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

By the end of World War II in 1945, British engineers were already looking to the future of manned, jet-powered flight and this vision did not escape the warplanners of the Royal Navy who sought a jet-powered Day Fighter. Performance was, of course, central to the design but aircraft were still limited by the fuel consumption of early thirsty jet engines on top of weight generated by onboard mission hardware and installed armament. The period following the war, therefore, saw a myriad of designs emerge for both the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy services of which just a few ever materialized into actual flying forms.

As naval fighters were already limited in range from their launch points (generally the decks of aircraft carriers), thought was given to devise a new generation of combat aircraft utilizing all manner of weight savings. Thus, this led engineers to entertain the concept of an "undercarriage-less" fighter aircraft used in conjunction with a specially-modified carrier deck known as a "carpet".

Carrier aircraft were required to carry reinforced undercarriages which made them heavier in the grand scope of airframe design than their land-based counterparts. In the plan, "belly landings" would take place over a deck covered in shock absorbers and rubber where the incoming aircraft would catch the arrestor hook as normal, come to rest on the carpet surface, and be taken away to its hangar space via manned trolley.

Despite its seemingly dangerous complexity, the carpet idea was actually successfully tested by the Royal Navy but, in the end, proved too costly to implement in any real sense as it required the modification of existing aircraft and carrier deck surfaces. As such, the idea never materialized beyond the active tests held in the late-1940s / early-1950s.

Even so, Aeroplane designs put forth some interesting undercarriage-less aircraft for review by British authorities during this period in an effort to head off any impending requirement. One such aircraft stemmed from the engineering minds at Supermarine and included the "Type 505" of 1946 - the first of several carrierborne Day Fighters championed by the company.

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The aircraft was conventionally arranged with a rounded, shallow nosecone, single-seat cockpit with ejection seat, and tubular / oval airframe tapered at both ends. The mainplanes were straight appendages situated at midships with clipped tips and wide roots while being mid-mounted along the sides of the fuselage. The tail unit would feature a "V-type" ("butterfly") plane arrangement in which a pair of outward canted rudders would satisfy the actions of both elevator and rudder fin. The engines were to straddle the fuselage and be aspirated through semi-circle intakes at front and rounded exhaust ports at rear. An arrestor hook would be featured at the extreme end of the tail section.

As this aircraft was undercarriage-less by design, no true landing gear would be featured. The weight-savings could then be transferred to additional fuel stores, increased mission equipment, or general structural design enhancements to improve capabilities of the fighter. Conversely, the weight-saving could also make for a dimensionally smaller, lighter, and potentially faster aircraft.

Armament for the fighter centered on 2 x 30mm Aden automatic cannons buried in the fuselage - a common armament fixture to many British warplanes of the post-war period.

Power was to stem from a pair of Rolls-Royce AJ.65 turbojet engines delivering 6,500lb of thrust each unit. Gross weight was to reach 15,500lb on paper. Dimensions included a running length of 46.8 feet and a wingspan of 35 feet.

As drawn up, the Type 505 was estimated to have a maximum speed of 685 miles-per-hour through its general design and twin-engine layout though this would never be proven.

In any event, the Type 505 was simply not meant to be: trials of the "carpet deck" were still far off in the future and the fighter, therefore, had no future of its own without them. The work undertaken by Supermarine did, however, lead to the follow-up Type 508 prototype which actually did fly in 1951 (with undercarriage). This X-plane aircraft is detailed elsewhere on the Military Factory.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Supermarine Type 505. 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 ]
Going Further...
The Supermarine Type 505 Carrierborne Day Fighter Proposal appears in the following collections:
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