Joseph Smith (aircraft designer)

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Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith Designer At Vickers Supermarine.jpg
Born (1897-05-25)25 May 1897
Died 20 February 1956(1956-02-20) (aged 58)
Chandler's Ford
Nationality English
Education Yardley secondary school
Birmingham Municipal Technical School
Engineering career
Significant projects Supermarine Spitfire
Significant advance Aircraft design
Significant awards CBE
Silver medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society

Joseph ("Joe") Smith CBE (25 May 1897 - 20 February 1956) was an English aircraft designer who took over as Chief Designer for Supermarine's upon the death of R. J. Mitchell and led the team responsible for the subsequent development of the Supermarine Spitfire.[1]


Joseph Smith was educated at Yardley secondary school and Birmingham Municipal Technical School, he served an apprenticeship with the Austin Motor Company and was then given a position of junior draughtsman in the aircraft department. In 1921 he moved to Vickers-Armstrongs as a senior draughtsman, becoming chief draughtsman five years later. Working under Mitchell, Smith was heavily involved with the early design of the Spitfire and was appointed Chief Designer after Mitchell's death in 1937. Smith continued development of the Spitfire and was later involved with designing the Supermarine Spiteful, Supermarine Seafang, Supermarine Attacker, and other Supermarine aircraft. Smith was appointed as a special director of Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd in 1948 and served as chairman of the board of the Society of British Aircraft Constructors from 1948 to 1951. In 1950 he was awarded the silver medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He died at Chandler's Ford on 20 February 1956.



  1. ^ Price 1986. p.15.


  • Price, Alfred. The Spitfire Story: Second edition. London: Arms and Armour Press Ltd., 1986. ISBN 0-85368-861-3.