Are you saying you do not think that there was an issue with thousands of fighters being desperately needed for the RAF? To design and development an aircraft for the carrier would have diverted resources.
Minute from First Lord of Admiralty to Prime Minister [AVIA 46/ 136] 6 December 1941
Supply of Grumman Martlet fighters
FIGHTER AIRCRAFT FOR THE FLEET AIR ARM.
I am increasingly anxious as regards the prospective situation of shipborne fighter aircraft. I attach a chart on which graphs show how the aircraft available fail to meet the requirements. It will be seen from the graphs that up to the end of 1942 the situation is apparently satisfactory, but I would point out that this apparently satisfactory position is due to the use of the obsolescent Fulmar in the first line squadrons aided by the supply of 260 Hurricane ‘Ones’ from the Royal Air Force, which have been converted for use in Carriers, and by the prospective supply of 200 Spitfires, which you yourself were instrumental in obtaining for us from the Royal Air Force subsequent to your visit to H.M.S. INDOMITABLE.
It was hoped that with the supply of Martlets from the United States of America commencing at the rate of 20 per month, as it should have done from October, 1940, we could have kept our heads above water until the new fleet fighters, Firebrand and Firefly, came into effective production. Owing to the failure of the U.S.A. to keep their promise, the situation deteriorates to a marked degree after the end of 1942. We wish to increase the number of Auxiliary Carriers by a total of 15 in 1942, and are considering a further 15 in 1943 and 1944. This will accentuate our difficulty, because although at present the idea of using these Carriers for anti-submarine purposes is predominant, it may well be that Germany will push out her air-raiders to an extent which will require Auxiliary Carriers to be equipped with fighters in addition to anti-submarine craft.
It is clear, therefore, that unless drastic steps are taken to increase the production of fleet fighters, we are likely to be in a nasty hole from the beginning of 1943 onwards. Although we have use of a number of Hurricanes, and in prospect of a number of Spitfires, it must emphasised that these are not really suitable aircraft for operating from Carriers for the following reasons:
(a) They cannot be used in the small lifts of VICTORIOUS, ILLUSTRIOUS and FORMIDABLE.
(b) Although they can be used in the Carriers fitted with large lifts, they occupy so much more space than a folding aircraft that a drastic reduction in the small number of aircraft which can be carried by any one Carrier is dictated.
(c) Their small endurance requires a Carrier to be turned into the wind so often in order to relieve fighter patrols that the consequent reduction of speed of advance of the ships from which it may be operating is quite unacceptable under certain circumstances.
(d) The R.A.F. aircraft cannot carry the equipment in the way of radio sets and homing beacons, which we have found necessary, for successful operations from Carriers…
The American folding fleet fighter is the ideal aircraft for the job, but here again the productive capacity of the United States is barely sufficient to meet the requirements of their own Navy, which is much behind in modern aircraft owing to the fact that Congress has not allowed them to change their aircraft more than once every five years.
Also, the Firefly was acceptable as a Fulmar++ but the Firebrand was a turkey.