View Full Version : A Spiteful question

13th Dec 2002, 16:37
Just a few quick questions to ask you all; did the Supermarine Spiteful ever reached squadron service?. I know only 18 were ever built, but I can't find any mention of what happened to them or what they were used for.

Even more of a long shot, has anyone actually flown a Spiteful? Also there is a lot mentioned about some apparent "undesirable" handelling characteristics it had, does anyone know what they were?


vintage ATCO
13th Dec 2002, 17:20
From Putnam's Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918 -

"Designed to spec. F.1/43, the Spiteful was to have superseded the Spitfire, but with the end of the war contracts were cancelled. Only 17 Spitefuls were built (RB 515-535) and it did not enter squadrons. Maiden flight was June 1944."

Lu Zuckerman
13th Dec 2002, 18:29
There is a great deal of information on the Spiteful on the internet.

Supermarine's last piston-engined fighter, looking much like a Spitfire but completely redesigned, with a straight-tapered laminar flow wing, a wide-track undercarriage, and better visibility. But it lacked the praised handling characteristics of the Spitfire, and had some undesirable ones. Performance was not sufficiently improved to start production, especially with jet fighters already in production.

General characteristics Spiteful Mk.14

Primary function Fighter
Power plant One Rolls-Royce Griffon 69 engine
Wingspan 35 ft 10.67 m
Length 32.9 ft 10.03 m
Height 13.4 ft 4.08 m
Wingarea 210 sq ft 19.51sq m
Weight empty 7,350 lb 3,334 kg
max. 9,950 lb 4,513 kg
Speed 483 mph 777 km/h
Ceiling 42,000 ft 12,800 m
Range 564 mi 908 km
Armament 4x 20mm cannon
Crew One
Date deployed 1945
Number built 18

14th Dec 2002, 09:00
Might look at:

12th Jan 2003, 15:03
Rather late on the roundout, but a friend I wrote to on this subject has just replied, as follows:

I looked up Alfred Price's book Spitfire and there is a long article and a number of pictures in an article by Lt Patrick Shea-Simonds who was seconded to Vickers at High Post (near Salisbury) on test flying Spitefuls and the Seafang F31 VG471 (really only a hooked Spiteful and VB895 the only Seafang FR32.

None of the batch of 18 aircraft saw Squadron service. Shea's opinion was that this happened because a) Boscombe Down took against it from the word go because of it's low speed handling characteristics. and b) the laminar flow wing did not produce any substantial increase in performance .
However Vickers were able to build up figures from the laminar flow wing trials which were a guide to the wing on the Attacker which was then building.