|Primary Role||Torpedo Bomber|
|Maiden Flight||12 December 1938|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseDesigned by Marcelle Lobelle of Fairey Aviation in response to Specification S.41/36 as a replacement for the Swordfish torpedo bombers, the Albacore torpedo bombers remained of a biplane design, but they were equipped with sleeker bodies and more powerful engines. Despite being outperformed by contemporaries, they were still considered effective carrier-borne torpedo bombers as they required a much shorter takeoff and landing distance than more powerful monoplanes. Production began in 1939.
ww2dbaseThe 826 Naval Air Squadron Fleet Air Arm received their first Albacore aircraft in Mar 1940; these first examples were shore-based, and were used to patrol and attack German shipping in the English Channel. In Nov 1940, they were deployed to carriers, starting with HMS Formidable, and Albacore pilots found that although they were more powerful than the Swordfish aircraft that the Albacore aircraft had replaced, they were less agile due to the heavier weight. Albacore torpedo bombers saw action in North Africa, with the Mediterranean convoys, and during the invasions of Sicily and Italy. One squadron of Albacore aircraft served out of Malta during the period of persistent Axis attacks; they were used mainly to attack Italian targets at Sicily. The Royal Canadian Air Force also operated Albacore aircraft, which were used during the Normandy invasion in 1944 as reconnaissance aircraft. In the Pacific War, the No. 36 Squadron Royal Air Force operated Albacore torpedo bombers in Java, which were captured by the Japanese in Mar 1943.
ww2dbaseProduction ceased in 1943 as Albacore aircraft were being replaced by Barracuda and Avenger torpedo bombers, and they were retired from front line service in late 1943; interestingly, they were retired before their supposed-predecessors, the Swordfish torpedo bombers. A total of 800 Albacore torpedo bombers were built.
Last Major Revision: Jun 2008
|12 Dec 1938||Albacore aircraft took its first flight.|
|26 Nov 1940||No. 826 and No. 829 Squadrons of the British Fleet Air Arm embarked on carrier HMS Formidable for convoy escort duties to Cape Town, South Africa.|
|Machinery||One Bristol Taurus II 14-cylinder radial engine rated at 1,065hp|
|Armament||1x7.7mm forward machine gun, 1x or 2x7.7mm rear Vickers K machine guns, 1x760kg torpedo or 900kg of bombs|
|Wing Area||57.90 m²|
|Weight, Empty||3,295 kg|
|Weight, Loaded||4,755 kg|
|Weight, Maximum||5,727 kg|
|Speed, Maximum||259 km/h|
|Speed, Cruising||225 km/h|
|Service Ceiling||6,310 m|
|Range, Normal||1,143 km|
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