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British WWII's bombers

prepared by Jirka Wagner


Fairey Swordfish

By far the most succesful and famous biplane fighting aircraft of WWII. Its naval nickname was "Stringbag".

Little different from the biplanes of World War I and totally obsolete by World War II, the Fairey Swordfish remarkably remained operational until after 1945. Slow and almost defenceless, it was a successful torpedo bomber against light opposition. Swordfish crippled the italian fleet at Tarente and helped to sink the German Bismarck. Its main advantage was strength, ease of maintenance, and viceless flying qualities. Swordfish could be flown from aircraft carriers, even in rough seas. By the end of 1941, the wartime Swordfish was confined mainly to anti-submarine operations.

In Canada, Swordfish operated from the Naval Gunnery School in Yarmouth and the Royal Navy Station at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. In 1946, Fleet Requirement Unit 743 (RCN) was equipped with Swordfish.

General characteristics Swordfish Mk. II
Primary function Torpedo bomber
Power plant One Bristol Pegasus 30; 9cylinder radial engine
Thrust 820 HP 603 kW
Wingspan 45.50 ft 13.87 m
Length 35.66 ft 10.87 m
Height 12.3 ft 3.75 m
Wingarea 607 sq ft 56.39 sq m
Weight empty 4,707 lb 2,135 kg
max. 8,896 lb 4,035 kg
Speed max. 143 mph 230 km/h
cruising 115 mph 185 km/h
Initial rate of climb 500 ft/min 152 m/min
Ceiling 12,400 ft 3,780 m
Range 770 mi 1,240 km
Armament 2x 7.7mm machine gun; 1x 730 kg torpedo or 1x 680 kg mine (ev. deep bombs)
Crew 2 - 3
First flight Prototype TSR II 17.4.1934
Date deployed 1936 (Mk.I)
Number built 2,391

Jirka Wagner


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