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      Fairey Albacore Naval Torpedo Bomber Biplane  

    Fairey Albacore Naval Torpedo Bomber Biplane


    Intended to succeed the famous Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bomber, the Fairey Albacore failed in this respect but managed a fairly useful service life during World War 2 nonetheless.





     Updated: 5/2/2015; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com


    As effective and well-liked as the Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber was for the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm (FAA), its origins lay in 1930s thinking for the design retained a biplane wing arrangement, open-air cockpits for its three crew, and a fixed wheeled undercarriage. Its prototype first flew in 1934 and service introduction was in 1936 after which followed a healthy production run of 2,391 aircraft. To satisfy Air Ministry Specification S.41/36, Fairey Aviation moved on offering the FAA a more modern form of the Swordfish which became the Fairey "Albacore". It was a sound enough aircraft but never managed the popularity or production levels of the Swordfish as only 800 (798) were built before the line was retired - ahead of the Swordfish no less.

    The Albacore was affectionately known as the "Applecore" by her crews.

    A Bristol Taurus engine was selected to offer more power than the Bristol Pegasus featured in the Swordfish. One of the key physical changes to the design was a wholly-enclosed cockpit for the crew which benefited the design on two fronts - aerodynamic efficiency and crew operating conditions. A biplane wing arrangement was retained as was a fixed wheeled undercarriage, though the main legs were faired over rather nicely for additional aerodynamic gains. The aircraft would operate through a crew of three as standard and carry up to 2,000 pounds of ordnance in the way of conventional drop bombs or - more importantly - a single torpedo weighing 1,670 pounds.

    The Bristol Taurus II model was a 14-cylinder radial piston engine outputting at 1,065 horsepower. Coupled with the revised airframe, maximum speed was 160 miles per hour with a cruising speed near 140 miles per hour. Range was out to 930 miles and service ceiling reached 20,700 feet. The aircraft could reach 6,000 feet in about eight minutes. Comparatively, the Swordfish managed a speed up to 143 miles per hour with a torpedo load and ranged out to 522 miles. Service ceiling was 16,500 feet and rate-of-climb 870 feet per minute.


    Fairey Albacore Mk.I Technical Specifications


    Service Year: 1940
    Type: Naval Torpedo Bomber Biplane
    National Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer(s): Fairey Aviation Company - UK
    Production Total: 798



    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)


    Operating Crew: 3
    Length: 39.83 feet (12.14 meters)
    Width: 50.03 feet (15.25 meters)
    Height: 15.16 feet (4.62 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 7,275 lb (3,300 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 12,632 lb (5,730 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance


    Engine(s): 1 x Bristol Taurus II 14-cylinder radial piston engine developing 1,065 horsepower.

    Maximum Speed: 162 mph (260 kph; 140 knots)
    Maximum Range: 932 miles (1,500 km)
    Service Ceiling: 20,702 feet (6,310 meters; 3.92 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 750 feet-per-minute (229 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload


    STANDARD:
    1 x 7.7mm machine gun in starboard wing (fixed, forward-firing).
    1 OR 2 x 7.7mm Vickers K heavy machine in trainable mounting at rear cockpit.

    OPTIONAL:
    Up to 2,000lb of conventional drop stores OR 1 x 1,670lb torpedo.

    Global Operators / Customers


    Canada; United Kingdom

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)


    Albacore - Base Series Name

    Albacore Mk.I - Primary production model; 798 examples completed.

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