Fairey Swordfish Print, Fairey Swordfish - Sink the Bismark; digital illustration by Les Still - Mystic Realms

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Fairey Swordfish - Sink the Bismarck
 Fairey Swordfish - Sink the Bismarck; digital Illustration by Les Still
Fairey Swordfish - Sink the Bismarck; digital Illustration by Les Still
Fairey Swordfish
Origin;- The Fairey Aviation Company,   later Blackburn Aircraft.
Type;- Basic role, two seat torpedo   carrier and three seat spotter reconnaissance, later   many other duties.
Engine;- (Mk I and early II) one 690hp   Bristol Pegasus IIIM3 nine cylinder radial, (later II   onwards) 750hp Pegasus 30.
Dimensions;- Span 45'6" (13.87m), length   (landplane) 35'8" (10.87m), height 12'4" (3.76m).
Weights;- Empty 4,700lb (2134kg), loaded 7510lb   (3410kg).
Performance; Maximum speed 138mph   (222km/h), initial climb 1,220ft (372m) /min, service   ceiling 19,250ft (5867m), range with full ordnance load   546 miles (8779km0>
Armament;- One fixed 0.303in Vickers, one   manually aimed 0.303in Browning or Vickers K in rear   cockpit, crutch for 18in 1.610lb torpedo ( or 1,500lb   mine or 1,500lb of bombs) (Mk.II-IV) underwing racks for   eight 60lb rockets or other stores.
History;- First flight (TSR-II) 17 April   1934, production Mk.I December 1935, service delivery   February 1936, final delivery June 1944.
Development;- One of the great combat   aircraft of history, the well loved 'Stringbag' looked   archaic even when new, yet outlasted the aircraft   intended to replace it and served valiantly and   successfully from countless carriers and rough airstrips   from start to finish of World war II. Designed to   Specification S.38/34, it derived from an earlier   prototype which got into an uncontrollable spin.   Designated TSR.II the revised aircraft had a longer spin   proof body, necessitating sweeping back the upper wing   slightly. All-metal, with fabric covering, pre war   swordfish were often twin float seaplanes, these usually   serving in the three seat spotter role. Most, however,   equipped the Fleet Air Arm's 13 landplane torpedo   squadrons and during World war II a further 13 were   formed. Stories of this amazingly willing aircraft are   legion. One aircraft made twelve mine laying sorties in   24 hours. Another torpedoed an enemy ship in round trip   taking ten hours. A handful, based in Malta, sank an   average of 50,000 tons of enemy vessels ( most heavily   armed with flak) every month in 1941-3. The highlight of   the Swordfish's career was the attack on the Italian   naval base of Taranto on 10-11 November 1940, when two   Swordfish were lost in exchange for the destruction of   three battleships, a cruiser, two destroyers and other   warships. The Mk.II had metal skinned lower wings for   rocket firing, the MK III had radar and the Mk IV an   enclosed cockpit. From 1940 all production and   development was handled by Blackburn, which built 1,699   of the 2,391 delivered.
from Military Aviation Library - World   War 2 British Aircraft.
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