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Fairey Flycatcher


Naval Biplane Fighter Aircraft


United Kingdom | 1923



"Throughout most of the 1920s, the Fairey Flycatcher served as the primary fighter of the British Fleet Air Arm."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/11/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The primary Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm (FAA) fighter aircraft of the 1920s and early 1930s became the Fairey "Flycatcher". This biplane was produced in 196 examples and first flew in 1922. It was introduced for service during 1923 and held an active career until retired in 1934, notable production spanning from 1923 to 1926. The Flycatcher was developed to fulfill Specification N6/22 calling for a carrier-based fighter platform with an interchangeable undercarriage (from wheeled to float). The aircraft - along with the competing Parnall Plover (13 examples) - was used to supplant the outgoing fleet of twenty Nieuport "Nightjar" biplane fighters (based on the Nieuport Nighthawk) introduced as recently as 1922.

When the wood-and-metal Flychatcher prototype emerged from development, it carried an Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar II engine to complete its first flight on November 22nd, 1922. The FAA commissioned for nine of the type to serve as evaluation aircraft alongside the Parnall Plover which was also under consideration. Between the two offerings, the Flycatcher was selected for serial production as it gave the carrier performance that the FAA sought in its next fighter, leaving Plover aircraft manufacture at just thirteen aircraft.

With its Jaguar II radial engine (the Bristol Jupiter IV radial was an alternative engine installation), the Flycatcher could manage speeds of over 130 miles per hour with ranges out to 310 miles. Its listed service ceiling was 19,000 feet and rate-of-climb 1,090 feet per minute - it could reach 10,000 feet in under 10 minutes.

The Flycatcher was first fielded with FAA squadron No. 402 and went on to stock Nos. 403, 406, and 801. In practice, the aircraft were well accepted with their good combination of speed, handling, and armament. Twin .303 Vickers were fitted over the nose and a bomb-carrying provision added 4 x 20 lb drop bombs. Flycatchers experienced light combat service during their flying tenures which included tours near China and the East Indies as well as over the Mediterranean.

The primary Flycatcher production model was Flycatcher Mk I. The Flycatcher Mk II stood as a proposed successor with all-metal construction. While flown as a prototype, it was not adopted by the FAA.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Fairey Flycatcher I Naval Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1 x Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar IV 14-cylinder radial piston engine developing 400 horsepower.
Propulsion
134 mph
215 kph | 116 kts
Max Speed
18,996 ft
5,790 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
311 miles
500 km | 270 nm
Operational Range
1,050 ft/min
320 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Fairey Flycatcher I Naval Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
23.0 ft
7.00 m
O/A Length
29.0 ft
(8.84 m)
O/A Width
12.0 ft
(3.66 m)
O/A Height
2,039 lb
(925 kg)
Empty Weight
3,527 lb
(1,600 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Fairey Flycatcher Naval Biplane Fighter Aircraft .
STANDARD:
2 x .303 Vickers machine guns in fixed, forward-firing mounts synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.

OPTIONAL:
4 x 20 lb conventional drop bombs held underwing.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Fairey Flycatcher family line.
Flycatcher - Base Series Name
Flycatcher I (Mk I) - Initial, single-seat production model for FAA.
Flycatcher II (Mk II) - Proposed all-metal derivative of 1926; prototype form; never adopted.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Fairey Flycatcher. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 196 Units

Contractor(s): Fairey Aviation Company Ltd - UK
National flag of the United Kingdom

[ United Kingdom ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (134mph).

Graph Average of 113 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
196
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Fairey Flycatcher
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
MARITIME / NAVY
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Fairey Flycatcher Naval Biplane Fighter Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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