Korea – Fire
1/48 Airfix Fr.47 Seafire

Gallery Article by Mark L. Rossmann on Oct 31 2013



The Royal Navy during WWII, was quite handicapped by available British aircraft, this resulted in using many reliable types from the U.S. It was October of “42” before a frontline squadron, No. 801, received the first Seafire IB’s aboard HMS Furious. Seafire development lagged behind the Spitfire, finally in 1943 Merlin-engined Seafire’s entered service in the form of Mk. XII’s. After the war the Griffon-engined Seafire’s finally became available, in the form of Mk. XV’s, when the F.17 came on line it contained a lower profile rear fuselage, better ground clearance, strengthened fuselage and a bubble canopy. From “43” on the planning of Spitfires and Seafire’s ran in concert with each other, the Spit F.21 naval counterpart was the F.45 coming operational in “46”. The final version of Spits the F.21 and F. 22 was the Seafire Fr.46 and Fr.47. These Seafire’s were the ultimate and final versions to be produced and used by Britain, these had contra-rotating props, chin mounted air-intakes, and cameras for reconnaissance purposes. The Fr.47 had folding wings and short-barreled cannons.
Fr.46’s served in two second line units only, one of which was No. 1832 RNVR. The Fr.47’s were in the frontline with No. 800 on HMS Triumph and No. 804 on HMS Glorious and RNVR No. 1833 sqn.


Click on images below to see larger images

800 Naval squadron was part of the 13th Carrier Group on the HMS Triumph in early 1949. Later in “49” while on-shore at Sembawang as part of the “Malayan Emergency”, it flew strikes with Fireflies. The carrier started a tour to Australia when the Korean war broke out, HMS Triumph sailed to Okinawa joining up with the U.S. Seventh fleet and the carrier USS Valley Forge. Seafire’s initial strike, on July 3rd, was against Haeju airfield. The “D-Day” stripes were added to all RNAF aircraft till the end of the conflict as a result of a B-29 gunner, at the end of July, firing at a No. 800 Seafire miss-identifying it as a Yak-9.

HMS Ocean relieved Triumph at the end of September “50”, bringing with it the SeaFury replacement. (Get a good size comparison of the Seafury to Seafire in the last picture) Seafire’s were the last member of the Spitfire family to carry out combat sorties with 115 strike missions against land and sea targets and 245 air patrols without any losses due to enemy fire. Upon returning to England the squadron duly turned in its aircraft for Supermarine Attackers, thus bringing to a close the illustrious career of the R J Mitchell / J Smith 1936 designed aircraft. 

The Spit Mk.I top speed was 355 mph and the Fr.47 was 451 mph, sporting increased weight of 10,300lbs compared to 5,280 lbs for the Mk.I. Armament was threefold in fire-power with four 20 mm Hispano cannons, up to 8 60lb rockets and bombs underneath the fuselage and wings. 

This AirFix model is superbly done, providing two wing sets, one for the Fr.46 and folding wings for the Fr.47. along with decals for each. The interior is well detailed with opening door and interior camera ports. I placed black paper behind the ports to prevent from seeing through the model. Model has dropped flaps, rockets, drop tank and positionable canopy. The most difficult portion was gluing on the folded wings, you had to put them on one at a time, having to support them to prevent the model from tipping. Paint was in the form of rattle cans Testor’s Gunship Grey and Tamiya AS-29 Grey/Green IJN. Decals were from the kit.


See the only flying Seafire in the world at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YioXYhbVPA

Thanks to Steve for his site.

Mark L. Rossmann


Photos and text © by Mark L. Rossmann