Supermarine Scarab

The Supermarine Scarab was an amphibian reconnaissance and bombing aircraft, produced in 1924 for the Spanish Navy.

In February 1924 the Spanish Royal Naval Air Service placed an order twelve single-engined amphibian reconnaissance and bombing aircraft. The resulting Scarab was a pusher biplane, based on the commercial Supermarine Sea Eagle. This in turn was based on the Supermarine Commercial Amphibian, an aircraft that was also the basis of the Royal Navy's Supermarine Seal, Supermarine Seagull and Supermarine Walrus amphibians.

The Scarab had a two-step hull. The pilot sat in an open single-seat cockpit, with a gunner's position behind him, and the wireless operator behind the gunner. It was a two bay biplane, with a 46ft wing span. The wings folded backwards. It was powered by a 360hp Rolls Royce Eagle IX engine.

The Scarab could carry twelve 50lb bombs internally and four 100lb bombs under the wings. The internal bombs were held in a revolving chamber and were dropped through a  gap in the hull bottom that could be closed when the aircraft was on the water.

The first Scarab made its maiden flight in May 1924. In the summer of 1924 a Spanish seaplane tender arrived to pick up the aircraft, by now reduced in number to eleven after one was damaged in a crash. The Scarab turned out to be slightly too big to get into the ship's hold, and had to be shipped back to Spain lashed onto the deck. Seven of the eleven aircraft were damaged during the voyage, and the remaining four were sent to Morocco to serve in the campaign against Abd-el Krim.

The Scarab was similar to the sole Supermarine Sheldrake, another amphibian, this time ordered by the British Air Ministry.

Engine: Rolls Royce Eagle IX
Power: 360hp
Crew: 3
Span: 46ft
Length: 37ft 0in
Height: 16ft 2in
Empty weight: 3,975lb
All-up weight: 5,750lb
Max speed: 93mph
Range: 250 miles
Armament: One machine gun
Bomb load: Twelve 50lb bombs in hull, four 100lb bombs under wings (total 1,000lb)

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 March 2017), Supermarine Scarab ,

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