Supermarine S5 replica project ‘ahead of timeline’
PUBLISHED: 11:12 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:12 02 October 2020
Philip Whiteman 2020
The project to build a flying replica of the famed Supermarine S5 seaplane in time to mark the one hundredth anniversary of its 1927 Schneider Trophy win is reported to be making ‘good progress’
Project instigator Will Hosie says that it is ‘ahead of its timeline’ to fly in Spring 2023.
The original aircraft was fitted with a 24-litre Napier Lion VIIa engine, which had its three banks of four cylinders arranged in ‘broad arrow’ configuration.
None of these very unusual engines survives in airworthy condition, so the full-size replica will be powered by a 210hp Continental IO-360, which should allow it to reach 130kt.
Build drawings and modifications have been produced by Technical Director John Wighton, working in close collaboration with the Light Aircraft Association, which has been ‘extremely supportive’ of the project.
“The wings are coming on well,” Hosie tells Pilot. “Bill Penaluna has started the spars and the wings should be ready for skinning towards the end of the year, then we will be covering and painting them.”
Revised drawings for the floats were expected to be complete by 10 September, and work will then start on their fabrication near Okehampton in Devon.
Paul Baisden is responsible for all the metalwork while the project’s inspector is Dr Bill Brooks, former Technical Director of P & M Aviation.
The fourteen-month build of the fuselage is scheduled to start in October 2021 and the team intends to be ready for the maiden flight around mid-2023.
Chris Gotke has agreed to be the project’s Chief Pilot. A graduate of ETPS, Chris is currently involved in F-35 development flying and remains current on the Sea Fury formerly attached to the Royal Navy Historic Flight.
The S5 replica was officially approved as a charity project in July, “which will help us better promote it,” says Hosie.
“A total of £275,000 is required, and we have currently raised £79,000.”
Anyone wishing to follow this fascinating project, or wanting to help through sponsorship or a donation should visit www.supermarineseaplane.co.uk