Re­viv­ing a racer from a past era

Pilot - - NOTES -

Will Hosie is seek­ing to build a Su­per­ma­rine S5 replica like the one his fa­ther, Bill op­er­ated (and lost his life in, after the air­craft suf­fered in-flight struc­tual fail­ure un­re­lated to its ba­sic de­sign). In the 1920s coun­tries in­clud­ing the UK, Amer­ica, Italy and France all vied to win the sea­plane race three times in a row, in or­der to win out­right and keep the Sch­nei­der Tro­phy.

In 1931 Great Bri­tain achieved this feat and the win­ning air­craft – the Rolls-royce R V-12 en­gined Su­per­ma­rine S6B (on dis­play in the Sci­ence Mu­seum) – is of­ten the only one cred­ited, in par­tic­u­lar be­cause it rep­re­sented the cul­mi­na­tion of the high-speed sea­plane de­vel­op­ment work car­ried out by R J Mitchell and the Su­per­ma­rine team, and greatly in­flu­enced the fu­ture de­sign of the Spit­fire, which was also pow­ered by a R-R V12, the Mer­lin. How­ever, there was a se­ries of air­craft that led up to the S6B, in­clud­ing the Napier Lion ‘W12’ (or broad ar­row twelve) en­gined S5.

Dis­play/war­bird pi­lot Cliff Spink of HAA Dar­rol St­in­ton Tro­phy fame (see ‘ Pi­lot Notes’, De­cem­ber) says:

“It was the S5 that set the con­cept and the de­sign from which the more pow­er­ful S6 and S6B air­craft could grow. In many ways the S5 broke the mould of es­tab­lished high speed de­sign con­ven­tional wis­dom and think­ing – and it was to even­tu­ally to set R J Mitchell and his de­sign team on the path to the Spit­fire.

“Will Hosie and his team have set them­selves the task of build­ing an ex­act replica of this ter­ri­bly im­por­tant, if slightly un­sung, rac­ing aero­plane. I for one will watch the con­struc­tion of the new S5 with ea­ger an­tic­i­pa­tion.”

If you would like to be a part of this team and join a 36-month build project, or be an in­vestor or owner-pi­lot, please visit: www.su­per­mari­ne­sea­plane.co.uk or email: [email protected]­in­ter­net.com

Bill Hosie’s all-wood, full-size S5 replica was pow­ered by a Con­ti­nen­tal IO-360

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