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Supermarine Southampton

In the early twenties, the Felixstowe F5 was the standard flying boat in service with the RAF. It was planned to introduce the F5 into RAAF service and, in 1921, the aircraft was allocated the number A11. Finance was not forthcoming and the aircraft remained a paper entry.

Seven years later, the number A11 was taken over by another flying boat, the Supermarine Southampton Mk I. In 1927, two of these wooden-hulled aircraft, S1158 and S1159, were shipped to Australia for co-operation with four Southampton IIs of the RAF Far East Flight, which were making the first formation flight from England to Australia. In 1928, the two Southampton Is were re-numbered A11-1 and A11-2, and formed the nucleus of a Coastal Reconnaissance Flight at Point Cook.

The Southamptons gave sterling service for many years and, as late as 1938, A11-2 was re-conditioned as an instructional aircraft for the Seaplane Training Squadron at No 1 Flying Training School, Point Cook. This flying boat was also used for parachute training and many senior RAAF officers made their first parachute descent from the outboard wing platforms on A11-2.

TECHNICAL DATA: Supermarine Southampton


General reconnaissance flying boat with five crew. Wooden hull, wooden wings, fabric covering.


Two 450 hp Napier Lion V.


Span 22.85 m (75ft); Length 15.14 m (49ft 8in); Height 5.66 m (18ft 7in).


Empty, 4178 kg; loaded 6622 kg.


Three Lewis guns mounted in bows and amidships. Bomb load 500 kg (1,100lb).


Max speed 174 km/h (94 kt) at sea level; Service ceiling 14,000ft (4267 m); Max range 1497 km (808 nm). Back to top

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