Fairley Swordfish
General Historical Information
Place of origin Great Britain
Speed 207 km/h
Category Torpedo plane/bomber
General Ingame Information
Debut Debut in FH mod
Used by Great Britain
Guns 1x.303 Vickers .303
Special abilities Catapult Launch
Seat 2 1x.303 Lewis Gun
Historical Picture
Swordfish in FHSW

Swordfish in FHSW

It was a large, slow biplane with a low wing loading, ideal for actions off carrier decks. The structure was largely metal, covered with fabric. TFirst flown in 1934, this aircraft exceeded the governments demands, so an order was placed for the first 86 production examples in 1935. The first deliveries were made in the following year, further orders continuing well after the beginning of the war.

The versatility of the Swordfish was immortalised in its moniker, the Stringbag. The planes became famous for the attack on Taranto, where the battleship Littorio was sunk and two others were heavily damaged.

In May 1941, Swordfish planes from HMS Ark Royal crippled the Bismarck - a most impressive success for such an old-fashioned aircraft.

The three seater airplane could easily lift off a carrier deck with a standard 18 inch 1,610 lb. torpedo slung between the wheels under the fuselage. It's ungainly looks gave it the nickname "Stringbag", after a type of shopping bag used to carry all manner of things by old English ladies.

In spite of it's seeming lack of sophistication, the Swordfish was to prove excellent in its intended role. Although highly vulnerable to attack by fighter planes, it's low speed and stable stance made it easy to line up for a torpedo attack, coming in from abeam of a hostile vessel, while staying below the level the enemy ships could fire their guns. It's slow flying speed made landings much safer on carriers.....into the wind, the closing speed could be as little as 30 knots.

Because they were helpless against fighters, these airplanes were usually only operated far out sea, where land based opposition could not reach. Swordfish based at Malta were operated at night and were all but invulnerable to the opposition. Starting in 1940, squadrons of Swordfish stationed here had sunk more than a million and a half tons of enemy shipping....a record never to be equalled. Maintenance was a breeze on such a simple design.

Template:British Aircrafts