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Fairey Firefly AS.5

Fairey Firefly AS.5

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Fairey Firefly AS.5

The Fairey Firefly AS.5 was the anti-submarine version of the multi-purpose Firefly Mk.5, and was equipped with submarine detection gear carried under the wings. The AS.5 carried an ARI 5284 radio altimeter, and an ARI 5286 sonobuoy, with the controls in the observer's cockpit. Twelve British sonobuoys could be carried under the wings, as could two 250lb depth charges.

The AS.5 entered service with No.810 Squadron on 17 October 1949. It was used alongside the AS.6, which entered service in 1951, and saw service in the North Sea and the Mediterranean with a number of squadrons. In many cases squadrons operated the AS.6 for relatively short periods of time, often converting to the FR.5 for tours of Korea.

Engine: Griffon 74
Power: 2,004hp at take-off, 2,245hp at altitude
Crew: 2
Wing span: 41ft 17in
Length: 37ft 11in
Height: 13ft 11in
Empty Weight: 9,674lb
Loaded Weight: 16,096lb
Max Speed: 386mph at 14,000ft
Cruising Speed:
Service Ceiling: 31,900ft
Range: 760 miles
Armament: Four 20mm Aden cannon
Bomb-load: Sixteen 60lb rockets or two 2,000lb bombs

Return to main Fairey Firefly article

Fairey Firefly AS.5 - History

Time:10:30 LT
Fairey Firefly AS.5
Owner/operator:719 Sqn FAA RN
Registration: WB336
MSN: F8541
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Beinn Uraraidh, Islay. - United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:HMS Gannet, RNAS Eglinton, Northern Ireland
Fairey Firefly Mk.5 WB336: Delivered to the FAA RN (Fleet Air Arm Royal Navy) at RNAS Culham RDU 23/9/1949. To HMS Sanderling, RNAS Abbotsinch AHU by/in January 1950 (until at least July 1950) for preparation for issue for service. In service with 719 Squadron FA RN at HMS Gannet, RNAS Eglinton, Northern Ireland by September 1950 as "227/GN".

Written off (destroyed) 25/9/1951 when crashed at Beinn Uraraidh, Islay, Scotland at approximate coordinates 55'41" North, 06'06" West. Both crew killed.

Both men, from the Royal Australian Navy, were in training with No.737 Squadron at Prestwick but part of their combined training was with No.719 Squadron at Eglinton in Northern Ireland. On the day of the crash the two took off in Firefly WB336 for a "controlled anti-submarine patrol exercise". They were to take off and receive orders once airborne. They had been briefed with a safety height of 3000 feet and were only to fly below that height should they encounter cloud and were ordered to remain below any cloud.

The weather was reported as being good that day, being mainly sunny with some scattered cumulus, especially around the Scottish islands. Cloud was reported to be covering the hills on Islay during the morning of the 25th September 1951.

Their initial orders were to take departure from Portrush, near Coleraine, on a bearing of 024 degrees for 30 miles and commence a grid search. These orders were acknowledged at 10:19 and the aircraft took up its course for the patrol area. Thirty miles at 024 degrees from Portrush would have taken the aircraft into the area around the Mull of Oa in the south of Islay.

Further orders were transmitted to the aircraft at around 10:30 and were repeated numerous times until 11:00 but none of these transmissions were acknowledged. These were for the aircraft to abandon the grid search and adopt a sonar buoy dropping pattern.

At 11:10 the aircraft was declared missing as no contact of any kind had been made since 10:19, and a search by air and sea was started immediately.

A report of wreckage some 10 miles NW of Portrush was received from an RAF Lancaster at about 12:30, but this turned out to be unconnected and the search was switched the Islay area after 14:15. The wreck was spotted by an FAA Barracuda (one of the last Barracudas still in service at that point) at 15:40 on Beinn Uraraidh and it, and later other aircraft, circled the spot until a ground team arrived at nightfall (approx 19:20 BST).

The aircraft had broken up over a wide area along a roughly ESE to WNW line with wreckage being spread for about 1/3 of a mile. Both crew killed:

Pilot - P4 Donovan James Slater RAN (A37423), aged 20, of Paddington, New South Wales, Australia. Buried Eglinton Cemetery, Northern Ireland.
Navigator - O4 Edward Joseph Edmonds RAN (A37457), aged 21, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Buried Eglinton Cemetery, Northern Ireland.

In August 2015, most of the wreckage was still where it crashed - see link #3 for photo proof

Fairey Firefly AS.5 - History

City / Airport:Mildenhall Map
Region / Country:England, United Kingdom
Airport Codes:ICAO: EGUN IATA: MHZ Local: - Other: -
Event:Mildenhall Air Fete 1982
Photo Date:29 May 1982
Photo by:R.A.Scholefield
Photo ID: 11286

This Firefly AS.5 served 814 Squadron Fleet Air Arm in 1949/50. It was shipped to the Far East in late 1951 and passed to the Australian Navy. Modified as a TT.5 in 1955. Sold and returned to the UK in 1967 for the Fleet Air Arm Museum. Crashed on 12 July 2003.

This photo was added on 21 September 2017, and has since been viewed 60 times.


At the end of World War II, the Royal Navy faced a shortage of modern ASW aircraft. The ancient Swordfish was obsolete and withdrawn from service while the most suitable aircraft, the Grumman Avenger, had to be returned to the US under Lend-Lease agreements. Consequently, a series of stopgap measures were put in hand until a new ASW aircraft could be developed. These included bringing back into service a dozen Fairey Barracuda Mk.IIIs, modified to act as anti-submarine patrol aircraft, in late 1947 to equip 815 Squadron, which retained them until 1953. Their replacement was actually the Grumman Avenger of which 180 were supplied to the Royal Navy from 1953 onwards under the MDAP scheme to boost NATO strength. These were basically similar to the TBM-3E as used by the US Navy but were designated Avenger AS.4 and AS.5 in Royal Navy service.

Up to the introduction of the Avengers, the most numerous carrier-based ASW aircraft was the Fairey Firefly in its AS.5 and AS.6 versions. However, in an effort to provide a more mission-orientated aircraft a new version was developed as the Firefly AS.7. The most noticeable change was in the engine installation, which now featured a chin-mounted annular radiator instead of the underwing radiators on the earlier versions. To cope with the increased workload, a third crew member was carried and the two observers/radar operators sat in the rear cockpit, which was covered with a large, bulged clear-view canopy. The addition of this and the chin radiator required a substantial increase in fin area to maintain directional stability. A modified wing planform of increased span was incorporated and, although capable of being fitted with underwing hardpoints to carry offensive ordnance, the AS.7 was intended to be used only in the search role with surface ships or other aircraft being directed onto any submarines located. The prototype AS.7 flew on 22 May 1951 and was followed by 150 production aircraft, although only two frontline squadrons were equipped with the type. In service the handling characteristics of the Firefly AS.7 were markedly inferior to the earlier Mks.4/5/6 and consequently most of those built were produced as trainers (Firefly T.Mk.7) and used by second line squadrons for observer training. The poor performance of this aircraft was one reason why the Avengers had to be brought in from America, plugging the gap until a completely new ASW aircraft became available.

This was to be another Fairey product, the turboprop-powered Gannet AS.1. Originally known as the Fairey Type Q, it was produced to Specification GR.17/45 issued in 1945, calling for a two-seat anti-submarine and strike aircraft. The design was based around an Armstrong Siddeley Double Mamba turboprop, which, as the name implied, was actually two 1,000-shp Mamba engines coupled to drive a contra-rotating propeller assembly through a common gearbox. As well as producing the necessary power output, this arrangement had the advantage that one half of the power unit could be shut down in flight to save fuel and extend range and endurance. The first of two prototypes flew in September 1949 but a third prototype flown on 10 May 1951 featured provision for a third crew member in a separate cockpit in the rear half of the fuselage. Although a large aircraft, the Gannet was of a clean design. However, it had a rather portly appearance due to the fact that the weapon load was carried in an internal bomb bay and the crew sat high up above the engine in the nose. The contra-rotating propellers and tricycle undercarriage, coupled with the forward cockpit being set high to give an excellent view, meant that the Gannet was a first-class carrier aircraft and few problems were encountered in the initial deck landing trials by one of the two-seat prototypes aboard HMS Illustrious in June 1950 – in fact, this was the first ever carrier landing by a turboprop-powered aircraft. A complex double-jointed wing-folding system ensured that the aircraft would fit in the hangars of current British carriers. An ASV search radar antenna was housed in a retractable dome under the rear fuselage and this meant that the Gannet was able to carry out the complete ASW mission, including both the search and attack roles.

In March 1951 the Gannet was one of the aircraft to be allocated Super Priority status and was ordered in substantial numbers. After some delays while a number of handling problems were sorted out, the first Gannets reached the Royal Navy in April 1954 and three operational squadrons were formed by mid 1955, including 826 Squadron aboard HMS Eagle and 824 Squadron aboard HMS Ark Royal. Subsequently, the Gannet served with a dozen frontline squadrons and was exported to Australia, West Germany and Indonesia. An improved Gannet AS.4 flew in April 1956 offering a more powerful version of the Double Mamba as well as other detail improvements. The Gannet served as a frontline ASW aircraft until withdrawn between 1958 and 1960 as helicopters gradually took over the ASW role.

Although the Gannet met the requirements of Specification GR.17/45, it had a number of competitors. One of these was the turboprop version of the Short Sturgeon, which used two single Mambas and carried the radar in a prominent fixed chin mounting under the nose. Designated Short SB.3, the prototype flew in August 1950 but whereas the original Sturgeon had been a delightful aircraft to fly, the SB.3 proved something of a handful, particularly in asymmetric flight with one engine failed – a problem that was neatly avoided by the Gannet’s Double Mamba installation. Consequently, little development work was undertaken and the two prototypes were scrapped in 1951.

The Gannet’s other competitor came from the Blackburn stable in the form of the B-54 (or YA.5 under the then current SBAC designation system). Superficially this resembled the Gannet, being similar in size and adopting the same layout except that the pilot and observer were set further back, seated over rather than ahead off the wing. Like the Gannet, an enclosed weapons bay was set into the lower fuselage and a retractable radar dome was positioned behind it. Power was to be provided by a Napier Double Naiad turboprop, similar in concept and power output to the Double Mamba. However, development of this engine was cancelled leaving the Blackburn team in limbo. It was decided to complete three prototypes powered by Rolls-Royce Griffon piston engines and these were designated YA.7, the first flying in September 1949. When the Admiralty requirement was altered to include a third crew member, the second prototype was modified to incorporate this and also had a revised wing planform and taller fin and rudder assembly. In this form the aircraft became the YA.8 and flew in May 1950, carrying out carrier trials during the following June. Finally, the third prototype was fitted with a Double Mamba turboprop and this represented the definitive version under the designation YB.1 (company designation B-88). First flown in July 1950, it was unsuccessful in comparative trials with the Fairey Gannet and no production orders were forthcoming.

The Gannet might well have had a stablemate in the shape of the Short Seamew. This aircraft was produced in response to a 1951 Naval Staff requirement for a simple and rugged ASW aircraft, in effect a modern version of the old Swordfish, which could be deployed on smaller carriers or from short landing strips ashore. The Seamew first flew on 23 August 1953 and was ordered into production, both for the Royal Navy and RAF Coastal Command. Powered by a single Mamba turboprop, the Seamew was a simple and rugged design with a tailwheel undercarriage necessitated by the decision to place the fixed radome under the fuselage just forward of the wing. A crew of two was carried, with the pilot and observer sitting well forward under a double canopy. Its performance was not startling but the main requirements of a four-hour patrol duration and carriage of depth charges and sonobuoys in an enclosed weapons bay were met. The test programme revealed a number of handling deficiencies that were being rectified when the whole programme was cancelled in 1957 under the Defence White Paper that year. By that time the Royal Navy had already received seven production aircraft and these were subsequently scrapped.

Fairey Firefly - Survivors

There are approximately 24 Fairey Fireflies surviving worldwide, including three airworthy examples and at least one other being restored to flying condition. The Fleet Air Arm Museum possesses two Fireflies, the latest acquisition arriving in 2000 from the Imperial War Museum Duxford. Firefly WB271 was destroyed in July 2003 during an aerobatic air display at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridgeshire - Europe's largest display of vintage warplanes. There are three airworthy Fireflies at present:

  • AS 6 WH632, which was damaged in a crash and has since been restored to flying condition (painted as an RCN Firefly AS 5), is at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (Canada)
  • AS 6 WD826 at the Royal Australian Navy Historic Flight, NAS Nowra NSW (Australia)
  • AS 6 WB518, another former RAN machine, now in the USA. (Damaged at the Wings Over Gillespie Airshow in June 2012, airworthiness currently unknown)

WB518 was one of the first 10 Mk 6s built, but retained the earlier Mk 5 fuselage. It was originally delivered to the Royal Australian Navy's 817 Squadron and then served in 816 Squadron before being retired and ending up as a memorial on a pole in Griffith, New South Wales, Australia. WB518 was then purchased by American Eddie Kurdziel, a Northwest Airlines captain and former U.S. Navy pilot. WD518 was extensively restored and made its first public appearance at Oshkosh in 2002. Restoration of WD518 used parts salvaged from WD828 which was written off after a crash into a cabbage field in Camden, New South Wales in 1987.

Other survivors include - in Australia:

  • AS 6 WD827 which was once owned by the Australian Air League, Blacktown, New South Wales, and is now on display in the Australian National Aviation Museum, Melbourne, Victoria
  • AS 6 WD828 is displayed on a pole outside the Returned Services Leagues Club in Griffith, Australia. It has been re-painted as WB518 which was the original aircraft displayed in Griffith but is now the flying example owned by Captain Kurdziel. The swap was made in 1991
  • AS 6 WJ109 is on display at Australia's Museum of Flight, Nowra, NSW
  • AS 6 WD833, another ex-Australian Flying, is owned by Henry "Butch" Schroeder who moved the aircraft to Danville, Illinois, USA for restoration. The present whereabouts of this aircraft are unclear.

The Royal Thai Air Force Museum in Bangkok, Thailand has a Firefly Mk I on display.

A sole remaining Firefly of the 10 acquired by India is displayed at the Naval Aviation Museum in Goa.

An ex-Swedish Firefly has recently (October 2011) appeared in a hangar at the IWM Duxford, Cambridge. It is believed to be a former target tug brought to the UK for restoration to flying condition.

As well as the Canadian Warplane Heritage's ex-Australian Firefly, two other Fireflies are known to exist in Canada: one is at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa and another is being restored at the Shearwater Aviation Museum at Eastern Passage (near Dartmouth), Nova Scotia. Both are Mk I models that served in the Canadian Navy from 1946 to 1954, after which they were sold to the Ethiopian Air Force. Following their discovery in the Ethiopian desert in 1993, they were repatriated to Canada.

Read more about this topic: Fairey Firefly

Famous quotes containing the word survivors :

&ldquo I believe that all the survivors are mad. One time or another their madness will explode. You cannot absorb that much madness and not be influenced by it. That is why the children of survivors are so tragic. I see them in school. They don’t know how to handle their parents. They see that their parents are traumatized: they scream and don’t react normally. &rdquo
&mdashElie Wiesel (b. 1928)

&ldquo I want to celebrate these elms which have been spared by the plague, these survivors of a once flourishing tribe commemorated by all the Elm Streets in America. But to celebrate them is to be silent about the people who sit and sleep underneath them, the homeless poor who are hauled away by the city like trash, except it has no place to dump them. To speak of one thing is to suppress another. &rdquo
&mdashLisel Mueller (b. 1924)

Fairey Firefly AS.5 - History

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Ahoy - Mac's Web Log

Human skeletal remains from the wrecks of two British war planes missing for 60 years have been found in Port Phillip Bay in July of 2007.

Two divers came across the remains during a recent dive between Mornington and Frankston, the Nine Network reported.

The two British aircraft crashed into the bay during a training exercise in July, 1947.

Four people were killed but only one body was recovered at the time, but divers Paul Roadknight and Steve Boneham located the remains of one pilot still inside one of the wrecked aircraft about 20 metres below the surface of the bay.

They found the remains of another pilot next to the wreck of the second aircraft.

There was no information about the possible whereabouts of the fourth victim.

The wreckage of the two British Royal Navy single engined Fairy Firefly trainers is considered a significant archaeological find.

Mr Roadknight has tracked down the families of the dead pilots and a memorial is planned for next week, on the 60th anniversary of the crash.

Britain's Ministry of Defence is believed to support plans not to disturb the pilots' remains.

A permanent memorial to the victims could be built onshore, close to the crash site.

Heritage Victoria warns that diving near the wrecks is an offence that carries a heavy fine.

History of the Fairey Firefly.
The Fairey Firefly was initially designed under specifications N.8/39 and N.9/39, but the prototype later updated to also fit under specification N.5/40. Designed as a two-seat Fleet reconaissance fighter based on the Fairey Fulmar, the prototype first flew on 22 December 1941.

It had a low-wing monoplane configuration with a wide-track undercarriage, smaller than the Fulmar, and provided with a more powerful engine, a single 2,250hp Rolls Royce Griffin 74 engine. The design was deliberately conventional, to bring it into service quickly, and with the trailing edge provided with patented Youngman flaps for use at low speeds and in cruise. Unlike the installation on the Barracuda, these flaps could be recessed into the wing.. Early Fireflies had a deep 'beard' radiator, later models had wing leading root intakes.

The aircraft went into production on 26 August 1942 and the first production aircraft was delivered from Fairey’s Great Western Aerodrome (now London Heathrow International Airport) to RNAS Yeovilton on 4 March, 1943 where the first operational squadron, 1770, was formed in October, 1943. A total of 1623 Firefly were built.

It was mainly used as a carrier based anti-submarine, reconnaissance and strike aircraft, with a crew of pilot and oberver. The plane carried four 20mm guns mounted in the wings and sixteen 60lb rockets or two 1,000 lb bombs. The Firefly was regarded as a versatile aircraft, taking part not only in WWII but also in the Korean war. The last of the 1702 built was delivered in 1956. The Firefly ended its naval career as a target drone.

The Fairey Aviation Company's original prototype first flew in 1941 and, two years later, the aircraft became operational with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. In total, 1623 Fireflies left the assembly lines. One of the aeroplane's most interesting features is the housing of the pilot and navigator/weapons officer in separate compartments. In addition, the innovative wing flaps, when extended, increased both the wing area and, in turn, their lift. This last feature made the heavy Firefly docile during landings on aircraft carrier decks.

Two-seat reconaissance fighter. It was a low-wing monoplane with a wide-track undercarriage, smaller than the fulmar that preceded it, and provided with a more powerful engine. The design was deliberately conventional, to bring it into service quickly. Early Fireflies had a deep 'beard' radiator, later models had wing leading root intakes. The concept of the two-seat fighter may have been mistaken, but the Firefly was a versatile aircraft, taking part not only in WWII but also in the Korean war. The last of the 1702 built was delivered in 1956. The Firefly ended its career as a target drone.

Postwar the Firefly was used by the Naval Air arms of Australia, Canada, and Holland. The Royal Canadian Navy employed 65 Fireflies of the Mk AS-5 variety on board its own aircraft carriers between 1946 and 1954,m for use in the anti-submarine role.

The Royal Australian Navy operated Fireflies in 816 and 817 FAA squadron, with Firefly FR.I, Firefly NF.I, Fairey Firefly FR.4, Fairey Firefly FR.5, Fairey Firefly FR.6 between 1945-1948. 816 and 817 served onboard HMAS Sydney, or shore based at RANAS Nowra (HMAS Albatross). Firefly were also used for training at Albatross by 723, 724, 725 and 851 Squadrons.

Versions F.Mk I Initial production model
F.Mk IA F.Mk I Conversion to F.R. Mk I standard ASH radar
F.Mk III One prototype only with Griffon 61 engine, first flight 1944
F.Mk IV 2,100hp Griffon 74 engine, new outr wing nacelles that could both carry fuel or
ASH scanner to port and fuel to starboard. 160 built, first flight 1944.
F.R.Mk I Reconnaisance version - modified Mk I ASH radar
F.R.Mk IV See F.Mk IV
F.R.Mk V Reconnaisance version with Rolls-Royce "Griffon" 74 2212 hp engine
F.R.6/A.S.6 Post-war variants
N.F.Mk I Night-fighter version F.R. Mk I conversions Exhaust shrouds and a AI.Mk 10
radar pod-mounted beneath the engine
N.F.Mk II Night-fighter version Lengethened nose. AI. Mk 10 radar, 37 built
N.F.Mk 5
AS.Mk 5 ASW conversion of F.Mk 5 with American sonobuoys and equipment
AS.Mk 6D British equipped ASW conversion 133 built
AS.Mk 7 Griffon 59 engine, first flight October 1951, beard radiator. Limited producton.
T.Mk 1 Unarmed dual-control Mk I pilot trainer conversion
T.Mk 2 Cannon Armed dual-control pilot trainer
T.Mk 3 ASW trainer
T.Mk 5 Australian trainer conversion from AS.Mk 5
T.Mk 7 ASW trainer converison of AS.Mk 7
TT.Mk 1 Target tug conversion
TT.Mk 4 Target tug conversion of F.Mk 4
TT.Mk 5 Australian target tug conversion from AS.Mk 5
TT.Mk 6 Australian target tug conversion from AS.Mk 5
U.Mk 8 Pilotless drone, conversion from Mk.4
U.Mk 9 Pilotless drone, conversion from Mk.5 Fleet Air Arm history

Total FAA 1939-1945: 1700 including post war
First delivered to RN: 3.1943
Squadron 1939-1945: 9.1943
First Operational Sqdn: 9.1943
Last served with RN 1956

Fairey Firefly

In 1954 whilst serving as a Lieutenant Commander in the RAN Carrier Flagship HMAS Vengeance, I was squirted off the catapult in the back seat of a Fairey Firefly.

The aircraft on leaving the catapult dipped below the ship's bows before gaining height, one almost greyed out with the speed the aircraft is launched, of course on our return we needed to follow the orders of the Batsman bringing us down to land on the flight deck and engage the arresting wires with our hook. The Firefly was then brought to a sudden halt.

All in all a unique experience for a Seaman Officer, I was rather glad I was not an airman having to endure catapult take offs and flight deck landings on a regular basis.

This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.

Fairey Firefly AS.5 - History

Single Seater Fighter
Sea Fury
Powerplant :
2,480 hp Bristol Centaurus 18 radial engine
Number of Engines
Wing Area :
280 sq ft ( 26.01 sq m)
Length :
34 ft 8 in (10.56 m)
Height :
15 ft 10 ½ in (4.82 m)
Range :
1,250 mi (2,012 km)
Speed :
270 mph (435 km/h)
Armament :
four 20mm cannon plus provisions for 12 x 60 lb (27 kg) rockets or two 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs

Single Seater Fighter
Sea Fury
Powerplant :
Wright 3350-26WA 2900 HP.
Number of Engines
Wing Span :
38.4 ft.
Length :
34ft. 7 in.
Propeller :
Aero Products 4 blade dia 13 ft. 6 in.
Speed :
437 kts
Armament :
4 X 20 mm with 600 rounds ammunition

Hawker Hurricane

The first of the Royal Air Force's eight-gun monoplane fighters, the Hurricane entered service in 1937. Quantity production prior to the outbreak of World War II enabled the RAF to field no fewer than 2,300 Hurricanes in the summer of 1940. Always outnumbering its more famous counterpart during the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane is credited with the destruction of more enemy aircraft than any other type in the defense of the United Kingdom.
The decision to retain the more traditional construction produced a rugged and versatile aircraft but, unlike the Spitfire, the Hurricane did not undergo any major aerodynamic development. The armament, however, was progressively increased and later in its career, bombs and rockets were also added, making the Hurricane a formidable ground attack aircraft.
The CWH Hurricane is a fibreglass replica Of a Mark IIB. The museum's C-GCWH was tragically lost during a fire in 1993. Several pieces of landing gear from the original aircraft were salvaged and are attached to this model. The paint scheme represents the colours of an aircraft used by No. 401 Squadron (formerly No. 1 (F), Canada's first fighter squadron to enter combat overseas during World War II. We acknowledge the generous support of K-W Surplus.

Single Seater Fighter, Fighter-Bomber or Reconnaissance
Version :
Location :
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
Powerplant :
Rolls-Royce Merlin 25
Number of Engines :
Wing Span :
Length :
32' 3"
Height :
Horsepower :
Range-Speed :
460 miles-307 mph
Armament :
Twelve .303 calibre Browning machine guns Two 250-lb Bombs

Fleet Air Arm Museum Nowra

Warbirds Online hasn’t visited the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Nowra, NSW for some years, in fact 30 years! So we took the opportunity to visit the site on our recent trip to NSW.

Many years ago, the Museum was largely an outdoors display, however over the decades a roof was added and finally a fully enclosed spacious Museum building has been constructed. It is in fact a little reminiscent of the FAA Museum at Yeovilton UK, in ambiance and construction, although on a smaller scale.

I must say we were very impressed with the layout and standard of the aircraft restorations and displays in an area of 6,000 m 2 . The FAA Museum has a very good collection of types operated by the Royal Australian Navy over the years and a diversity of fixed wing and Helicopters is on display.

Starting with WW1 there is a very nice replica Sopwith Pup which has had various sections of fabric left off to illustrate its internal construction which is beautifully executed in an accurate style.

Also on display are various WWI uniforms and items and they are very interesting. We were particularly taken by the thick “Sidcot” flying suit. It must have been very difficult even getting into an aircraft wearing one of these, let alone flying in it.

WWII and Korea are well represented by the Fairey Firefly and Sea Fury fighters.

The Fairey Firefly AS.5/AS.6 WJ109 is a beautiful example of this large carrier borne aircraft which served from WWII and in Korea with great distinction. The RAN FAAM also has another of these aircraft which is operated by the Historic Flight but hasn’t flown for some years.

The Sea Fury is an FB.11 WG630 and is one of 3 of the type owned by the FAAM, this aircraft is displayed in the Grey and Cream scheme often operated during the Korean War by Australian pilots with great skill in atrocious conditions from frozen carriers decks in huge seas.

A Korean era MiG 15 UTI is on display to illustrate the adversary’s aircraft.

Sea Fury FB11 Fairey Gannet AS1
Fairey Firefly AS5AS6 & Hawker Sea Fury WG630 CAC CA-22 Winjeel
De Havilland Sea Vampire MK T22 De Havilland Sea Venom

Later types on display include De Havilland Sea Venom F.A.W. Mk 53, Fairey Gannet AS1/4,2 X Bristol Sycamore HR50/51Choppers, Douglas C-47A Dakota, Supermarine Type 309 Sea Otter (Nose section only), CAC CA-22 Winjeel, Westland Dragonfly H.R.3, Grumman S-2E/G Tracker, McDonnell Douglas A4G Skyhawk, Westland Wessex Mk31B, Westland Scout AH-1, GAF Jindivik Pilotless Target Aircraft, Kalkara Target Aircraft, De Havilland Sea Vampire MK T.22, CAC Aermacchi MB-326H (Macchi), Bell UH-1H Iroquois, Bell UH-1B/1C Iroquois, Bell 47G-3B1 Sioux, Westland Sea King Mk 50 and even an RAAF F111 nose section in memory of the types training role with the RAN fleet. There is also a Sikorsky Seahawk S-70B-2 on display as well as a training nose section.

Along with the aircraft there are extensive displays of engines, vehicles and equipment as well as various armament displays.

Grumman S-2EG Tracker McDonnell Douglas A4G Skyhawk
McDonnell Douglas A4G Skyhawk Bristol Sycamore Helicopter
Westland Wessex Mk31B Westland Sea King Mk 50

A feature of the FAA Museum is the ability to view the aircraft from the elevated cat walk. At the time of our visit the Winjeel was undergoing restoration – a great sign of ongoing activity and future expansion.

Upstairs on the mezzanine level there is a good modern Cafeteria with great views of the airfield and activity on the flight line. At the entrance is a well-stocked Museum shop.

We really enjoyed our visit to the FAA Museum and I can highly recommend a visit. A rare feature is that the light levels in the building allow for good photography, a relative rarity in an Aviation Museum.

List of Fairey Aviation Airplanes and Aircrafts

List of all Fairey Aviation airplanes and aircraft types, with images, specs, and other information. These active and retired Fairey Aviation planes are listed in alphabetical order, but if you're looking for a particular aircraft you can look for it using the "search" bar. The Fairey Aviation aircrafts on this list include all planes, jets, helicopters, and other flying vehicles ever made by Fairey Aviation. Unless you're an aviation expert you probably can't think of every aircraft made by Fairey Aviation, so use this list to find a few popular Fairey Aviation planes and helicopters that have been used a lot in the course of history.

List features Fairey Swordfish, Fairey Barracuda and more.

This list answers the question, "What aircrafts are made by Fairey Aviation?

Photo : Metaweb (FB) / CC-BY


The Fairey Firefly two-seater strike-fighter emerged from a troubled gestation to become one of the most widely used and effective aircraft of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. It first saw service in 1944 during the attacks on the battleship Tirpitz as it lurked in the Norwegian fjords, then served in the Far East as the Fleet Air Arm tussled with the kamikaze threat. It went on to form an important part of several embryonic naval air arms in the early years of the Cold War and performed a vital role in combat in Korea in the early 1950s. In this book, naval aviation historian Matthew Willis tells the story of this important aircraft using more than 160 photographs, many of them rare or unpublished, accompanied by a detailed commentary covering every aspect of the Firefly’s varied career from fighter, to sub-hunter, to pilotless target drone, in air forces all over the world.


  1. Nihn

    In general, frankly speaking, the comments here are much more entertaining than the messages themselves. (No offense to the author, of course :))

  2. Gurn

    Bravo, your sentence brilliantly

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