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Albacore, British Torpedo Bomber


Photograph of Albacore torpedo bomber

Wikipedia: Fairey Albacore


Specifications


Fairey Albacore Mk I


Crew

2 or 3

Dimensions

50' by 39'10" by 14'2"
15.24m by 12.14m by 4.32m

Weight

7250-12,500 lbs (3290-4745 kg)

Maximum speed      

161 mph at 4500 feet
260 km/h at 1370 meters
Cruise speed
116 mph (187 km/h)

Service ceiling

20,700 feet
6310 meters

Power plant

One 1130hp (843 kW) Bristol Taurus XII driving a three bladed variable pitch propeller

Armament

1 forward firing 0.303 machine gun
2 0.303 machine guns in rear cockpit

External stores

One 1610lb (730kg) torpedo or 6 250lb (115kg) bombs or 4 500 lb (227 kg) bombs

Range

930 miles (1500 km) with maximum load

Production

802 aircraft from March 1940 to early 1943.


The Albacore first flew on 12 December 1938 and proved to be a great improvement over the Swordfish, It was stronger and considerably more powerful, with excellent visibility and hydraulic flaps that could double as dive brakes. The first units went into service with the Fleet Air Arm in March 1940 and operated mostly from land bases their first year. Carrier operations began in March 1941 in the Mediterranean against the Italians.

Notwithstanding its superior qualities, the Albacore never replaced the Swordfish as intended. It acquired a (probably undeserved) bad reputation from its performance on missions in Norway against the Tirpitz and was replaced by 1944 by the Fairey Barracuda.


References

aviastar.org (accessed 2013-2-18)

fleetairarmarchive.net (2010; accessed 2013-2-18)

Gunston (1988)

Wilson (1998)


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