If you were at Goodwood Revival over the weekend you would have been treated by the guest appearance of the actual plane the S6a, which flew in the contest The Schneider Trophy back in 1929. Britain had to win the contest twice in a row in order to win the trophy outright, which they did in 1931.
The observation most people make when seeing the sea plane for the first time is usually, ‘Isn’t the cock pit tiny. The pilots must have been quite small in those day.’
It was pointed out to me when I saw the plane for the first time at its usual home at ‘Solent Sky,’ the museum of flight in Southampton, that most of the pilots used to be jockeys. I’m not sure whether the man who gave me that nugget of information was pulling my leg! They were certainly full of courage and daring, whatever the truth is.
Anyway, the write up in the telegraph is excellent:
Of course the technology to develop sea planes to such an amazing standard led RJ Mitchell to his most famous achievement, the Spitfire, which was also celebrated in style yesterday.
Although Goodwood 2011 will be remembered most for commemorating the Spitfire, I like to think that the Supermarine plane will remain in the hearts of those who saw it as they appreciate that, without the motivation to produce a sea plane of such quality, far advanced of other aviation of that era, the Spitfire may never have been conceived.