Built around the same time as the vaunted Hunter, the Supermarine Swift was generally considered a failure compared to its counterpart and served only briefly in its intended role as an interceptor. It was based on the company's earlier Attacker although with a sleeker fuselage, tricycle undercarriage, and swept wings in addition to an afterburning Avon engine which gave it enough speed to break the World Air Speed Record piloted by Mike Lithgow (ironically just three weeks after the Hunter had done the same). Unfortunately, the Swift never fully corrected its severe handling deficiencies and as a result, large numbers were cancelled when the program was terminated leaving the grand majority of units as tactical recon versions which flew with RAF Germany until the early 1960s. Sadly, the final planned versions of the Swift managed to correct its problems and be equipped with radar and missiles but by then it was too late.
The Swift began life as a swept wing version of the Attacker known as the Supermarine Type 510. Once afterburning engines were installed, this was known as the Type 535 and later the Type 541 with Avon engines who first flew on 1 August 1951. Production units were known as the Swift F.1 and were followed by the F.2 with increased armament, the F.3 with afterburning Avons, and the F.4 with variable incidence tailplanes. A tactical reconnaissance platform was known as the FR.5 and accounted for the bulk of production while the F.7 corrected most of the type's aerodynamic deficiencies, added provision for radar and missiles but only a few were built.
|1 x Avon Mk. 108
|2 x 30-mmADEN Mk. 4