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Swordfish Biplane

(Fairey Swordfish)

YouTube - Swordfish Biplane


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torpedo bomber
Bristol Pegasus
690 h.p.
4,700 lbs.
7,500 lbs.
2 - 7.7 mm
1,670 lbs.
35 ft. 8 in.
45 ft. 6 in.
103 mph
138 mph
1,200 fpm
16,500 feet
550 miles

Swordfish biplane
Swordfish Biplane

Swordfish biplane torpedo bombers, produced by Fairey Aviation, were in operation for Great Britain throughout World War II. They played an important role in naval aviation, helping the Allies win the War.

The aircraft, first flown in 1934, was frail looking, even by the standards of the day. It was made of fabric covered metal. It was slow, highly maneuverable, easy to maintain, and extremely reliable. These qualities made it ideal as a torpedo bomber.

The Swordfish biplane is perhaps best known for crippling the German battleship Bismarck in May of 1941, enabling warships from the Royal Navy to catch and eventually sink it.

The torpedo bombers dealt a major blow to the Italian Navy in November of 1940 by their attack on the Taranto Naval base. The results was the sinking of three battleships, a cruiser, two destroyers and numerous support vessels.

In addition to operating from larger aircraft carriers, the aircraft operated from the decks of converted grain ships and oil tankers known as merchant aircraft carriers. The ships were fitted with flight decks measuring approximately 460 feet in length. Each ship carried a total of four Swordfish biplanes. In that capacity they were able to provide additional air cover for convoys.

A total of over 2,400 of the aircraft were produced.

Swordfish biplane
Swordfish biplane - RC Store.com

Pictured right above is a Swordfish biplane built from Robert Caso plans. Plans are available from the RC Store.com. Wingspan is 37", and fuselage length is 28". It is made from balsa and plywood. Suggested power is a Speed 400 motor geared 3.45:1 driving a 10 x 7 prop.

The first picture below is of the Swordfish biplane free flight scale model for sale from Aero Graphics. There are a number of examples of this model being converted to RC. The radio control airplane is usually powered by an electric motor.

The second and third pictures below are of the great looking Swordfish biplane scratch built by Richard Crapp. It has won a number of competitions. It is a giant scale airplane with a wingspan of 103". All up weight is 32 lbs. We were unable to find what engine is being used.

Anglia Model Center has a Swordfish biplane kit. It is all wood with a 60.5" wingspan. A .60 four cycle engine is the recommended power source.

Traplet has plans of the Swordfish biplane Its wingspan is 60". Recommended is a .61 2C engine.

ESM, has a Swordfish biplane that comes almost ready to fly. Its wingspan is 85" and length is 67". The fuselage is made from fiberglass and the wings are built-up wood. Engines can be from 40 to 50 cc or a 1.80 four cycle. Weight is about 19 3/4 lbs.

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Swordfish biplane
Swordfish biplane - Aero Graphics

Swordfish biplane
Swordfish biplane - Richard Crapp

Swordfish biplane
Richard Crapp and his Swordfish biplane