Supermarine Sea Otter

The Supermarine Sea Otter was a British amphibian aircraft designed and built by Supermarine; it was a longer-range development of the Walrus and was the last biplane flying boat to be designed by Supermarine; it was also the last biplane to enter service with the Royal Navy and the RAF.

Sea Otter
A prototype Supermarine Sea Otter
Prototype of Sea Otter
Role Amphibian
Manufacturer Supermarine
First flight 23 September 1938
Primary users Royal Air Force
Royal Navy
Royal Danish Air Force
Produced 1942–1945
Number built 292
Developed from Supermarine Walrus

Design and development

The main difference between the Walrus and the Sea Otter was in the mounting of the powerplant; the Walrus had a rear-facing engine with a pusher propeller and the Sea Otter's engine faced forward with a tractor propeller.

Supermarine Sea Otter I JM952 MAEE Ringway 19.08.48 edited-2
Sea Otter I of the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment in 1948

There was considerable development of the power plant/propeller combination during the design of the Sea Otter, which at its conception was called the "Stingray". The original test aircraft had a Bristol Perseus XI radial engine with a two-bladed propeller, which gave insufficient thrust so a two-position three-blade propeller was substituted, later changed again to a four-bladed type with the pairs of blades set at an angle of 35°, instead of the usual 90°. The first flight took place on 23 September 1938, but it was not until January 1942 that the Air Ministry placed a production order. Due to cooling troubles found with the Perseus, the power-plant was changed for production aircraft to the Bristol Mercury XXX engine driving a three-bladed propeller. The Sea Otter was used by both the RAF and the Royal Navy for air-sea rescue and patrol roles.

Postwar, Sea Otters were converted for civilian use. The cabin was soundproofed and fitted with heating. Seating for four passengers, a chemical toilet and a stowage for baggage were provided. As they were intended for use as Bush airplanes in remote areas, versatility was important. To allow cargo to be carried, the cabin floor was strengthened and fitted with lashing points, and the passenger seats made easily removable.[1]

Production

Of the 592 aircraft ordered, only 292 were built due to the end of the Second World War. Eight aircraft were bought for the Royal Danish Air Force, and another eight were supplied to the Dutch Naval Air Arm. The colonial service of France purchased six Sea Otters for use in French Indochina.

Variants

Sea Otter Mk I
Reconnaissance and communications amphibian aircraft.
Sea Otter Mk II
Air Sea Rescue amphibian aircraft.

Operators

 Australia
 Denmark
 Egypt
 France
 Netherlands
 United Kingdom

Specifications (Sea Otter)

Data from Supermarine Aircraft since 1914[4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Four
  • Length: 39 ft 10¾ in (12.16 m)
  • Wingspan: 46 ft 0 in (14.02 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 1½ in (4.61 m)
  • Wing area: 610 ft² (56.7 m²)
  • Empty weight: 6,805 lb (3,093 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 10,000 lb (4,545 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Mercury XXX radial piston engine, 965 hp (720 kW)

Performance

Armament

Survivors

No museum holds a complete aircraft. The Fleet Air Arm Museum (Australia) at Nowra, New South Wales, Australia, has the nose section of JN200, a Sea Otter which served with the Royal Australian Navy.[5]

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists

Notes

  1. ^ "Civil Sea Otter". Flight: 383–384. 10 Oct 1946.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Halley 1980, p. 354.
  3. ^ Sturtivant and Ballance 1994, p.363.
  4. ^ Andrews and Morgan 1987, p. 162.
  5. ^ Lambert, Roger. "RAN Sea Otter Dataplate" (PDF). www.adf-serials.com. Retrieved 16 May 2013.

References

  • Andrews, C.F. Supermarine Aircraft Since 1914. London: Putnam, 1981. ISBN 0-370-10018-2.
  • Andrews, C.F. Supermarine Aircraft Since 1914. London: Putnam, Second edition, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-800-3.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1980. ISBN 0-85130-083-9.
  • Sturtivant, Ray and Theo Ballance. The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1994. ISBN 0-85130-223-8.

External links

Media related to Supermarine Sea Otter at Wikimedia Commons

1700 Naval Air Squadron

1700 Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy was formed in November 1944 at RNAS Lee-on-Solent as an amphibian bomber reconnaissance squadron. It was equipped with the Supermarine Sea Otter, and the squadron joined HMS Khedive in January 1945 bound for Sulur in India. On arrival the Sea Otters were augmented with Supermarine Walrus amphibian aircraft.The squadron's aircraft were distributed among the escort carriers of the Far East Fleet for air sea rescue and minesweeping duties. By April 1945 aircraft of the squadron were serving in HM Ships Stalker, Hunter, Khedive, Emperor, Ameer, Attacker and Shah. July saw operations at Car Nicobar, and off Phuket Island.

1701 Naval Air Squadron

1701 Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy was formed in February 1945 at RNAS Lee-on-Solent as an amphibian bomber reconnaissance squadron. It was equipped with the Supermarine Sea Otter, and the squadron joined HMS Begum in April 1945 bound for the Far East.The squadron was intended to join the newly established Mobile Naval Air Bases for Air Sea Rescue duties. B Flight joined MONAB IV (HMS Nabaron) at Ponam in the Admiralty Islands in May 1945 and embarked in HMS Reaper in October 1945. A Flight joined MONAB VI (HMS Nabstock) at Maryborough, Queensland, Australia in June 1945.

1702 Naval Air Squadron

1702 Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy was formed in June 1945 at RNAS Lee-on-Solent as a Special Service squadron. It was equipped with the Supermarine Sea Otter, and by the end of World War II the squadron remained at Lee-on-Solent.

The squadron joined HMS Trouncer in September 1945 to search for mines in the Mediterranean.

1703 Naval Air Squadron

1703 Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy was formed in August 1945 at RNAS Lee-on-Solent for duties in the Pacific. It was equipped with the Supermarine Sea Otter.

World War II ended in the same month that the squadron was formed, and it never deployed or saw action.

723 Squadron RAN

723 Squadron is a Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm squadron. The squadron was first raised in 1952 and throughout its history has served operationally during the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and in East Timor. It currently operates as a helicopter training squadron and is based at HMAS Albatross at Nowra, New South Wales.

728 Naval Air Squadron

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772 Naval Air Squadron

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Fleet Air Arm Museum (Australia)

The Australian Fleet Air Arm Museum, formerly known as Australia's Museum of Flight, is a military aerospace museum located at the naval air station HMAS Albatross, near Nowra, New South Wales. The museum was opened in 1990, although efforts to preserve artifacts related to Australia's naval aviation history began in 1974. The museum houses aircraft used throughout the history of the Fleet Air Arm, the naval aviation branch of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), along with other aircraft of relevance to Australia's aviation history, and memorabilia relating to Australian aircraft carriers. The museum includes 34 aircraft and helicopters in its collection. It is open to the public daily, except for major public holidays. The museum building is also home to Albatross Aero Club.

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List of aircraft of the Royal Australian Navy

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No. 277 Squadron RAF

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No. 281 Squadron RAF

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Sea otter (disambiguation)

The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal:

The European otter (Lutra lutra) is sometimes called "sea otter" when seen living on sea coasts.Sea otter may also refer to:

Sea Otter Classic, a bicycling sports festival in Monterey, California, in the United States

Sea Otter Cove, a remote place near the north-western end of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada

Sea Otter Rocks, rocks of the Commander Islands in the Bering Sea

Supermarine Sea Otter, a British flying boat of the late 1930s and 1940s

USS Sea Otter (SP-781), a United States Navy patrol boat in commission from 1917 to 1919

USS Sea Otter I (IX-51), a United States Navy experimental auxiliary ship in commission from July to November 1941

USS Sea Otter II (IX-53), a United States Navy experimental auxiliary ship in commission from 1941 to 1942

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