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Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian; "Shagbag"

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Supermarine Walrus amphibian:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian

Supermarine Walrus amphibian:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian

Supermarine Walrus amphibian:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian
Supermarine Walrus amphibian:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian

Supermarine Walrus amphibian:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian

Supermarine Walrus amphibian:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian
Supermarine Walrus amphibian:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Supermarine Walrus amphibian:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Supermarine Walrus amphibian in Bermuda in 1938:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian in Bermuda in 1938
Supermarine Walrus amphibian from the HMS Exeter:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian from the HMS <em>Exeter</em>

Supermarine Walrus amphibian from the HMS Exeter in Buenos Aires:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian from the HMS <em>Exeter</em> in Buenos Aires
Supermarine Walrus Mk I amphibian:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus Mk I amphibian
Supermarine Walrus Mk I amphibian:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus Mk I amphibian
Supermarine Walrus amphibian:
Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian

Design

The Supermarine Walrus was originally designated the Seagull V.1,2,3 The Walrus' designer was Reginald J. Mitchell and he designed it to be launched by catapult and conduct reconnaisssance.2

The skeleton and skin was made from wood and metal.2

Prototype

The Seagull V prototype first flew on June 21, 1933.1,2,3 Australia ordered 24 to be operated from it's warships.1 Deliveries began in 1935.1

The first Walrus Mk I flew on March 18, 1936.1 Additional tests were conducted from the HMS Nelson.3

Production

The Royal Air Force (RAF) evaluated the Seagull V and placed an order for the Walrus Mk I in May 1935.1

After the first 310 Seagull Vs and Walrus Mk Is were produced production was transferred to Saunders-Roe starting in late 1939 as Supermarine's factory space was to be dedicated to building Spitfires.1

  • Prototype: 11
  • Seagull V: 241
  • Walrus Mk I: 2873, 5551
  • Walrus Mk II: 1911, 4533
    • Manufacturer: Saunders-Roe3
  • Total: 7403, 7442, 7711
    • Manufacturer: Supermarine (310)1, Saunders-Roe1,2 (461)1
    • Production: 1936 - 19442, ? - January 19443

Variants

  • Seagull V: Original designation of the Walrus.1
  • Walrus Mk I: Had metal hull.1,3
  • Walrus Mk II: Had wooden hull.1

Usage

Australia, Britain, and New Zealand used the Supermarine Walrus.1

The Walrus became operational in 1936.3

Somaliland

On November 18, 1940, a Walrus was launched from the cruiser HMS Dorsetshire to bomb Somaliland.3

Shipborne

The Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm deployed the Walrus as a shipborne observation aircraft.1 The Walrus would be catapulted from Royal Navy cruisers and battleships.1,3 The Australians and New Zealanders also used the Walrus as a shipborne aircraft.1

Search and Rescue

The Royal Air Force (RAF) used the Walrus to rescue shot down pilots.1,3 It is estimated that the Walrus saved around 5,000 pilots shot down around Britain and 2,500 in the Mediterranean.1

The first full scale air sea rescue operations began in October 1941.1

Squadrons

15 squadrons of Walruses were based in the Azores, Britain, France, Iraq, Italy, Malta, North Africa, Sardinia, Sicily, and Singapore.1

Specifications

  Supermarine Walrus
Type Air sea rescue amphibian1,4, General purpose4, Reconnaissance amphibian1
Crew 41
Engine (Type) Bristol Pegasus VI1,4
OR Bristol Pegasus IIM21
Cylinders Radial4, Radial 91
Cooling  
HP IIM2: 6201
VI: 6804, 7751
Propeller blades 41
Dimensions  
Span 45' 10"1,4
13.97 m1
Length 37' 7"1,4
11.45 m1
Height 15' 3"1,4
4.65 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 7,200 lb4
Performance  
Speed 135 mph4
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 600 miles4
Armament  
Bow 1: 0.303" MG1
1: MG4
Amidships 1: 0.303" MG1
1: MG4
Under wings - bombs or depth charges 500 lb1
227 kg1
  Supermarine Walrus Mk I
Type Reconnaissance2
Crew 42
Engine (Type) Bristol Pegasus II M.22
Cylinders Radial 92
Cooling Air2
HP 7752
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 45' 10"2
Length 37' 7"2
Height 15' 3"2
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 7,200 lb2
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 4,750' /
1,448 m
135 mph2
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling 18,500'2
Range 600 miles2
Armament 2: MG2
  Supermarine Walrus Mk II
Type Air sea rescue3, Reconnaissance3
Crew 3 - 43
Engine (Type) Bristol Pegasus VI3
Cylinders Radial 93
Cooling Air3
HP 7753
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 45' 10"3
13.97 m3
Length 37' 7"3
11.45 m3
Height 15' 3"3
4.65 m3
Wing area 610 ft2 3
56.67 m2 3
Weight  
Empty 4,500 lb3, 4,900 lb1
2,223 kg1,3
Loaded 7,200 lb1,3
3,266 kg1,3
Performance  
Speed  
Speed at sea level 124 mph1,3
200 kph1,3
Speed @ 4,750' /
1,448 m
135 mph1
217 kph1
Cruising speed 95 mph1
153 kph1
Climb 1,050'/minute1,3
320 m/minute1,3
Service ceiling 18,500'1,3
5,639 m1, 5,640 m3
Range 600 miles1,3
965 km1,3
Armament  
Bow 1: 7.7 mm MG3
Under wings - bombs or depth charges 500 lb3
227 kg3

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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