Supermarine Sea King

The Supermarine Sea King was an amphibian scout and fighter aircraft that was produced in two variants, but didn't receive any orders. It did become the basis for the Sea Lion racing aircraft, and as the Sea Lion II won the 1922 Schneider Trophy.

Work on the Sea King I began in October 1919. The Sea King I was designed as a single seat flying boat fighter. It had a streamlined hull, with a pointed nose. The pilot's cockpit was close to the nose. It was powered by the Beardmore engine, in a pusher configuration, mounted between the biplane wings. It made its maiden flight early in 1920 and reached a top speed of 110mph

The Sea King I was displayed at the 1920 Woolston Hospital Carnival, then at the 1920 Olympia Aero Show, but no sales were made. It was kept for use as a engine test bed, and reached 121mpg when powered by a 240hp Siddeley Puma. Plans to install a Napier Lion, which was expected to give a speed of 141mph, were never carried out.

The Sea King I was an impressive aircraft, with similar performance to contemporary land planes with the same engine power. It became the basis of  a series of Schneider trophy aircraft.

The first was the Supermarine Sea Lion I, G-EALP, a single-bay flying power with un-staggered wings and a pusher engine between the wings. This was entered into the 1919 contest at Bournemouth, but the event was cancelled due to heavy fog.

The Sea King II was built at Woolston in 1921. This was a two-bay pusher, powered by a 300hp Hispano-Suiza engine. It had a large fin and rudder, a single step fuselage, an amphibian undercarriage and a combined tail skid and water rudder. The Sea King II made its maiden flight early in 1922, and was considered to be a generally successful design, but it didn't sell.

This aircraft was later converted into a single seat race, the Sea Lion II, and won the 1922 Schneider Trophy.

Sea King I
Engine: Beardmore pusher or Siddeley Puma
Power: 160hp or 240hp
Crew: 1
Span: 35ft 6in
Length: 27ft 4in
Height: 11ft 7in
All-up weight: 2,500lb (Beardmore), 2,646lb (Siddeley Puma)
Max speed: 110mph (Beardmore), 121mph (Siddeley Puma)
Armament: One 0.303in Lewis Gun

Sea King II
Engine: Hispano-Suiza
Power: 300hp
Crew: 1
Span: 32ft
Length: 26ft 9in
Height: 11ft 7in
Empty weight: 2,115lb
All-up weight: 2,850lb
Max speed: 125mph
Endurance: 2 hours
Armament: One .303in Lewis Gun

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (21 February 2017), Supermarine Sea King , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_supermarine_sea_king.html

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