PDF Fairey Firefly F.Mk.1 to U.Mk.9

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Mk 1, Firefly F. Mk 11, Firefly NF. Mk I, Firefly T. Mk 1, Firefly T. Mk 2, Firefly T. Mk 3, Firefly F. Mk 4, Firefly TT. Mk 5, Firefly AS. Mk 6, Firefly TT. Mk 5, Firefly TT. Mk 6, Firefly, AS. Mk 7, Firefly T.

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Mk 8, Firefly U. History: First flight 22 December ; first production F. The British Royal Navy issued a verbal requirement statement in October asking for a twin tandem aircraft fitted with a Tandem Merlin power plant, codenamed Project A, and alternative Twin Griffon platform, known as Project B. Either design was intended to be a single seat fighter, although there was the possibility of adding a rear compartment for a navigator. The main difference was a contra-rotating propeller system.

Two heavy calibre cannons were fitted underneath each wing nacelles, the structure that also housed the main undercarriage. The wings could also carry up to one thousand pound bomb load under each inner wing. Project A was designed to carry a gal fuel load internally and additional gal on drop fuel tanks. With drop fuel tanks, the aircraft was able to operate at a distance of miles.

Project B or Griffon carried a similar profile. Bomb load capacity was the same as the A program.

Fairey Firefly FR Mk.I

The only other variant visa-vise the Merlin centred project was that the Griffon projected an miles operational range, between forty to fifty miles longer than the Merlin. Nevertheless, it was the Merlin in which the company pitted their hopes for a new, huge production contract.

But the fact of the matter was that Project A did not measure up to the concurrent Westland N design. The plane would still employ the Merlin RMsm power plant, but the new version was streamlined and compacted. The new concept was a welcome sight to many inside the Ministry of Aircraft Production MAP who were uneasy about the path the whole program was taking. The new version of Project A had a better climb rate than the Westland and a more robust undercarriage, a most important consideration for naval operations. By the middle of , engineers at Fairey and other British aircraft manufacturing companies were adapting to a new kind of engine, the gas turbine.

The Merlin had achieved its peak of aerodynamic design and now it was time to replace it with a more flexible unit. With MAP consent, Fairley field officials commenced informal discussion with Rolls-Royce engineers regarding the availability of the Clyde engine as well as other jet propeller gas turbine power plants under development.

Mk Mk 9 Firefly F To U Fairey 1

Rolls-Royce gave the company advance data research information for three top secret turboprop engines, RB an improved Clyde , RB and RB The project managing team at Fairey decided to implement a small twin turbine configuration which would drive a contra-rotating propeller in a similar manner to the tandem piston system. Soon after the engine configuration decision was achieved, the company commenced work on two new strike fighters. The first would utilize a single RB turboprop with a contra-rotating propeller. The other example was fitted with two B arranged in tandem with a separated contra-propeller gearbox with each propeller driven by its own turbine system.

A specification and profile paper was submitted to the MAP in June 30th featuring three planes. Each had a 52 feet wing span, four 20mm heavy calibre cannons and a torpedo arrangement. The RB weighted at 24,lb with a top speed of mph and the same armament arrangement. But the higher achieved power gave the Project A an overall systematic quality that exceeded, albeit not by much, the one profiled on the Westland now known as the N project.


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With the end of the war in May , the MAP began to review all incomplete aircraft programs. All Rolls-Royce engines designs were also reviewed. The company was asked to issue its views regarding the standing of their twin-tandem piston engine in regards to the new turboprops. At the same meeting, Rolls executives told the Ministry members and Fairey senior staff that eventually the company would shift its engine developmental resources towards an axial flow jet engine. Fairey got the message and abandoned its tandem system altogether.

Fairey Firefly Mk. I

Rolls accepted the idea and a new engine system was born, call sign AP The changes to the engine system caused the alteration of the original overall plane layout. The aircraft that emerged after the redesign program was a much cleaner unit. The wing structure was laminated to allow an even air flow. Watch this item.


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