Supermarine Seagull III
In 1926 six Supermarine Seagull 111 amphibians were delivered to the RAAF 101 Fleet Cooperation Flight – who worked closely with the RAN – replacing the Fairey 111D floatplanes. During 1926 and 1927 the Seagull 111s assisted HMAS Moresby with survey work along the Great Barrier Reef. Following the purchase of three additional Seagulls, in 1927, survey work continued north to New Guinea.
In 1929 six Seagull 111s joined the new Australian-built seaplane-carrier HMAS Albatross, to be used for reconnaissance, gunnery spotting, and naval exercises; with more survey work conducted around the islands to the north. Because the Seagull 111s could not be catapulted they were lowered and hoisted from the water by cranes.
In 1933 HMAS Albatross was placed in reserve – acting as a tender for the Seagull 111s on Sydney Harbour. In 1934 the cruisers HMAS Australia and Canberra were each assigned a Seagull 111. But at sea they performed poorly only operating on relatively calm water. Meanwhile, the RAAF continued to use the Seagull 111s for survey and coastal work; but drew-up specifications for more a robust replacement amphibian, which turned out to be the highly successful Supermarine Seagull V.
Manufacturer: Supermarine Aviation
Type: spotter/reconnaissance amphibian aircraft
Delivered: 9 aircraft, 1925-27
Engine: one 450 hp Napier Lion V
Speed: 108 mph (max)
Armament: 1 Lewis machine gun
Service: HMA Ships Albatross, Australia and Canberra