Supermarine S.5 

This British monoplane was built to compete in the Schneider Trophy race and first flew in 1927. Designed by R.J. Mitchell of Spitfire fame, only three aircraft were built. N220 flown by Sidney Webster of the R.A.F won the 1927 Scheider Trophy race in Venice Italy with an average speed of 453.28 km/h (281.66 mph). The S.5 was powered by a Napier Lion VIIB 12-cylinder, water-cooled engine in a 'W' configuration. Extensive wing bracing was used to ensure adequate strength and protection from flutter. While the S.5 also participated in the 1929 Schneider Trophy race, it's successor, the larger and more powerful S.6 made the S.5 obsolete.

I'm proud to share this creation with everyone else. It has been a fulfilling for me to be able to recreate such a beautiful aircraft and relic of history. I tried some new techniques and developed processes to add detail as efficiently as possible. 

Included in this package:

  • Supermarine S.5 seaplane
    You will only be able to start from a seaplane base or air start. Three historical liveries are included, N219, N220 and N221.
  • Supermarine S.5X fictional wheeled version
    This is a "what if?" exploration of a land-based variation of the S.5. The only difference between this model and the seaplane is the landing gear and fuel configuration. 
  • 1927 Schneider Throphy race course and seaplane base in Venice Italy

Copy these two directories into your Community directory:

Vintage Recreation
This package is presenting the aircraft and race course as they would have been in 1927. That is why this aircraft has no electrical systems, radios, modern instruments, or really anything that would make flying easier. This is not perfectly historically accurate, just as close as I can get with limited information. I hope it feels somewhat immersive and can relate what the aircraft at the time were like. 

Data from Supermarine Aircraft since 1914
General characteristics
Crew: 1
Length: 24 ft 3.5 in (7.404 m)
Wingspan: 26 ft 9 in (8.15 m)
Height: 11 ft 1 in (3.38 m)
Wing area: 115 sq ft (10.7 m2)
Airfoil: RAF 30
Powerplant: 1 × Napier Lion VIIA W-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 900 hp (670 kW)
Propellers: 2-bladed fixed-pitch propeller
Empty weight: 2,680 lb (1,216 kg)
Gross weight: 3,242 lb (1,471 kg)
Fuel capacity: 55 gal  - 380.0 lb. (172.6 kg)

Maximum speed: 319.57 mph (514.30 km/h, 277.70 kn)
Maximum engine RPM: 3,300
Fuel flow: 60 gal/hr

Cockpit Features
Being a specialized racing aircraft, the S.5 instruments are focused on engine performance and monitoring. From left to right, the main panel instruments are: Water temperature in celsius, Airspeed in km/h, Engine RPM, Oil pressure in pounds per sq. inch, Oil temperature in celsius. The secondary panel on the floor consists of Fuel Quantity as percentage, Oil temperature from the oil cooler return line in celsius and Fuel pressure. 

Throttle lever - forward to increase
Mixture lever - forward for rich
Magneto switch - up for on
Fuel cutoff valve - vertical for off, horizontal for on

Settings are available from the booklet stowed on the right side. Click the book cover to open. You can control the anchor, canopy, enable a full start or shutdown or toggle the individual checklist items. 

To assist with race tracking, a chronograph and lap counter are available. Click the face of the chronometer to move it to the front panel. Click the stem to start and stop. When stopped, the reset stem can be clicked. When completing a race lap, you can click the corresponding number on the lap counter to push through the paper to mark that lap. To reset the counter, click the metal clip at the top.

The chronograph can also be started and stopped by using a button assigned to FLAPS UP or FLAPS DOWN. Since the S5 doesn't have flaps, this only affects the chrono.

Flight Modeling

I gathered research on the flight characteristics and concluded that I would base it off the RAF 30 airfoil []. That would have been a profile that Mitchell was familiar with. This NACA report [] contains some useful clues that also informed the model. 

I tried to make it balanced enough to feel good flying which would match the reports. I also increased the torque effects and due to the early geometry this can make it want to roll. That's just part of the experience. 

How to Fly it

This plane is difficult to takeoff and land. In the air, it's easy to handle. Practice anolg with smooth, small movements help. 

Takeoff from water
Aircraft handling on water is challenging but with practice and careful control, you should be able to achieve satisfactory takeoffs.
Takeoff into the wind by advancing the throttle slowly. As the aircraft gains speed, apply some backpressure on the stick to allow lift to reduce the weight on the floats. Try to keep the floats in contact with the water until sufficient speed is attained. There are three contact points on each float. Try to get the floats to ride on the middle and aft contact points. The water surface can be very bumpy, so a light tough on the stick with many small corrections is the best strategy
When the aircraft lifts off the surface, you will experience a strong roll to the left so be prepared to counter this with ailerons.

Takeoff from land
The high angle of attack and limited forward visibility are the main challenges. Lift the tail as soon as you are able and rotate around 200 km/h. Expect a strong left roll from torque and be prepared to counter it with aileron input.

Water Landing
Plan your landing carefully as water landing will require a long distance. Throttle to idle and keep the nose up to bleed speed and gradually descend until a few feet above the water. Upon reaching 180 km/h, allow the aft portion of the floats to contact the water. Try to keep the aircraft stable despite the bumps and shakes. You may find that you are not slowing down, so feel free to kill the engine by cutting the mixture. 

Ground Landing
Try landing with at least 3,000 feet of runway. It's best to reduce speed while decending and only start final approach when you are comfortable with the speed. Keep the nose up and don't let the airspeed increase. After touchdown, use full brakes which are forced to a max of 45%, to avoid nose over. It's not easy and visibility is very limited. 

Racing the 1927 Schneider Trophy course in Venice 

The race course covers a distance of 47km between three lighthouses off the coast of Lido. The official race was 7 laps for a total distance of 204.47 mi. (329 km).

Start at the seaplane base with ICAO VN27. You can choose to start from dock parking or from the water runway but take on a full tank of fuel, you will need it. Take off and head North and circle around to cross the race start in front of the Excelsior Hotel off your starboard side. Start the chronograph when passing the pylon barge.

The first waypoint is the Alberoni lighthouse. Pass it on the right side and continue South along the coast. Turn around at the Chioggia lighthouse and head North toward San Nicolo. Round the final lighthouse at San Nicolo and pass the start/finish.

You should enable the display of Landmark POIs to see markers at each lighthouse and at the hotel.

As you pass the start line, mark the lap number on the lap counter and continue on until you complete 7 full laps. Upon passing the finish line on the last lap, stop the chronograph to record your total time. For a realistic speed, keep your engine RPM below 3,300. 

You can calculate your average speed over the race by hand or use the built-in calculator. 
When the chronograph is stopped and you have pressed in the completed laps on the counter, the race stats will appear in the settings booklet. This calculation is based on the lap distance of 47 km, so will only be valid for this race course. The calculator will work for any number of laps as long as you start and stop the timer at the correct places. 

VR Compatibility

I have tested this in VR to have a logical starting camera position, collision meshes where you need to use the mouse and the controller support for yoke movement. I also try to keep the triangle count low in the model which should help for framerate.

Operating the Canopy

The cable that runs around the canopy and across the panel unlocks the canopy. The click spot is to the right of center near the RPM gauge.

After unlocking, you can push open the canopy by using the mouse on the upper edge. It doesn't open fully, so don't try too hard. Closing is the reverse where you use the cable to pull it down for the last bit and lock it. 

Engine Modeling

The Napier Lion VIIB was a 875 horsepower W-12, so three banks of 4 cylinders. N219 had a direct-driven prop while N220 & N221 had reduction gears. In the sim, there is only one engine configuration, the geard version. The wing surfaces, top and bottom, are covered with radiator panels for the liquid cooling system. Along the side of the fuselage run oil coolers.

The engine sounds were generated using the Engine Simulator software with a model of the Napier Lion. This does a decent job of capturing the unique sound of this 12-cylinder configuration.

Engine Stress

This was an idea that just because in the sim you have an unbreakable engine that can reliably deliver its maximum power and then some. But realistically, no pilot would treat their aircraft that way or risk catastrophic failure.

So if you enable this system from the booklet by choosing Normal or Hard setting, it will track if you exceed the redline of 3,300 rpm. The book will display penalty points that are based on time and severity of the overrev.

Over limit of penalty points will cause an limit to the engine power for the remainder of the flight. The limits are 10 points for Hard and 60 points for Normal. These can be changed in the XML.

Water and oil temperatures are tracked as well for your information but no performance penalty will occur. 

What if? A land-based Supermarine S.5X

This is a fictional aircraft where I imagined what it might be like with landing gear added. I understand that not everyone enjoys floatplanes, so this model may make this package more appealing to a wider audience.

This uses the same flight model and engine model as the seaplane, so the flight is nearly identical. The S.5X has a fuel tank in each wing while the seaplane has a single tank in the right float.

The MSFS Supermarine S.5 was created by sal1800 ([email protected])