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Great Britain's Supermarine Walrus amphibian; "Shagbag"

Photos

  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus Mk I amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus Mk I amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus Mk I amphibian
  • Supermarine Walrus amphibian

Design

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

The skeleton and skin was made from wood and metal.

Prototype

The Seagull V prototype first flew on June 21, 1933. Australia ordered 24 to be operated from it's warships. Deliveries began in 1935.

The first Walrus Mk I flew on March 18, 1936. Additional tests were conducted from the HMS Nelson.

Production

The Royal Air Force (RAF) evaluated the Seagull V and placed an order for the Walrus Mk I in May 1935.

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.

  • Prototype: 1
  • Seagull V: 24
  • Walrus Mk I: 287, 555
  • Walrus Mk II: 191, 453
    • Manufacturer: Saunders-Roe
  • Total: 740, 744, 771
    • Manufacturer: Supermarine (310), Saunders-Roe (461)
    • Production: 1936 - 1944, ? - January 1944

Variants

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

Usage

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

The Walrus became operational in 1936.

Somaliland

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

Shipborne

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

Search and Rescue

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

The first full scale air sea rescue operations began in October 1941.

Squadrons

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

Specifications

  Supermarine Walrus
Type Air sea rescue amphibian, General purpose, Reconnaissance amphibian
Crew 4
Engine (Type) Bristol Pegasus VI
OR Bristol Pegasus IIM2
Cylinders Radial, Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP IIM2: 620
VI: 680, 775
Propeller blades 4
Fuel Capacity 150 gallons
Dimensions  
Span 45' 10"
13.97 m
Length 37' 7"
11.45 m
Height 15' 3"
4.65 m
Width - Wings Folded 17' 11"
5.46 m
Wing area 610 sq ft
56.67 sq m
Weight  
Empty 4,900 lb
2,223 kg
Loaded 7,200 lb
3,266 kg
Performance  
Speed 135 mph
Speed at Sea Level 124 mph
200 kph
Speed at 4,750' / 1,450 m 135 mph
217 kph
Cruising Speed at 3,500' / 1,070 m 95 mph
153 kph
Climb 1,050' per minute
320 m per minute
Climb to 10,000' / 3,050 m 12.5 minutes
Service Ceiling 18,500'
5,640 m
Range 600 miles
Range at 95 mph at 3,500' 600 miles
966 km
Armament  
Bow 1: 0.303" MG
1: MG
Amidships 1: 0.303" MG
1: MG
Under wings - bombs or depth charges 500 lb
227 kg
  Supermarine Walrus Mk I
Type Reconnaissance
Crew 4
Engine (Type) Bristol Pegasus II M.2
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP 775
Dimensions  
Span 45' 10"
Length 37' 7"
Height 15' 3"
Weight  
Loaded 7,200 lb
Performance  
Speed at 4,750' / 1,448 m 135 mph
Service ceiling 18,500'
Range 600 miles
Armament 2: MG
  Supermarine Walrus Mk II
Type Air sea rescue, Reconnaissance
Crew 3 - 4
Engine (Type) Bristol Pegasus VI
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP 775
Dimensions  
Span 45' 10"
13.97 m
Length 37' 7"
11.45 m
Height 15' 3"
4.65 m
Wing area 610 ft2
56.67 m2
Weight  
Empty 4,500 lb, 4,900 lb
2,223 kg
Loaded 7,200 lb
3,266 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level 124 mph
200 kph
Speed at 4,750' / 1,448 m 135 mph
217 kph
Cruising speed 95 mph
153 kph
Climb 1,050'/minute
320 m/minute
Service ceiling 18,500'
5,639 m, 5,640 m
Range 600 miles
965 km
Armament  
Bow 1: 7.7 mm MG
Under wings - bombs or depth charges 500 lb
227 kg

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
  5. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site