Am trying to find out more on this

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Am trying to find out more on this

Postby maxmwill » Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:15 pm

Recently, I treated myself to a new book. The book, "Beyond the Spitfire: The Unseen Designs of R.J.Mitchell". When I saw the ad, while it had a Spit above in the background, right in front was an artist's conception of a large 4 engine flying boat with gull wings and sponsons, and this was the primary selling point for me, because if this book is about Mitchell's other designs which never made it, then this one must be described inside.

And, yes it is. It was designed for specification R.2/33, which also resulted in one of the lesser known Sunderland flying boats.

While this was purely a paper plane(a design which was never built), there is a 3 view on page 175 of the book, and as a modeller, it cries out(to me), "I should be built", even if I don't have enough experience right now to tackle something like this, even in 1/72 scale.

However, Type 232 aside, there are a lot of other designs of Mitchell's which never went beyond paper, but were still designed and 3 views available, and this includes all the other flying boat designs, many of which were based upon the Southhampton, so perhaps if anyone who never knew about this book(it is a new publication), put this on your wish list and go visit Evil Bay or Amazon. While this was listed at anywhere from over 40 dollars to somewhat less than 200 in Amazon, I found my copy in Ebay and paid around 18 bucks for it, so it could be found at a more reasonable price than at Amazon.

And something about wanting to get a real paper book instead of doing an internet search. While the internet is nice, and if you want to find out information on almost most everything, not all information is on the internet, the youngsters who claim otherwise notwithstanding. I am a modeller(and a licensed aircraft mechanic, but that's a tale for another time, as I do have a few interesting experiences working on a flying boat or two, including one Goose that was languishing in a junk yard until someone turned it back into a real live flying machine), and as I like to build scale models that look reasonably close, and I tend to prefer the lesser known designs(especially Soviet airliners of the 20s and 30s, plus a few of Beriev's designs), I've found that the best sources of information for those is not so much on the internet, but between the pages of books and periodicals printed during the 60s, 70s, and 80s, which can be found on Ebay and elsewhere where out of print publications are sold. And what is contained within the pages of the above book is no exception.
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Re: Am trying to find out more on this

Postby dogsbody » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:58 pm

Agreed! Books are nice. It's not just the reading and gathering information, it's the tactile experience too.


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with a uniform to wear,
a fast aeroplane to fly,
and something to shoot at?"
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Re: Am trying to find out more on this

Postby schneiderman » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:33 pm

Hi, glad you liked the book. Yes, I am the author ;)
The project to which you refer, the Type 232, has remained 'unknown' until now, as far as I am aware. Certainly I could find no references to it in earlier works. From the style of the small number of drawings that have survived it does look possible that the aircraft was tendered to the Air Ministry, so a deeper search in the National Archives may locate something (although previous researchers have failed to find anything)
If you do intend to build a model then get in touch and I will see if I can provide you with a little more information.
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Re: Am trying to find out more on this

Postby DavidLegg » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:18 pm

I have pasted below my review of the book as published in The Catalina News a few weeks ago. In the first sentence, the other book referred to is Supermarine - an illustrated history by Christopher Smith. The Putnam book was Supermarine Aircraft since 1914 by Andrews & Morgan. Hope you like the review Schneiderman!

"One thing that the above book does not do is dwell on the company designs that never flew or failed to proceed beyond the drawing board. The aforementioned Putnam book did cover the Type 179 ‘Giant’ six-engined flying boat, the Types 316 to 318 ‘Bomber’, a few stillborn seaplane designs and some 1950s jet projects of very futuristic appearance. However, they are only really included by way of appendix rather than main subject matter. Now, Ralph Pegram has written Beyond the Spitfire – the unseen designs of RJ Mitchell which has recently been published by The History Press. Right from the striking colour pictures on the front and back dust jacket covers it is clear this is going to be a ‘different’ type of book about Supermarine! The front shows the Type 243 four-engined flying boat of April 1934 ploughing across the water with a Spitfire in attendance overhead. Just as fanciful is the rear cover image of the proposed six-engined flying boat known as Scheme 4, the fourth in a series of designs by Supermarine for a tender aimed at competing with the German Dornier Do X. The illustration of the latter looks particularly lifelike, having been produced using CGI techniques by Matt Painter. More of his work appears in a fascinating colour section within the body of the book showing un-built Mitchell designs.

So, it is important to emphasise what the book’s title makes clear – that this is primarily a book about Mitchell’s designs and not about the company itself. Thus the time span of the book ends shortly after his death and prior to the outbreak of war – no jets in this book! That said, context is important and there is both historical coverage of the Supermarine company and descriptions of aircraft built by them and other companies that flew during the period covered by the text. The latter help to place the various unflown and unbuilt Mitchell designs chronologically and technically alongside better-known aircraft. The bulk of the book is devoted to seaplanes and there is a great deal here to interest readers of this magazine.

The book starts with brief coverage of the Pemberton Billing and Hubert Scott-Paine period of Supermarine’s existence but quickly moves on to 1916 when RJ Mitchell joined the company and Scott-Paine’s design team. During this early period of the Supermarine history, it produced designs such as the Baby, the Channels, the Commercial, the Sea Eagle, Sea King, Sea Lion, Seal and Seagull seaplanes amongst others, all of which flew and some of which were produced for both home and export customers. But the book also looks at the designs that were not built including single and twin-engined biplane flying boats, the Type ‘D’ Dolphin three-engined triplane flying boat and the Shark twin-engine ‘boat, also a triplane. Moving into the ‘20s, Mitchell was designing commercial amphibians, single seat fighting scout and bomber flying boats, fleet gunnery amphibians and larger torpedo carriers. In the latter category, the Scylla was designed both as a monoplane and triplane and got as far as being built in the former format and may have even got as far as taxiing trials but no further.

These early sections of the book set the tone for the rest and it continues to look at Mitchell’s designs, contrasting those that saw air under their wings and those that were drawings only. When it came to a Supermarine Stranraer replacement, Mitchell looked at a number of design configurations and the section of the book that covers them will be of interest as, in the end, the Air Ministry ordered the SARO Lerwick and when that choice turned out to be an unfortunate one, it turned to the USA and ordered the Consolidated Catalina in large numbers. The author suggests that the Supermarine Type 314, if built, would have proven to be superior to the Catalina but for its one problem area – the unreliable Rolls-Royce Vulture engines. The design was abandoned and the rest is history!

Although seaplanes predominate, the sections cover landplanes too and one design that was new to me – the Type 313 designed to Spec. F.37/35 for a twin-powerplant, single-seat day and night fighter – looks not unlike an inline-engined Grumman Tigercat - advanced indeed!

I have only scratched the surface with this review and I strongly recommend that anyone with an interest in Supermarine, RJ Mitchell, seaplanes and/or unbuilt designs should investigate the book further. At £25 for a 240-page hardback it strikes me as good value too. ISBN is 978-0-7509-6515-6. Incidentally, author Pegram has form – I reviewed his fantastic book on Schneider Trophy seaplanes in this column back in Issue 80….." Copyright David Legg/The Catalina News
David Legg
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Author: Consolidated PBY Catalina - The Peacetime Record
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Re: Am trying to find out more on this

Postby schneiderman » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:28 pm

Thank's David, I'm glad you liked the book
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Re: Am trying to find out more on this

Postby maxmwill » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:54 pm

DavidLegg wrote:I have pasted below my review of the book as published in The Catalina News a few weeks ago. In the first sentence, the other book referred to is Supermarine - an illustrated history by Christopher Smith. The Putnam book was Supermarine Aircraft since 1914 by Andrews & Morgan. Hope you like the review Schneiderman!

"One thing that the above book does not do is dwell on the company designs that never flew or failed to proceed beyond the drawing board. The aforementioned Putnam book did cover the Type 179 ‘Giant’ six-engined flying boat, the Types 316 to 318 ‘Bomber’, a few stillborn seaplane designs and some 1950s jet projects of very futuristic appearance. However, they are only really included by way of appendix rather than main subject matter. Now, Ralph Pegram has written Beyond the Spitfire – the unseen designs of RJ Mitchell which has recently been published by The History Press. Right from the striking colour pictures on the front and back dust jacket covers it is clear this is going to be a ‘different’ type of book about Supermarine! The front shows the Type 243 four-engined flying boat of April 1934 ploughing across the water with a Spitfire in attendance overhead. Just as fanciful is the rear cover image of the proposed six-engined flying boat known as Scheme 4, the fourth in a series of designs by Supermarine for a tender aimed at competing with the German Dornier Do X. The illustration of the latter looks particularly lifelike, having been produced using CGI techniques by Matt Painter. More of his work appears in a fascinating colour section within the body of the book showing un-built Mitchell designs.

So, it is important to emphasise what the book’s title makes clear – that this is primarily a book about Mitchell’s designs and not about the company itself. Thus the time span of the book ends shortly after his death and prior to the outbreak of war – no jets in this book! That said, context is important and there is both historical coverage of the Supermarine company and descriptions of aircraft built by them and other companies that flew during the period covered by the text. The latter help to place the various unflown and unbuilt Mitchell designs chronologically and technically alongside better-known aircraft. The bulk of the book is devoted to seaplanes and there is a great deal here to interest readers of this magazine.

The book starts with brief coverage of the Pemberton Billing and Hubert Scott-Paine period of Supermarine’s existence but quickly moves on to 1916 when RJ Mitchell joined the company and Scott-Paine’s design team. During this early period of the Supermarine history, it produced designs such as the Baby, the Channels, the Commercial, the Sea Eagle, Sea King, Sea Lion, Seal and Seagull seaplanes amongst others, all of which flew and some of which were produced for both home and export customers. But the book also looks at the designs that were not built including single and twin-engined biplane flying boats, the Type ‘D’ Dolphin three-engined triplane flying boat and the Shark twin-engine ‘boat, also a triplane. Moving into the ‘20s, Mitchell was designing commercial amphibians, single seat fighting scout and bomber flying boats, fleet gunnery amphibians and larger torpedo carriers. In the latter category, the Scylla was designed both as a monoplane and triplane and got as far as being built in the former format and may have even got as far as taxiing trials but no further.

These early sections of the book set the tone for the rest and it continues to look at Mitchell’s designs, contrasting those that saw air under their wings and those that were drawings only. When it came to a Supermarine Stranraer replacement, Mitchell looked at a number of design configurations and the section of the book that covers them will be of interest as, in the end, the Air Ministry ordered the SARO Lerwick and when that choice turned out to be an unfortunate one, it turned to the USA and ordered the Consolidated Catalina in large numbers. The author suggests that the Supermarine Type 314, if built, would have proven to be superior to the Catalina but for its one problem area – the unreliable Rolls-Royce Vulture engines. The design was abandoned and the rest is history!

Although seaplanes predominate, the sections cover landplanes too and one design that was new to me – the Type 313 designed to Spec. F.37/35 for a twin-powerplant, single-seat day and night fighter – looks not unlike an inline-engined Grumman Tigercat - advanced indeed!

I have only scratched the surface with this review and I strongly recommend that anyone with an interest in Supermarine, RJ Mitchell, seaplanes and/or unbuilt designs should investigate the book further. At £25 for a 240-page hardback it strikes me as good value too. ISBN is 978-0-7509-6515-6. Incidentally, author Pegram has form – I reviewed his fantastic book on Schneider Trophy seaplanes in this column back in Issue 80….." Copyright David Legg/The Catalina News


While I won't argue about what is on the dust jacket(it looks to me a lot like the 232, though), because such arguments are silly at best, the book itself is a gem in that it helps clear up a lot of mystery concerning those designs from the S4/S6 to the Spitfire. But it is more than that. Of course, it is top heavy withe flying boat designs, but that's because Mitchell did a lot of flying boat designs.

However, I'd like to attempt to tackle the 232, with its four Vulture engines, gull wing and sponsons. I don't know about anyone else, but a large flying boat with sponsons and gull wing has to be one of the definitions of "sexy".

BTW, I found a copy on EvilBay and paid $18.00 for it.
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Re: Am trying to find out more on this

Postby DavidLegg » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:56 pm

You are right re Type 232/243 - it was an undetected typo in my review. Thanks for the correction.
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