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Fairey Spearfish

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Fairey Spearfish Aircraft Information

Fairey Spearfish


Fairey Spearfish

Role: Torpedo bomber
National origin: United Kingdom
Manufacturer: Fairey Aviation
First flight: 5 July 1945
Status: development cancelled
Primary user: Fleet Air Arm
Number built: 5

The Fairey Spearfish was a 1940s British torpedo bomber designed and built by Fairey Aviation for the Fleet Air Arm. It was one of the largest single-engine aircraft to ever operate from a British aircraft carrier.

Design and development

The Spearfish was designed by Fairey Aviation to Admiralty Specification O.5/43. Having learned the lessons of the Barracuda, the Spearfish had a much more powerful engine and an integral ASV anti-submarine radar (the external installation on the Barracuda caused problems with longitudinal stability). Problems with the Bristol Centaurus engine delayed the first flight until 5 July 1945.

Only five aircraft were built before victory over Japan in August. After the end of the war and the proposal for a more advanced turboprop anti-submarine aircraft (which became the Gannet), further work on the project was stopped and an order for 152 production aircraft cancelled.

The Admiralty refused to accept the Spearfish for service use. The aircraft had such heavy controls that in bad weather a pilot circling a carrier while waiting to land was forced to fly such a wide circuit that he could not keep the carrier in sight.


United Kingdom

Royal Navy, Fleet Air Arm

Specifications (Spearfish)

Data from Fairey Aircraft Since 1915 Taylor, H. A.

General characteristics

Crew: 2
Length: 45 ft 0 in (13.7 m)
Wingspan: 60 ft 0 in (18.3 m)
Height: 16 ft 0 in (4.9 m)
Wing area: 530 ft (49.2 m)
Empty weight: 12,435 lb (5,640 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 22,050 lb (10,000 kg)
Powerplant: 1x Bristol Centaurus 57 18-cylinder radial engine, 2,585 hp (1,930 kW)
Propellers: five-bladed propeller


Maximum speed: 300 mph (480 km/h)
Cruise speed: 260 mph (415 km/h)
Range: 895 mi (1,440 km)
Service ceiling: 23,600 ft (7,200 m)
Rate of climb: 1,720 ft/min (8.74 m/s)


Guns: 4 x .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns, two in the wings and two in a Frazer-Nash FN95 remote-controlled dorsal barbette
Rockets: 16x RP-3 rocket projectiles on underwing rails
Bombs: carried in an internal weapons bay; either:
1 x torpedo or
2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs or mines

Comparable aircraft

Curtiss XBTC
Douglas A-1 Skyraider
Douglas XTB2D Skypirate
Grumman AF Guardian
Grumman TBF Avenger
Martin AM Mauler
Westland Wyvern


The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing.

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Source: WikiPedia

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