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Fairey Swordfish flight deck operations

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Based on the aerials on the wing for the radar, these appear to be Swordfish MKII's which were introduced in 1943 and the ship is an Illustrious class aircraft carrier.  The one glass enclosed biplane is the Fairey Albacore, the "replacement" for the Swordfish which ended being removed from service before the end of WWII while Swordfish continued in front line service until the end of the war against Japan.


The Swordfish was roughly the same size as the F6F Hellcat.  With a landing speed of about 58 knots and the wind over the deck of at least 20 knots, it was landing at 38 knots , which is roughly 44 mph.  In the North Atlantic it was entirely possible to have 40 knots of wind over the deck and the Swordfish would be landing at about 15 mph.




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55 minutes ago, Charlie Harley, #14153 said:

A biplane on a carrier. To me that would fit within the definition of an anachronism. 


Cool video. Thank you for sharing. 

Perhaps in WWII, but biplanes were normally seen on even US Carriers into 1941:  The Grumman F3F was a biplane fighter and the Vought SBU Corsair & Curtis SBC Helldiver were dive bombers, all of which saw service lasting until 1940.


Another side note is that the Royal Air Force had complete control & procurement of the Royal Navy's aircraft until the beginning of 1939.

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Thanks for a fun video on the "Stringbag"

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There were quite a few biplanes that performed useful specialized roles in WWII, the Swordfish very much among them.


There were a lot of biplanes developed in the interwar period; very advanced over their WWI predecessors.


I personally knew a WWII British Spitfire ace. Two of his credited kills were of  Italian C-42s (as I remember the model); biplanes the Italians sent to Britain in the last days of the Battle of Britain (wanting to get in on the 'kill' as they were misled by their German allies). He said they were slow but could turn very fast and narrowly. The machine gun fire of one of them shattered his canopy; he was lucky it didn't shoot him down instead of the other way 'round.

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The RAF was still using Gladiators in the Norwegian campaign.


Gloster Gladiator - Wikipedia



Edited by Duffield, SASS #23454
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