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combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

Why not admire? Yes, at the time the aircraft received from the pilots is not very flattering nickname "strinbeg", that is, "string bag", if you translate the meaning of. The younger generations may not know, what it is, "Google" will help.

At all, "Suordfish" Machine remarkable and delightful in all respects.

biplane, low-speed, with fixed landing gear, obsolete already at the time of its release in the series, it is not enough that the war provoeval, while remaining essentially the only deck torpedo UK, so he has endured to, who was supposed to come to replace him!

It is worth saying a few words about "Albacore".

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish» Fairey Albacore

Fairey Albacore also will biplane, but developed in 1940 It was kind of like to replace the "Suordfishu". Kind of like - it was because he had received from the British even more scathing pejorative nickname of "stub". wordplay, Albacore и Applecore.

Albacore - kind of like a tuna, but "stub" provoeval parallel with the "swordfish", but the British preferred the good old Evil, ie "Suordfisha". "Albacore" was even more sad thing, although far beyond a?

Generally, in the bottom of British torpedo aircraft pounded the war, but this was confused with zero. "Barracuda" appeared already, when everything became clear that the Germans, that the Japanese.

And here is the creation of the company "Fairey", abandoned by fate and inertia of Lords of the British Admiralty of the early 30s, It passed through the war.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

And now think about: on account of the volatile archaism and absurdities longer destroyed enemy ships, than any other Allied aircraft types.

It is a fact, which can be interpreted in every. But he has a place to be, This fact. "Swordfish" bitten so many ships, many never dreamed of any other aircraft. mad paradox, who says, that British pilots still were very tough guys.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

Let's walk through history, time to.

At all, Biplane concept sort of multi-purpose attack aircraft was in the minds of the design in many countries. The peak of development, it seems to me, It became our I-153 "Chaika", but in most countries everything stopped at half-perkalevogo aircraft with fixed landing gear.

properly, the same thing and was a "Suordfish". Nevertheless, in the terms of reference of the kerosene stove, designed for the needs of the fleet, It was capable of carrying a torpedo or equivalent in bombs. And yes, the ability to take off and land on the deck of an aircraft carrier - is a matter of course.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

April 1934. The company "Fairey" built the same project Marcel Lobbera (emigrant from Belgium) aircraft, which meet all the requirements. For 1934 year he even speed was quite a, nearly 270 kmh.

Plus the aircraft was very stable, obedient in management and with very good maneuverability. He is taking off quietly and sit on the deck of an aircraft carrier allocated to "Koreydzhes" tests and safely passed the second test phase as a seaplane, for which replaced the chassis floats.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

As calmly and slowly the plane experienced with weapons. Speed, true, quite naturally fell, but that did not stop the British. It does not stop so, what in 1936 year, only some two years, "Suordfish" was adopted and went into mass production.

At all, at the time of adopting the "Suordfish" I was already very complete anachronism. Wooden, percale covered biplane with fixed landing gear and an open cockpit - well, not very far, "Swordfish" went on airplanes 20s. Therefore I received not the most pleasant nickname.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

But before the Second World War at the disposal of nothing better turned British naval aviation, and "Albacore" was no better "Suordfisha".

So "Suordfish" replaced already quite sad precursor of the company's "Fairy", "Fur seals» Seal, and "Albacore" has replaced "Suordfisha" and was quietly removed from the course of the war production.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish» «Fur seal», predecessor «Swordfish»

Generally, the outbreak of war the British naval aviation met with 692 "Suordfishami" as on the decks of their carriers ("Ark Royal", Koreydjes, "Eagle", "Glories" and "Fyuries"), and on coastal airfields.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

The war has begun ...

The first torpedo attack in the beginning of the war made the right ..., crew "Suordfisha" aircraft carrier "Fyuries". it happened 5 April 1940 of the year, in the course of the battle ships in the Bay of Trondheim.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

One of the torpedoes hit the German destroyer, but did not explode. And so would the attack could become the first effective. But even without the British torpedo gangbusters happened, Germans at Narvik got the full program.

13 April 1940 year "Suordfish" from the battleship "Uorspayt" bombs attacked and sank a German U-boat U-64, became the first submarine, died from the aviation industry. Respectively, "Suordfish" became the first aircraft, Utopia submarine bombs.

Air Group from British aircraft carriers operated by land, and it worked quite well. finale, true, It was stained in the literal sense, when the "sweet couple" Kriegsmarine, "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" sank the aircraft carrier "Glories" the destroyer escort, at the same time sending two divisions "Suordfishey" at the bottom.

In the Mediterranean, "Swordfish" also had a lot of work. Intelligence service, attack German and Italian convoys to Africa - was engaged in a special land-based division, thrown from France and Air Group aircraft carrier "Eagle" and "Ark Royal".

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

It was the crew with the "needle" holds the record of all time: three torpedoes sinking four ships.

22 August 1940 Year Sidi Barani in the harbor (Egypt) link of the three planes under the command of Captain Patch was discovered a huge cluster of ships. The British did not have to even aim, simply reset the torpedoes on ships, which were very tight.

Three torpedoes and two submarines transport were disrupted, loaded, as it turned out, ammunition. The explosion on board smashed to pieces not only the ship itself, but also docked him destroyer, whose crew just took on board the ammunition. really, three torpedoes - four ships.

But the finest hour "Suordfishey", undoubtedly, I was in Taranto. In general, in the history of Taranto underrated episode. appreciated, perhaps, only Japanese, that after a year arranged about the same to the Americans at Pearl Harbor.

Conducted aerial surveys showed, that in the inner harbor of Taranto are actually the main strength of the Italian Navy: 5 battleships, 5 Heavy cruisers 4 destroyers.

British engineers have upgraded torpedoes, to those, immersed in the 10,5 m, could slip under the network barriers, which so trusted Italians.

AT 22 o'clock 25 minutes 11 in November from the deck of an aircraft carrier "Illastries" took off two divisions on 12 machines. Each pilot knew in advance their purpose.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

First two "Suordfisha" hung Saba (lighting bombs) over the waters of the port. Then two more aircraft to install additional lighting, dropping incendiary bombs on oil storage.

And when the fire at the warehouses of fuel erupted in full, it went torpedo. three battleships, two cruisers and two destroyers to torpedo board. Linkory "Conte di Cavour" and "Littorio", sat down on the ground. At all, small harbor of Tarentum greatly helped the Italians, because of drowning in it seriously was impossible. But victims are not escaped with slight shock, a months-long renovation in the docks.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

Italy lost the advantage of large warships in the Mediterranean, and from this point very carefully used their battleships and cruisers.

And all this at the cost of two planes ...

Well, in the 1941 year "Suordfish" continued his career in the same spirit.

Of course, the highest point of a combat operation "Suordfisha" was involved in the sinking of the "Bismarck".

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish» Battleship "Bismarck"

the, without crazy crews of aircraft with "Ark Royal" the whole thing would have gone with foam on water, I hope, it is not necessary to explain. Everyone knows all long and minutely.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

26 May 1941 of the year, in a very stormy weather, 15 torpedo aircraft carrier "Ark Royal" took off at your own risk ... and found the "Bismarck"! Two torpedoes found the target. Well, actually, What is the weight of the torpedo 700 kg "Bismarck"? elephant drobina. first, which fell exactly in the middle, her, probably, except for an emergency party no one noticed.

But the second, which jammed rudders ...

All the rest, torpedoes from British destroyers, which deprived the "Bismarck" stroke, shells with "Rodney" and so on - it was the second time.

The first nail in the coffin "Bismarck" was precisely torpedo "Suordfisha", and there is nothing you will no longer add.

true, in the same 1941 , the star of "Suordfisha" beginning go under. And the Germans, Italians understood, that this is an anachronism - a very dangerous thing, if you give it in the hands of an experienced pilot. But in Britain there were enough.

by the way, There is an interesting version of the, Taranto why the British were so modest losses. All about speed. they say, the Italian defense arrows could not take the normal pre-emption, because "Swordfish" dragged at a speed of less 200 kmh. And the Italian gunners, identifying incorrectly speed, We could not calculate the real anticipation.

But over time, against "Suordfishey" started working not defense calculations, and the crews "Messerschmitt" and "Mackey Saetta". And this is actually a career "Suordfisha", as a torpedo bomber, ended.

No, torpedo has not gone to the warehouse, just our slug started to use then and there, where it was possible to reliably cover any of the "Messerschmitt", or to exclude the very appearance of enemy fighters.

And at the same time "Suordfish" began to develop related professions.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

At all, he will make a very good antisubmarine aircraft (cm. begining). In the midst of the "Battle of the Atlantic", I would describe as the "Battle of the food for the UK", when Doenitz guys tore convoys, coming from the United States and Canada to the UK, British found, that as a hunter for submarines, "Suordfish" has no equal.

Quiet running just proved to be very useful for Retrieving enemy submarines. Throw bombs from a dive in such a small goal, like a submarine, too, was a matter not difficult. And a strong defensive armament (which "Suordfish" did not shine otrodjas) also not particularly need.

So as part of the British convoys began to appear the so-called "escort carriers" - small aircraft carriers, usually, converted from cargo ships or tankers, with several antisubmarine aircraft on the deck.

The first anti-submarine "Suordfishi" armed and high explosive depth charges on the underwing pods. Later, in summer 1942 of the year, they were mounted to missile launchers caliber projectiles 127 mm, by 4-5 pieces for each console. In this part of the fabric covering on the lower wing was replaced with metal panels. This innovation is elevated to the rank modifications and called Mk.II.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

But in 1943 year there was a really serious modification, Mk.III. By plane established universal components for suspension of missiles and bombs, and equipped with airborne radar. These aircraft were used primarily for search and destruction of submarines, pop to the surface at night to recharge batteries.

Radiotransparent plastic radome for radar housed Mk.III between the main landing gear, and she radar - in the cockpit, instead of the third member of the crew.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

"Suordfishami» Mk.II and Mk.III was equipped with most of the escort carriers, accompanied the Anglo-American convoys, including those, that came with military assistance to Georgia in the Soviet Union.

So, in the convoy PQ-18 was an aircraft carrier "Avenger" with 12 "Sea Hurricanes" and 3 "Suordfishami" on board. One of the "Suordfishey" 14 August 1942 year and found seriously damaged by bombs U-589 German submarine. Not being able to finish the submarine, the crew brought the boat destroyer "Onslow", crew has completed the destruction of.

"Suordfishi" with the ships of the convoy RA-57, who was walking in Murmansk, significantly caused the death of submarine U-366, U-973 U-472 и.

combat aircraft: carrier-based torpedo bomber Fairey «Swordfish»

Last «Suordfiš» was built 18 August 1944 of the year.

Total production amounted to 2392 cars. Of them 992 — Mk.I, 1080 - Mk.II и 320 — Mk.III. AT 1943 year 110 Mk.II aircraft commissioned by the management of the Canadian Air Force was equipped with a closed cabin with heater for operation in polar winter. This modification is the informal name «Mk.IV».

Even just a few words I would like to say about the arms "Suordfisha".

The plane could carry on hardpoints combat load a total weight of up to 730 kg. On the main ventral node fastened aviatorpeda 457 mm caliber naval mine or mass 680 kg, or outboard additional tank capacity 318 liters.

underwing nodes (4 or 5 under the lower console) It allows for the use of different types of weapons: high-explosive bombs 250 and 500 pounds, deep, lighting and incendiary bombs, and on modifications Mk.II and Mk.III - rockets.

Rifle armament consisted of the exchange rate of the synchronous machine gun «Vickers K» with belt feed, installed on the starboard side of the fuselage, and the same gun, but with a disk magazine, the tours arrow-radio operator.

Swordfish Mk.II performance:

Wingspan, m: 13,87
Length, m: 10,87
Height, m: 3,76
wing area, m2: 5 639

Weight, kg
- empty aircraft: 2 132
- normal take-off: 3 406

Engine: 1 х Bristol Pegasus XXX х 750 HP.
full speed, kmh: 222
Cruising speed, kmh: 193
practical range, km: 1 700

Service ceiling, m: 3260
Crew, people: 3

- a synchronous 7.7mm gun in the fuselage and one 7.7-mm machine gun in the rear of the cab;
- torpedo weight 730 kg or depth charges, mines, or bombs weighing up 680 kg, or up to eight Nursi.

What can be said, looking at the flight characteristics and armament? Only that, that does not happen so much luck. The plane was not quite the fighter, so that everyone wins, oderzhannыe "Suordfyshamy", It can be safely ascribed to the highest training of British marine pilots, as well as their morale.

/Roman Skomorokhov,

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