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Supermarine Type 505

Carrierborne Day Fighter Proposal [ 1950 ]

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

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/21/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Development Ended.


National flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Ability to intercept inbound aerial threats by way of high-performance, typically speed and rate-of-climb.
Maritime / Navy
Land-based or shipborne capability for operating over-water in various maritime-related roles while supported by allied naval surface elements.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.

Incorporates two or more engines, enhancing survivability and / or performance.
Mainplanes are designed to fold, improving storage on land and at sea.
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
Assisted process of allowing its pilot and / or crew to eject in the event of an airborne emergency.
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.

46.8 ft
(14.25 m)
35.0 ft
(10.67 m)
15,498 lb
(7,030 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Supermarine Type 505 production variant)
monoplane / mid-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Supermarine Type 505 production variant)
Installed: PROPOSED: 2 x Rolls-Royce AJ.65 turbojet engines developing 6,500lb of thrust each unit.
Max Speed
685 mph
(1,102 kph | 595 kts)
Cruise Speed
426 mph
(685 kph | 370 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
+259 mph
(+417 kph | 225 kts)
44,997 ft
(13,715 m | 9 mi)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Supermarine Type 505 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
2 x 30mm Aden internal automatic cannons in fuselage mountings.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft automatic cannon

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0

Type 505 - Base Project Designation; none built; abandoned.

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