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Fairey Battle Bomber Plane

When Belgian aeronautical engineer Marcel Lobelle designed the Fairey Battle light bomber in 1936 it was a very advanced design, but following to the rapid advances in aircraft design driven by the threat of war, it was already obsolete by the outbreak of WWII. By 1940 it was to big and heavy for the power developed by it's early model Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, this made it an easy target for the latest Axis fighters such as the superb German Messerschmitt BF 109E.

Fairey Battle Bomber Plane


Due to a total lack of any other front-line strike bomber in the RAF the aircraft remained in front line service resulting in horrific losses of aircraft and air-crews. The most notable Fairey Battle action was the Heroic, if not suicidal, attack on the two road bridges over the Albert Canal near Maastricht, all six aircraft were lost and the Victoria Cross  was posthumously awarded to Flying Officer Garland and Sgt Gray.

The Fairey Battle remained in RAF service until 1949 but were only used in training and target tug roles after September 1940, much to the relief of the air-crews who had been flying them! The RAF was not to have a practical replacement for the Fairey Battle until the introduction of the excellent the de Havilland Mosquito in 1942. A total of 2,185 Fairey Battles were built between 1937 and 1940, the last 226 aircraft were purpose built as Target tugs and an additional 100 surviving aircraft were modified to a similar specification.

Fairey Battle Mk.II Specifications:

  • Crew: Pilot, navigator and gunner
  • Length: 42 ft 2 in (12.85 m)
  • Wingspan: 54 ft 0 in (16.46 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
  • Empty weight: 6,647 lb (3,015 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 10,792 lb (4,895 kg)
  • Engine: Single 1,030 hp (770 kW) liquid cooled Rolls-Royce Merlin II V-12
  • Maximum speed: 257 mph (414 km/h)
  • Range: 1,000 mi (1,609 km)
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m)

Fairey Battle Mk.II Armament:

  • Single .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine gun in starboard wing
  • Single .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine gun in rear cabin
  • Four 250 lb (110 kg) bombs internally stored
  • 500 lb (227 kg) of under-wing mounted bombs

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