The Fairey Albacore Biplane History
The Fairey Albacore
Operations During WW2
Although it was designed for use on aircraft carriers, it began operations on May 31, 1940, with 826 squadron who were based at RNAS Ford, Sussex. It’s first operation was a bombing raid in Belgium, which was followed by attacks on ships in the English Channel as well as escorting convoys. Their use on aircraft carriers began in November 1940 when they were operated from H.M.S. Formidable. They saw action in many raids and battles including El Alamein, the battle of Cape Mapatan and the raid on Petsamo and Kirkenes. While based in Malta, during the siege of Malta, they attacked targets in Sicily as well as Italian shipping. They were also used in an attack on the German battleship Tirpitz. As well as being used by the Fleet Air Arm, small numbers of Fairey Albacores were used by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force. This aircraft was gradually replaced by the Fairey Barracuda and American Avengers, and was finally withdrawn from frontline operations in 1944.
The Fairey Albacore Biplane
The only Fairey Albacore known to exist is housed in the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Somerset, England. It was put together from the parts of two damaged Albacores, N4172 and N4389.
Various scale models, model kits and plans of this aircraft have been available in the market place.
Fairey Albacore Biplane Specifications:
Fairey Albacore Length: 39ft 10in (12.14m)
Fairey Albacore Wingspan: 50ft 0in (15.24m)
Fairey Albacore Height: 14ft 2in (4.62m)
Fairey Albacore Wing area: 623ft² (57.9 m²)
Fairey Albacore Empty weight: 7,250lb (3.295kg)
Fairey Albacore Max takeoff weight: 12,600lb (5,727kg)
Fairey Albacore Engine: Single Bristol Taurus II (Taurus XII) 14-cylinder radial engine, 1,065 hp (1,130 hp) (794 kw (840 kw))
Fairey Albacore Maximum speed: 161mph (259 km/h)
Fairey Albacore Range: 930 mi (1,497 km)
Fairey Albacore Service ceiling: 20,700ft (6,310m)
Fairey Albacore Biplane Armament:
4 × 500 lb (230 kg) bombs or 1 x 1,670 lb (760 kg) torpedo
1 × Fixed, forward-firing .303 in (7.7 mm) machine gun in the lower starboard wing
1 or 2 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine guns in rear cockpit