FlyPast Classics: Griffon-engined Seafires

Marrying the Rolls-Royce Griffon powerplant with the already successful Merlin-engined Supermarine Seafire gave the Royal Navy a potent new carrier-borne fighter during the swansong of propeller warplanes at sea, as Malcolm V Lowe explains

Looking sleek and purposeful, Seafire Mk.XVII SX194/103/LP of 781 NAS at RNAS Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire displays the graceful lines of this first-generation Griffon Seafire version.

Supermarine’s Seafire first entered service with Britain’s Royal Navy (RN) during 1942. At first basically a navalised Spitfire, there were several initial marks of Seafire that flew with the Rolls-Royce Merlin powerplant. These culminated with the Mk.III, and the type established a good record of service aboard RN aircraft carriers for the Fleet Air Arm (FAA). The type was still operational in the Pacific up to the end of the war against Japan during 1945.

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