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British Industrial History

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Joseph Smith (1897-1956)

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Joseph ("Joe") Smith CBE (1897-1956) was an English aircraft designer who took over as Chief Designer for Supermarine's upon the death of Reginald Joseph Mitchell and led the team responsible for the subsequent development of the Supermarine Spitfire.

1897 May 25th. Born

Joseph Smith was educated at Yardley secondary school and Birmingham Municipal Technical School

Apprenticeship with Austin and was then given a position of junior draughtsman in the aircraft department.

In 1921 he moved to Vickers as a senior draughtsman, becoming chief draughtsman five years later.

1028 Vickers acquired Supermarine

Working under Mitchell, Smith was heavily involved in the early design of the Spitfire and was appointed Chief Designer after Mitchell's death in 1937.

Smith continued development of the Spitfire and was later involved with designing the Supermarine Spiteful, Supermarine Seafang, Supermarine Attacker, and other Supermarine aircraft.

1948 Smith was appointed as a special director of Vickers-Armstrongs

1948-51 Chairman of the board of the Society of British Aircraft Constructors

1950 Awarded the silver medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

1956 February 20th. He died at Chandler's Ford

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