Supermarine Scapa

The Supermarine Scapa was a British general reconnaissance flying boat built by Supermarine that was used by the Royal Air Force between 1935 and 1939. It was developed from the Southampton and formed the basis of the later Stranraer flying boat.

Supermarine Scapa
Supermarine Scapa.jpg
A Royal Navy Supermarine Scapa at the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, Felixstowe, Suffolk (UK), in 1933.
Role Reconnaissance flying boat
Manufacturer United Kingdom Supermarine Aviation Works (Vickers), Ltd.
Designer R.J. Mitchell
First flight 1932
Introduction 1935
Retired 1939
Status Retired
Primary user Royal Air Force
Number built 15
Developed from Supermarine Southampton
Variants Supermarine Stranraer


After experimenting with a three-engine design of flying boat, (the Nanok/Solent/Southampton X), Supermarine's chief designer, R.J. Mitchell, decided that the good hydrodynamic design that had been developed in the twin-engined Southampton, would be the platform for the next aircraft.

A prototype designated the Southampton IV was built. It had a hull that performed even better in the tank tests. An Air Ministry Specification was received in November 1931. The test pilot Joseph "Mutt" Summers took the first flight on 8 July 1932. The name had then been changed to the Scapa.

15 Scapas were built before production was changed to a more powerful development, the Stranraer.


The Scapa hull was an all-metal structure, while the wing and tail surfaces had metal structure with fabric covering. The two Rolls-Royce Kestrel V-12 engines were mounted in nacelles underslung from the upper wing, and there were two fins, each placed at the mid semi-span of the tailplane. Similar to the Southampton, there were three gun positions provided, one in the nose and two staggered in the rear fuselage. They were provided each one with a single .303 British (7.7 mm) caliber Lewis Mk.I machine guns.


  United Kingdom

Specifications (Scapa)Edit

Supermarine Scapa 3-view drawing from NACA-AC-203

Sourced from [1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Five
  • Length: 53 ft (16.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 75 ft (22.85 m)
  • Height: 21 ft (6.4 m)
  • Wing area: 1,300 ft2 (121 m2)
  • Empty weight: 10,030 lb (4,500 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 16,080 lb (7,290 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Kestrel IIIMS Water-cooled V12, 525 hp (392 kW) each



  • Guns: 3 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns, one in bow and two amidships
  • Bombs: 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombload under the wings

See alsoEdit

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists


  1. ^ Andrews & Morgan


  • Andrews, CF; Morgan, EB (1987). Supermarine Aircraft since 1914 (2nd ed.). London: Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-800-3.
  • Shelton, John (2008). Schneider Trophy to Spitfire - The Design Career of R.J. Mitchell (Hardback). Sparkford: Hayes Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84425-530-6.