Supermarine Spectre F.1

What If Aircraft

by David Drake



Supermarine Spectre F.1 WA331 ‘R’, 234 Sqn RAF, Geilenkirchen 1954 

The Spectre represented several firsts.

It was the first aircraft to be developed and built by an international partnership, and was the first of many Anglo-French co-operative designs to emerge following World War Two.  It was also the first swept-wing fighter to enter service with the RAF and the Armée de l’Air.  Following the introduction into RAF service of the Hawker Hunter, it was also the first (and only) swept wing fighter to be used by the RAuxAF.

Based upon the earlier Supermarine Attacker, and drawing upon captured German wartime swept-wing research, the Spectre was also the first fighter designed from the outset not to carry integral armament.  Instead, various armament ‘packages’ could be fitted to suit specific roles, and in current terms would probably be considered to be the first ‘swing role’ fighter.  Two fuselage 30 mm cannon packs were usually carried as standard in the air defence o ground attack roles, with additional 20 mm underwing cannon pods being an option for either role.  A variety of bombs or rockets could also be carried in the ground attack role.

Despite its relatively advance features, the Spectre was soon eclipsed by more refined types such as the hunter, Thunderstreak and radar-equipped marks of the Sabre.  That said, the last examples remained in service with the RAuxAF until 1957.

(Donor kits: Novo Attacker, Matchbox Mystere IV, Airfix Hurricane IV and Meteor III, Modeldecal sheet 14)


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Photos and text © by David Drake