Supermarine 322


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31 December 2008
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I have liked the look of the Supermarine 322 "Dumbo" since seeing it in Tony Buttler's book and elsewhere. I am also tickled by the fact that the clean, fixed-gear design meant that it faster than the retractable-gear Fairey Barracuda with the same engine.

I have often wondered, though, at what an operational version was planned to look like had it been accepted. The two prototypes built were partially of wood and seemed more like testbeds for the variable incidence wing, not actual prototype combat aircraft. Does anyone have any artists impressions, cutaways or other images that show what Dumbo might have looked like in fighting trim?
From "Aircraft of the fighting powers" vol.VII (1946)
by Owen Thetford
Argus Books Ltd.


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Thank you, Justo, that's the best drawing of this type, I've seen so far !

"..what an operational version was planned to look like.."
I would think, not very different to the prototype. In those times, there weren't
many "concept demonstrators", I think, just prototypes of service aircraft. Main
question then would be the rear armament, the position is already visible on the
drawing, just above the roundel. My guess is a tilting canopy, similar to that in
the Barracuda. Just a guess, of course, without any supporting sources !


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Well, I've experimented with a contemporary turret, like the Bristol BX, too,
but it seems to bulky to me and vastly increasing drag in cruise flight, as it
wasn't retractable ...


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Thanks all for the info and imagination. I agree that the the hatch-like solution was likely, and you can see the glassless outline on the prototypes.

By the way does anyone have any info or images on the variable incidence wing mechanism which was Dumbo's reason for being?



for some interior details please go to:
choose :Flight April 25th 1946 - page 409.


According to BSP, the operational Supermarine 322 (to S.34/27) was to be fitted with either the R-R Exe or the Bristol Taurus. The top-view drawing shows increased taper on the outer wing panels, spats on the fixed main gear and what appears to be a flush-fitting, louvred covering over the rear position.

I'm speculating that the operational 'Dumbo' would have looked something like the attached.


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What a ugly crate is this!! it hardly to believe that this thing is from the same company as the spitfire.
it is unworthy to bear the name supermarine
Ugly is as ugly does have pretty tailfeathers, and next to a Fairey Barracuda anything looks good.

Thanks all for the efforts...I have learned a lot.


T-50 said:
What a ugly crate is this!! it hardly to believe that this thing is from the same company as the spitfire.
it is unworthy to bear the name supermarine
You've evidently not seen many Supermarine aircraft.
All the pictures and photos placed here are of Supermarine Type 380 Dumbo, the second prototype.
The first prototype, Supermarine Type 322 Dumbo, had smaller rounded tail
and differed also in exhaust pipes shape.
Who came up with the name Dumbo for the Supermarine 322, given that Dumbo is also the name of the big-eared elephant from a 1941 Disney film of the same name and the Northrop XP-56 had "Dumbo" as one of its nicknames?

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