Supermarine's post-war fortunes were nowhere near the level achieved during World War II and its last design ever was the Scimitar, a large strike fighter which was the first jet of its kind to be operated by the Royal Navy. It was considered to be an unsatisfactory design which owed its existence to a series of evolutionary designs beginning with undercarriage-less aircraft which were to belly land on carriers (unsurprisingly such an idea was quickly abandoned). The Scimitar was therefore a conventinal navalized fighter built for low-altitude operations which required advanced manufacturing techniques to resist the high levels of airframe stress. Unfortunately, the Scimitar was too large to operate effectively from the RN's smaller carriers and it only entered service with 4 squadrons despite being considerably modified throughout its service life allowing provisions for air-to-air and anti-ship missiles and even the Red Beard free-fall nuclear bomb. It was retired in 1969 after being replaced by the all-weather Buccaneer.
Origins of the Scimitar lay in the initial Supermarine Type 505 and Type 529 prototypes follwed by the Type 525 with swept wings but the true precursor to this aircraft was the Type 544 which first flew on 19 January 1945. Production versions were limited to the Scimitar F.1 first used by No. 803 Squadron on board HMS Victorious. It was built using high tensile steel spars, chemically etched skins, synthetic bonding, and titanium heat shields. No other variants were built.
|Wing Span||11.33 m|
|Wing Loading||344.3 kg/m²|
|Engine||2 x Avon Mk. 202|
|Guns||4 x 30-mmADEN Mk. 4 (160)|