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Fairey Spearfish: Wikis


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Role Torpedo bomber
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Fairey Aviation
First flight 5 July 1945
Status development cancelled
Primary user Fleet Air Arm
Number built 5

The Fairey Spearfish was a 1940s British torpedo bomber designed and built by Fairey Aviation for the Fleet Air Arm. It was one of the largest single-engine aircraft to ever operate from a British aircraft carrier.


Design and development

The Spearfish was designed by Fairey Aviation to Admiralty Specification O.5/43. Having learned the lessons of the Barracuda, the Spearfish featured a much more powerful engine and an integral ASV anti-submarine radar (the external installation on the Barracuda caused problems with longitudinal stability). Problems with the Bristol Centaurus engine delayed the first flight until 5 July 1945.

Only five aircraft were built before victory over Japan. The end of the war and the proposal for a more advanced turbopop powered anti-submarine aircraft (which became the Gannet) further work on the project was stopped and an order for 152 production aircraft cancelled.[1]

The Admiralty refused to accept the Spearfish for service use. The aircraft had such heavy controls that in bad weather a pilot circling a carrier whilst waiting to land was forced to fly such a wide circuit that he could not keep the carrier in sight.


 United Kingdom

Specifications (Spearfish)

Data from Fairey Aircraft Since 1915 Taylor, H. A.[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 45 ft 0 in (13.7 m)
  • Wingspan: 60 ft 0 in (18.3 m)
  • Height: 16 ft 0 in (4.9 m)
  • Wing area: 530 ft² (49.2 m²)
  • Empty weight: 12,435 lb (5,640 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 22,050 lb (10,000 kg)
  • Powerplant:Bristol Centaurus 57 18-cylinder radial engine, 2,585 hp (1,930 kW)
  • Propellers: five-bladed propeller



  • Guns: 4 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns, two in the wings and two in a Frazer-Nash FN95 remote-controlled dorsal barbette
  • Rockets: 16× RP-3 rocket projectiles on underwing rails
  • Bombs: carried in an internal weapons bay; either:
    • 1 × torpedo or
    • 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs or mines

See also

Comparable aircraft

Related lists




  1. ^ Orbis 1985, pp. 1719-1720
  2. ^ Fairey Aircraft Since 1915. London: Putnam, 1974. ISBN 0-370-00065-X.


  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing.  

External links


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