The Malicious History of the Super Marines

Supermarine Spiteful is the development of the mythical WWII (1939-1945) Supermarine Spitfire single-engine piston-powered fighter that won the war. The Spitfire evolved in many ways during the war years, and the final form was far more advanced than what was seen in the skies during the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940.

Some variants of the latter are as fast as earlier turbojet fighters and pack an impressive offensive punch, and they remain in high figures years after the line was supposed to be replaced by more modern types. The Spiteful did not have nearly the same success as its original design, as only 19 aircraft were built in total, including two prototypes - the jet age was rapidly approaching, leaving most propeller-driven fighters already in the grand scheme of air combat. outdated.

While the Spitfire excelled in combat, it was clear that the design would soon reach its performance limits due to its unique elliptical wing set. The tests pushed the plane to its limits as it dived to 600 mph.

To solve this problem, a new straight laminar conical wing with a span of 35 feet was considered in November 1942. Each wing could be fitted with a pair of 20mm cannons for an impressive weapon, but had to be built to fairly precise tolerances.

Ordered Spitfire prototypes with new wings, which would be based on the Spitfire F. Mk VIII variant and a total of three examples (1943 specification F. 1/43 was written to cover this move). Essentially, this work will retain much of the form and function of the Mk VIII Spitfire, simply by adding new wing assemblies to the fuselage. The engine will be reworked into a Rolls-Royce Merlin or Griffin assembly, and each will be used to counter-rotate a pair of three-bladed propellers.

The base top speed target is around 525 mph.

Impressed by the upcoming design, it was decided in late 1943 to equip the existing production line for the new fighter for the second half of 1944. Delays in the manufacturing precision of special wings and a lack of skilled labor will only hinder the overall effort.

The first prototype was finally airworthy and flew for the first time on June 30, 1944. The aircraft was fitted with a new wing with a Spitfire F. Mk XIV fuselage and proved to be a faster mount, although its performance did not immediately meet expectations.

The plane went missing in a fatal crash on September 13.

A second prototype took off on January 8, 1945, and tests showed problems with the wings related to stalling and low-speed handling, but no issue with the new aircraft's full straight-line speed. A new enlarged rear wing added a surface that improved handling at low speeds, although the extra drag reduced straight-line speed to match later models of Spitfires.

Testing lasted from June 1945 to October 1945though by then the war in Europe had ended in May, so there was less demand for new aircraft. In the end, only Griffon engines were used in the Spiteful project, and a four-blade, and later five-blade, propeller unit was standardized on the original counter-rotating unit.

A third prototype appeared in early 1946 and consisted of a five-bladed propeller unit, located in front of a new low-drag air intake assembly under the nose. A review of the aircraft revealed concerns about general site maintenance, arming/rearming practices and cockpit layout.

This model flew until 1947.

Spiteful was eventually ordered through the Spiteful F. Mk XIV (Mk 14) model, consistent with its origins in the Spitfire F. Mk XIV (Mk 14) series. The aircraft is powered by a Rolls-Royce Griffon Series 69 with 2,375 horsepower and a top speed of 483 mph.

The initial demand was for 150 of this type, but the end of the war and advances in turbojet fighters made the need for a new propeller-driven land-based fighter moot. Like many post-war projects, Vicious suffered the military retreat phase of the post-war period, with only 17 examples completed before mass production inevitably ceased.

Production of the Spitefuls ended as early as December 1945, and many airframes were subsequently sold in mid-1948.

The Supermarine "Seafang" initiative (Spec No. 5/45 of 1945) made a brief attempt to maintain the Spiteful design, an aircraft designed to follow in the footsteps of the wartime Supermarine "Seafire" Kick - the famous land-based jet Naval variant of the Fire fighter. This essentially turned HMS Vicious into a potential carrier-based fighter for the Royal Navy. A "one-off" model was pulled from existing Spiteful stock and fitted with a production 2,350 hp Rolls-Royce Griffon 89 engine as the Seafang prototype.

Design changes were appropriate, including folding the wings to improve storage space on the British Space Belt carriers, strengthening the landing gear and adding safety gear. Many aspects of the resentment remained, but even that wasn't enough to justify this form of mass production - the Royal Navy eventually decided to go with a jet-powered design for the remarkable de Havilland Sea Vampire fighter.

The Seafang was realized in two limited developments - F. Mk XXXI and F. Mk XXXII, equipped with Griffon 61 and Griffon 89 engines respectively.

The last move is that Spiteful is earmarked for possible mass production (under license) through the rebuilding of France. It was also cancelled by the French, who recognized the long-term value of investing in jets, leaving the Vicious design in the pages of military aviation history, and nothing more.

Supermarine Attacker, an early fighter jet that used finished wings from Spiteful aircraft. From 1951 to 1964, 182 production units were manufactured which served in the fleet air force and the Pakistan Air Force for short periods of time.

Supermarine malicious Specification




[19 units] :
Supermarine - UK


- Fighter

- X-Plane / Development



32. 81 feet (10 m)




13.45 ft (4.1 m)


Curb Weight:

7,341 lb (3,330 kg)


4,525 kg

(difference: +2,635 pt)


1 x Rolls-Royce Griffon 69 inline V-12 2,375 hp driving 2 x three-blade counter-rotating propeller units or four or five-blade single propeller units.


Maximum Speed:

485 mph (780 km/h; 421 knots)

Service Limit:

41,995 ft (12,800 m; 7.95 mi)

Maximum range:

565 miles (910 km; 491 nmi)

Rate of climb:

4,900 ft/min (1,494 m/min)



4 x 20mm Hispano Mk V wing cannons


12 x 3" (60lb) High Speed ??Air Rocket Under Wing

2 x 1,000 lb conventionally dropped bombs under the wing


Spiteful F. Mk 14 - with 2,375 hp RR Griffon 69 engine; 19 examples, including two prototypes.

Malicious F. Mk 15 - Singleton; with 2,350 hp RR Griffon 89 engine; became the prototype for Supermarine Seafang products.

Vicious F. Mk 16 - From stock F. Mk 14; modified RR Griffon 101 engine with 2,420 hp; two examples complete.

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