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Great Britain | Blackburn Roc | Firebrand | Defiant | Beaufighter | Mosquito | Fairey Firefly | Fairey Fulmar | Gladiator | Gloster Meteor | Hawker Hurricane | Hawker Tempest | Hawker Typhoon | Spitfire
The limited space aboard aircraft carriers requires that some of the aircraft carried by highly versatile. It was ordered by the RN a two seat versatile fighter-bomber with power turret in which all armament would be concentrated, not unlike the Defaint, Suka, and Roc, which evolved from very similar requirements. For the Firefly, it was concluded that a clean, fixed gun fighter would have much better success than the unorthodox turret fighters, and history proved this true, as the turret fighters were removed from service almost immediately after their first operational missions. Also, Fairey came up with armament as four 20-mm cannon, which was the heaviest armament ever to be carried on a naval fighter to that date. This point in development was about June of 1940. Even more interesting, and lo, risky even, was the use of an untried powerplant, the new Rolls Royce Griffon 1700hp inline engine. Over a year later the brand ner prototype flew for the first time on Dec. 22, 1941. Orders for several hundred of the new fighters came in from the Royal Navy, and in later October 1943, they entered operational service on the HMS indefatigable. The first true action of the Firefly came in July of 1944, where they flew attacks on the German dreadnought the Tirpitz. They also saw considerable action covering the British landings on Sumatra in 1945. Also, the Firefly holds the distinction of being the first British aircraft to bomb Tokio.
Type: Two Seat shipboard fighter/bomber
Power Plant: One Rolls Royce Griffon IIB 12-cylinder inline, 1700hp
Armament: Four 20-mm Hispano cannon
Performance: Max Speed 316mph; ceiling 28,000 feet
Weights: empty 9,700ls; loaded 14,020lbs