The Fairey Firefly

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Fairey Firefly FR.1 Z2030 of the Fleet Air Arm at Manchester (Ringway) Airport wearing late WW2 markings, Photos from Wikimedia Commons

Fairey Firefly

The Fairey Firefly (Firefly) was a single-engine carrier-based fighter of the Fleet Air Arm of the Second World War the British manufacturer Fairey Aviation.

Despite superior firepower and better performance, the Firefly succeeded only belatedly to Fairey Fulmar. It was designed from the concept of the time of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) of a fighter and two-seat reconnaissance, the pilot and his navigator are placed in separate cells. The unit would therefore robust, great autonomy and a single board logistics. But these strengths induced a heavy structure that crippled its overall performance.

A Fairey Firefly AS.Mk 6 antisubmarine version.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons 

Conception :
The birth of the project in 1940, the first prototype flew in December 1941. The Firefly was an all-metal monoplane, low folding wings with a Griffon engine, driving a four-bladed propeller. It was also equipped with a landing gear and a retractable landing butt. A fully glazed cabin housed the 2 crew members. The Firefly had very good flight characteristics especially at low speeds.

Commitments :
The job began operation in October 1943 on the aircraft carrier HMS Indefatigable. Firefly participated in operations against the German battleship Tirpitz. Also aboard the HMS Indefatigable, they distinguished themselves against the Japanese in participating in all naval operations, including the destruction of refineries in Sumatra, and were the first aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm over Japan and Tokyo.

Fairey Firefly Mk. I, Photo from Wikimedia commons

After the Second World War, they continued their career, particularly during the Korean War and then in the armed forces of the Netherlands who used them among others in the Battle of the Arafura Sea against Indonesia in 1962.

 Data : 
Type : fighter, Carrier fighter. 
Crew : 2
First flight : December 22, 1941
In active service : 1943 - 1956
Origin : United Kingdom
Manufacturer : Fairey Aviation Company
Length: 11.46 m
Span : 13.56 meters
Height : 4.15 m
Wing area :  30.47 m²
Empty weight : 4430 kg
Loaded weight:  6375 kg
Engine (s) Rolls-Royce Griffon IIB
Engine : 1730 hp

Performance :
Max. speed 509 km / h
Range with max. fuel 2 100 km
Service ceiling : 8528 meters
Climb to  3,050 m : 5.43 m / s

Arming :
Armament 4 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza Hs.404
Bomber 2 × 454 kg
Rockets 8 × RP-3

Operators :  

United Kingdom


1 -The (Swedish) Svensk Flygtjanst AB 
2 -The Danish Air Force 
3 - The Indian Navy 
4 - The Royal Thai Navy 
5 - The FAA 827 sqn HMS.Triumph 1950 (Korean war) 
6 -The Royal Canadian Navy
7 - The Ethiopian Air Force (ex-Canadian navy)
8 - The FAA 1771 sqn HMS.Implacable 1945
9 - The FAA 1770 sqn HMS.Indefatigable 1945
10 - The FAA 860 sqn (Dutch) 1946

11 - The FAA 792 sqn nightfighter training between 1948-1949

12 - The FAA 827 sqn HMS.Triumph 1950 (Korean war)

13 - The Ethiopian Air Force

14 - The Dutch Naval Air 
Service (MLD) 861 sqn

15 - The Dutch Naval Air Service (MLD) 860 sqn Dutch 
East Indies between 1946-1950

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