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Fairey Gannet Military Aircraft

Fairey designed the Gannet in response to British Admiralty requirement GR.17/45 of 1945 for an anti-submarine aircraft. The prototype first flew on 19 September, 1949 and became the first turboprop aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier on on the 19th of June 1950 when Lieutenant Commander G. Callingham successfully landed on HMS Illustrious. The Fairey Gannet AS.1 went into production in 1953 entering service in April 1954, it was fitted with a retractable ray-dome housing a Ferranti ASV radar for detection of ships and surfaced submarines, and carried an array of weapons in it's internal bomb bay as well as a variety of external munitions.

Fairey Gannet


The Fairey Gannet AEW 3 was introduced to replace the Royal Navy's Douglas Skyraider AEW.1incorporated folding wings to allow easer under-deck storage. Another Fairey Gannet version was the Electronic countermeasures version, the Fairey Gannet ECM6, this was initially flown from shore bases. The total number of Fairey Gannets built is believed to be 441. With the advent of dipping sonar which was operated from helicopters the last Fairey Gannet was retired from it's ASW role in July 1960. Fairey Gannets were modified to meet new fleet requirements, an Airborne Early Warning variant based on the AEW 3, the AEW 3, was fitted with an AN/APS 20F radar in a large ray-dome mounted under it's fuselage with a redesigned fin and rudder to retain stability the prototype first flying in August 1958 and entered service in March 1960, they remained in operation until December 1978 when the last of the Royal Navy's conventional carriers, the Ark Royal was de-commissioned, the new Invincible-class aircraft carriers flight decks were too short for conventional fixed wing aircraft.


Gannet AEW.3 Specifications:

  • Crew: Two or three
  • Length: 43 ft (13.11 m)
  • Wingspan: 54 ft 4 in (16.57 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 9 in (4.18 m)
  • Maximum weight: 23,446 lb (10,657 kg)
  • Engine: Single 3,145 hp (2,346 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Double Mamba ASMD.3 turboprop
  • Maximum speed: 310 mph (478 km/h)
  • Range: 622 miles (995 km)
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (6,700 m)
  • Rate of climb: 310 ft/min (11.2 m/s)

Fairey Gannet AS.6 Electronic Countermeasures aircraft .
re-designated ECM.6

Fairey Gannet as6

Armament up to 2,850 lb (1,300 kg) of munitions including:

  • Bombs
  • Depth charges
  • Two internally carried torpedoes
  • Sixteen 60 lb (26 kg) unguided rocket projectiles
  • It is of note that as well as the Royal Navy being the first to land a turbo-prop aircraft on an aircraft carrier in 1950 with the Gannet, they were also the first to land a turbo-prop fighter on a carrier (Westland Wyvern) shortly afterwards.


    Fairey Gannet T-2 trainer

    Fairey Gannet T-2 trainer

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