Supermarine Nanok

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Role Flying boat
Manufacturer Supermarine
First flight 21 June 1927
Retired 1934
Number built 1
Developed from Supermarine Southampton

The Supermarine Nanok was a British three-engined biplane flying boat built by Supermarine. Built to meet a Royal Danish Navy requirement, the single prototype was rebuilt as a private air yacht and renamed the Supermarine Solent.

Development and design[edit]

The Nanok (Inuit language: "Polar bear") was a three-engined development of Supermarine's successful Southampton flying boat, designed to meet a Danish requirement for a torpedo-carrying flying boat. A prototype was ordered on 17 June 1926, and the aircraft first flew on 21 June 1927. Testing was disappointing, and despite modifications the aircraft could not meet the specified performance and was rejected by the Danes.[1]

In 1928 the aircraft was renamed the Supermarine Solent, and offered for sale as a torpedo bomber, but failed to sell. It was therefore converted to a civilian 9 seater air yacht for the brewing magnate Arthur Ernest Guinness.[2][3] This was registered as G-AAAB in August 1928. Guinness may have found the interior headroom of the hull too small, as he almost immediately ordered its replacement, the all-metal Supermarine Air Yacht. The Solent was deregistered and scrapped in 1934.

The name 'Supermarine Solent' was also applied to a separate aircraft design, using the Supermarine Southampton hull with the Nanok's larger wings, as a 14-seat civil transport. This design failed to sell though.[2]

Operational history[edit]

The Solent was certified as airworthy on 5 September 1928,[4] and was used to fly frequently between England and the owner's home near Lough Corrib in County Galway, Ireland.[1] It remained in use until it was scrapped in 1934.[4]



Specifications (Nanok)[edit]

Data from Supermarine Aircraft since 1914 [5]

General characteristics



  • Guns: 2 × .303 in (7.7 mm) machine guns (one in bow and one amidships)
  • Bombs: 2 × 1,534 lb (700 kg) torpedoes

See also[edit]

Related development
Related lists


  1. ^ a b Andrews and Morgan 1987, p.117.
  2. ^ a b Pegram (2016), p. 64.
  3. ^ Andrews and Morgan 1987, p.119.
  4. ^ a b Jackson 1988, p.350.
  5. ^ Andrews and Morgan 1987, p.121,123.


  • Andrews, C.F. and Morgan, E.B. Supermarine Aircraft since 1914. London:Putnam, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-800-3.
  • Jackson, A.J. British Civil Aircraft 1919-1972:Volume III. London:Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-818-6.
  • Pegram, Ralph (2016). Beyond the Spitfire: The Unseen Designs of R.J. Mitchell. The History Press. pp. 63–64. ISBN 978-0750965156. 
  • Shelton, John (2008). Schneider Trophy to Spitfire - The Design Career of R.J. Mitchell (Hardback). Sparkford: Hayes Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84425-530-6. 

External links[edit]