Fairey Swordfish Mk.I Floatplane: The Seafaring Swordfish

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Fairey Swordfish Mk.I Floatplane

Hello and welcome to my suggestion for the Fairey Swordfish Mk.I equipped with floats! I feel this could come as a low tier event or battle pass reward for the UK in future and maybe as an optional scout plane for British Naval Vessels. I would like to thank @Smin1080p for making the old forums suggestion that was posted over a decade ago (time really does fly, huh).

History

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As I’m sure most of you know, the Swordfish was the mainstay of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, Often affectionately called the ‘Stringbag’ due to its construction that was nearly a Decade out of date by the time it entered service in 1936. However it was popularised first by its use in the Royal Navy’s attack on Taranto that left a large chunk of the italian fleet crippled and later its role in sinking the German battleship Bismarck, in which a Torpedo dropped from a swordfish knocked out the Bismarcks steering gear leaving it vulnerable to British attacks.

By the outbreak of WW2, the FAA had 13 Squadrons equipped with Swordfish Mk.I’s, however there were also 3 Flights of Swordfish Mk.Is equipped with Floats operating from ships such as HMS Warspite as well as acting as light maritime patrol aircraft from places such as Gibraltar and Malta.

One Swordfish (L 9767) from HMS Warspite played a key role in the Battle of Narvik in 1940, in which it hit and sank the U-boat U-64 when it was anchored in the Herjangsfjord near Bjerkvik. Most of the Subs crew survived and were rescued by German Mountaineers. This was the first sinking of a U-boat by an aircraft in the war and was also the only recorded instance of an aircraft launched by a Battleship sinking a U-boat. The Aircraft also foiled an attempted ambush by the German Destroyer Erich Koellner after it spotted it and guided the Shots from Warspite and several destroyers that sunk the German destroyer.

Images

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A Swordfish Floatplane taking off next to HMS Hood

A Section of Gibraltar Harbour, used by Swordfish of 3 AACU and 202 Squadron whilst they were not embarked on Ships

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Swordfish at Gibraltar in 1940, preparing for its next patrol of the Vital straights

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A swordfish Floatplane during trials from Southampton water

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A Swordfish on the Slipway at Lee-on-Solent

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A Swordfish Floatplane landing in Valletta Harbour in Malta in early 1940

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A Fairey Swordfish Floatplane being Hoisted up onto the Deck of HMS Glorious

Specifications

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For Mk.I however the Floatplane will most likely have lower top speed and climb rate.

  • Crew: Three (pilot, observer, and radio operator/rear gunner)
  • Length: 35 ft 8 in (10.87 m)
  • Wingspan: 45 ft 6 in (13.87 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)
  • Wing area: 607 ft² (56.4 m²)
  • Empty weight: 4,195 lb (1,900 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 7,720 lb (3,500 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Pegasus IIIM.3 radial engine, 690 hp (510 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 139 mph (224 km/h, 121 knots) at 4,750 ft (1,450 m)
  • Range: 546 mi (879 km, 475 nmi normal fuel, carrying torpedo)
  • Endurance: 5.7 hr
  • Service ceiling: 19,250 ft (5,870 m)
  • Climb to 5,000 ft (1,520 m): 10 min

Armament

  • Guns:
    • 1 × fixed, forward-firing .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun in engine cowling
    • 1 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis or Vickers K machine gun) in rear cockpit
  • Bombs: 1 × 1,670 lb (760 kg) torpedo or 1,500 lb (700 kg) mine under fuselage or 1,500 lb bombs under fuselage and wings.

Place in Game

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I feel this would sit well in the British Tree as a low tier Premium, Battle pass or Event vehicle as a compatriot to the German He 51 B2/H and Russian PO-2M floatplanes as it is fundamentally a slower swordfish Mk.I and would not have much place in the standard tech tree unless the game gets lower BRs

I also feel this might be a nice addition to British Battleships in the future, we already have the Walrus as a scout aircraft in game on board several ships and the Swordfish would be a nice alternative to it, offering greater anti-ship capability with a Mine or Torpedo as well as bringing anti submarine bombs if and when Submarines are added in the future.

Sources

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Fairy Swordfish Mk I Floatplane - Passed for Consideration - War Thunder - Official Forum
https://aviadejavu.ru/Site/Crafts/Craft26278-3.htm#en
Fairey Swordfish - Wikipedia
Battles of Narvik - Wikipedia

3 Likes

Definite yes, we are missing this aircraft from the British Tech tree.

+1.