Supermarine Seagull III  A9-2                     


                                     In 1921 Supermarine designed a three-seat deck landing amphibian for the RAF to be used in the
                                     fleet spotter role operating from Royal Navy aircraft-carriers known as the Seal II.   This machine
                                     became the prototype of the Seagull in 1922.  This aircraft was a foldable wing biplane with retract-
                                     able wheel landing gear, powered by a 480 hp Napier Lion I.  The production version, the Seagull
                                     Mk. II had minor improvements and a 500 hp Napier Lion IIB power plant.  26 were built for the
                                     RAF and a further six for the RAAF were designated Seagull Mk. III (Napier Lion V).    Two of
                                     these, A9-2 and A9-3, are shown above and below in these extremely rare photographs from the
                                     Robert Blaikie collection, taken by his late uncle, Frank Paltridge at Archerfield, circa 1926/27.
                                     The Seagulls were employed in carrying out an aerial survey of the Great Barrier Reef and were
                                     based at Bowen for this task.    A9-3 below was loaned to civil aviation in 1928 for a survey flight
                                     to Rabaul.    On 29 January 1934 it embarked on HMAS Canberra and flew ashore in New Guinea
                                     on 6 April 1934.   Both aircraft were RTP'd in the mid 1930s.

                                        Supermarine Seagull III  A9-3