The Museum's archive collection includes about 50,000 Supermarine drawings, together with related documentation mostly dating from the 1930s to the late 1940s. Drawings for the company's early aircraft were numbered sequentially, but a new system was brought in around 1929. Under the new system the drawing number gives an indication of the aircraft for which the part was designed. It is made up as follows:
First three digits - Supermarine Type No. (300=Spitfire I, 349=Spitfire V etc.)
Next two digits - major assembly (27 = fuselage - See Spitfire assembly numbers)
Sheet number - issued sequentially
Letter - denotes the edition of the drawing
For example, drawing 34927 Sheet 43/B is a Spitfire V component fitted to fuselage frame 9.
Many of the drawings relate to various marks of Spitfire but it is not a simple task to identify all the drawings required for a particular mark. Where a later mark (such as the Mk.V) used a part from an earlier aircraft with no modifications, the drawing for that part was not redrawn and so identifying part numbers and tracing the associated drawings can be a time-consuming task. Museum staff cannot undertake extensive research on your behalf, but microfilm copies of the drawings are available for consultation in the reading room by appointment, and prints can be made.
Although the collection is extensive it is by no means complete, and we are aware that many drawings are missing. Some drawings may not represent the latest edition and therefore may not incorporate important modifications which might affect the airworthiness of any aircraft built from - or restored with - them.