Supermarine Swift FR.5
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The first flight of the Swift (Supermarine Type 510) was in December 1948, it was the first British jet aircraft with swept wings and tail plane. Trails were carried out of on aircraft carriers and as such, the Swift became the first swept-wing jet to land and take-off from an aircraft carrier (the US would carry this out a number of years later). Sad to say, the Royal Navy lost interest in the Swift
The first type Swift to enter RAF service was the fighter version, the F.1 and this was in February of 1954 with 56 Squadron (Sqn), there were a number of problems with this first version and the F.1's were replaced with F.2 very quickly. The F.3 never entered service with the RAF.


Swift "V" FR.5 of II(AC) Squadron

Supermarine Swift FR.5
FR.5 Swift WK293 of 4 & 79 Sqn - Click for an enlargement

The F.4 enter service with the RAF, however, again there were problems, one being, when flying at high altitude, the reheat would not work. Only nine F.4 Swifts were ever built. Production then was switched to a fighter reconnaissance version, the FR.5. This version was designed to replace the outdated Meteor FR.9's. The FR.5 was basically a F.4 with a larger nose to house 3 F.95 cameras, one camera being mounted facing forward, the other 2 mounted for taking oblique imagery facing out on each side of the nose, just forward on the air intakes.

The FR.5 retained its two 30mm cannons from the fighter version and a 220 gallon "belly" fuel tank was fitted as standard. The FR.5 underwent trails at Boscombe Down in July 1953. The first production version flew in 1955 and in January 1956, II(AC) Sqn RAF, stationed in Germany, began to receive their FR.5's. The FR Swift's were slowly replaced with Hunter FR.10's which started to entered service in 1960.
Carrying out fighter reconnaissance along side II(AC) were 79 Sqn, however,  they were disbanded in the first months of 1961 with all their equipment being merged with 4 Sqn. It was during this period the Swifts were replaced with Hunter FR.10's.

A FR.5 XD969 "H" from 79 Sqn
Supermarine Swift FR.5
XD962 "J" of II(AC) Sqn - Click for an enlargement

However, a number of Swift FR.5's did operated with 4 Sqn during this re-equipping period. With some the aircraft carrying markings for both squadrons. A total of 94 FR.5s saw service with the RAF, it was the last true Swift variant to enter service, although, fourteen F.7s were produced, but they were only used as 'test' aircraft.
There were plans to produce a totally photographic reconnaissance version, the PR.6 (XD143). However, it was a short-lived program due to ever-present reheat problems. By the early 1960's, the Swift was being replaced by the Hunter FR.10.


Other examples of FR.5's from II(AC), 4 and 79 Squadrons - Click each image for an enlargement
Supermarine Swift FR.5
Swift FR.5 WK307 of II(AC) Sqn
Supermarine Swift FR.5
Swift "U" FR.5 of 79 Sqn
Supermarine Swift FR.5
WK277 "N", a FR.5 of II(AC) Sqn
Supermarine Swift FR.5
WK293, Swift FR.5 of 4/79 Sqn (4 Sqn marking on the nose)
Supermarine Swift FR.5
WK287 "A" FR.5 of II(AC) Sqn
Supermarine Swift FR.5
XD974 "M", Swift FR.5 of 79 Sqn
Supermarine Swift FR.5
Swift "J" a FR.5 of 79 Sqn
Supermarine Swift FR.5
 WK290 "Y"  FR.5 of II(AC) Sqn
Supermarine Swift FR.5
XD962 "J" of II(AC) Sqn