Swordfish file photo [3069]

Swordfish

CountryUnited Kingdom
ManufacturerFairey Aviation
Primary RoleTorpedo Bomber
Maiden Flight17 April 1934

Contributor:

ww2dbaseThe Swordfish torpedo bombers were biplanes constructed with metal frames covered in fabric. The design also called for folding wings so they could be launched from carriers. They entered service with Britain's Fleet Air Arm in 1936, replacing the Seal torpedo bombers also made by Fairey Aviation. By 1939, however, the Swordfish aircraft were already obsolete. Nevertheless, they remained in use throughout the fleet as torpedo bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. While they served with relative success on the Norwegian coast in 1940 and in the Battle of the Atlantic, they achieve their fame during the 11 Nov 1940 attack on Taranto. 21 Swordfish aircraft in two waves caught six Italian battleships, nine cruisers, and eight destroyers completely off guard at Taranto. The battleship Conte di Cavour was sunk in harbor, the battleship Littorio suffered three torpedo hits, and the battleship Caio Diulio suffered one torpedo hit. The heavy cruiser Trento received heavy damage, along with several destroyers badly hurt. Shore facilities were damaged as well. Their luck turned, though, when six of them conducted a strike on German battlecruisers dashing through the English Channel in Feb 1942; all six were lost without inflicting any significant damage. When the Barracuda torpedo bombers entered service in Jan 1943, Swordfish aircraft were finally removed from front line duties, though they continued to be in production and in service until 1945. The last Swordfish was delivered in Aug 1944, the last of 2,392 aircraft. They remained in service with training squadrons until summer of 1946.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Mar 2007

Swordfish Timeline

17 Apr 1934 The Fairey Swordfish Torpedo bomber took flight for the first time.

SPECIFICATIONS

Swordfish
MachineryOne Bristol Pegasus IIIM.3 rated at 690hp or Bristol Pegasus XXX radial engine rated at 750hp
Armament2x7.7mm Vickers machine guns, 1x760kg torpedo or 1x700kg mine, 8x27kg rockets
Crew3
Span13.87 m
Length10.87 m
Height3.76 m
Wing Area50.40 m
Weight, Empty1,900 kg
Weight, Loaded3,500 kg
Speed, Maximum222 km/h
Rate of Climb6.20 m/s
Service Ceiling5,870 m
Range, Normal879 km
Range, Maximum1,650 km

Photographs

Swordfish aircraft in flight, date unknownSwordfish aircraft resting at an airfield, date unknownSwordfish aircraft at Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong, 1938Swordfish aircraft at Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong, 1938
See all 9 photographs of Swordfish Torpedo Bomber



Did you enjoy this article? Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:

 Facebook
 Reddit
 Twitter

Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds




Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
16 Mar 2007 11:52:48 AM

You forgot to mention how several of these damaged the German flagship Bismarck after it sank HMS Hood.
2. Hobilar says:
2 Sep 2007 01:00:14 AM

Lieutenant Commander Esmonde, a veteran of the attack on the Bismarck, would later be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his bravery and leadership under fire during the suicidal attack on Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen in February 1942. Only five airmen, from eighteen, survived from this attack.
3. Hobilar says:
13 Sep 2007 06:23:09 AM

Two Stringbags are still airworthy with the FAA Memorial flight.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
29 Nov 2007 05:19:11 AM

Introduced in 1943, the Swordfish Mk.II introduced a strengthened lower wing, metal skin under-surfaces and a rocket projectile capability. A total of 1,080 Swordfish Mk.II were built by Blackburn at the new Brough factory in Yorkshire. Ninety-nine Mk.IIs were delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy.
5. Michael Thomas says:
31 Aug 2009 02:57:33 PM

The Swordfish stayed in front line service until the end of the European war in May 45 as an Anti- Submarine- Warfare aircraft. In this role it is credited with sinking or aiding in the sinking of 21 German U-boats
6. mark says:
14 Oct 2013 04:38:25 PM

the Swordfish is the most overlooked plane of WW2. it out lived it's replacement. the battle of the Atlantic would have been much more costly with out it. And did serious damage to many capital ships. It even forced the Tirpitz to run back to it's base in Norway.
7. mark says:
14 Oct 2013 05:08:57 PM

they also took part in the Raid on Bomba. 21 August 1940. 3 Swordfish with 3 torpedo's sank 2 submarines 1 sub-tender and a Destroyer. they where on loan to the Western Desert Force from HMS. Eagle. flying out of Sidi Barrani.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code
 

 

Note: We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on Swordfish
Notable Events:
» Attack on Taranto
» Battle of Denmark Strait

Swordfish Torpedo Bomber Photo Gallery
Swordfish aircraft in flight, date unknown
See all 9 photographs of Swordfish Torpedo Bomber




Famous WW2 Quote
"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."

Winston Churchill