Profile - The Schneider Trophy winning Supermarine S.5.
July 12, 1929
Reproduced from :
JULY 12 1929
The S.5 is a twin-float low-wing monoplane of high performance.
Two machines of this type represented Great Britain in the Schneider Trophy Contest at Venice on Sept. 26, 1927. These two machines, piloted by FIt. Lt. Webster, A.F.C., and FIt. Lt. Worsley, R.A.F.; were first and second at average speeds over the 350 km. (217.35 miles) course of 231.65 m.p.h. (450.64 km/h.) and 273.07 m.p.h. (436.912 km/h.) respectively.
The shapes of all parts, such as body and floats, have been arrived at as a result of lengthy wind-channel tests, and the cross-sectional areas of these components have been reduced to a minimum.
The Supermarine wing-surface radiators completely eliminate radiator drag as their surface is entirely coincident with the normal surface of the wings.
The main fuel supply is carried in a tank built into the centre portion of the starboard float and fuel is pumped from this tank up to a small gravity tank in the fairing of the starboard cylinder block.
Two of these machines are being used by the High Speed Section of the R.A.F ., and it was on one of these aircraft; fitted with a geared engine, that FIt. Lt. D. D' A. A. Grieg, D.F.C., A.F.C., obtained the highest speed ever recorded over a 3 km. course of 319.57 m.p.h. (511.312 km.h.).
WINGS - Low-wing, braced monoplane. Bi-convex wing-section, of medium thickness. Wing structure of wood, consisting of two spars and normal ribs. Wing covered with ½ In. plywood, over which are placed the wing radiators. Wings braced with stream- line wires to top of fuselage and to floats.
FUSELAGE - Oval section. of metal monocoque construction. Built up of a number of closely-spaced transverse formers, covered with sheet duralumin, reinforced with longitudinal stringers. Front portion of fuselage acts as an engine-bearer, the two main bearers, of box-section, being secured direct to sides of fuselage and supported by reinforced cradles.
TAIL UNIT - Monoplane type. Fin built integral with fuselage. All controls internal.
FLOATS - Twin, long, single-step, streamline floats, of duralumin construction. Built up of one central longitudinal bulkhead, to which are attached transverse frames, which are interconnected by light longitudinal members, the whole being covered with duralumin sheet. The centre-section of the starboard float is built in the form of a petrol tank of steel, and to balance the machine laterally the whole chassis is slightly offset, relative to the centre-1ine of the body. Floats attached to fuselage by four struts, each pair meeting at a point under the centre-line of the fuselage.
POWER PLANT - One special Napier Lion racing engine completely cowled in. Either geared or direct drive engines may be fitted without alteration. Wing radiators and header tank in centre cylinder-block fairing. Main petrol tank in starboard float, with auxiliary gravity tank in fairing of starboard cylinder-block. Total fuel capacity 55 galls. (250 litres). Oil-coolers set along sides of fuselage.
ACCOMMODATION - Pilot's cockpit situated over trailing-edge of wing.
DIMENSIONS - Span 26 ft. 9 in. (8.15 m.), Wing area 115 sq. ft. (10.68 sq. m.).
WEIGHTS - Weight (direct drive engine) 3,100 lbs. (1,407.4 kg.), Weight (geared engine) 3,250 lbs. (1,475.5 kg.).
PERFORMANCE - Maximum speed 319.57 m.p.h. (511.3 km/h), Landing speed 90 m.p.h. (144 km/h), Endurance 1.15 hours.