SECRET PROJECTS: Supermarine twin fighters

When the time came to replace both the Hurricane and Spitfire, the Air Ministry had a very hard act follow. In seeking to succeed those two outstanding aeroplanes, Supermarine developed a trio of unusual twin-engined concepts that have seldom been discussed, but provide an interesting insight on where, at one stage, it felt RAF fighter design should go after the ‘Spit’

They are among the defining images of the RAF’s role in the liberation of Europe: Hawker Typhoons striking hard against enemy armour as the Allies advanced through Normandy during 1944. But it could have been a different story. Rather than the pugnacious single-engined Hawker fighter-bomber, those sorties might — had history taken an alternative course — have been performed by a lithe twin from Supermarine, the design of which was completed some nine months after R. J. Mitchell’s death.

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