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Great Britain's Fairey Seafox float plane

Photos

  • Fairey Seafox floatplane
  • Fairey Seafox floatplane
  • Fairey Seafox floatplane
  • Fairey Seafox floatplane
  • Fairey Seafox floatplane
  • Fairey Seafox floatplane

Design

The Fairey Seafox was to meet a 1932 specification for a light floatplane that could be launched from cruisers. The Fairey Seafox was used as a carrier plane in the Royal Navy. It could be launched from a catapult from a ship.

Crew

The observer sat in an enclosed cabin.

Fuselage

The fuselage had duralumin covering a metal frame.

Wings

The Seafox's wings could be folded for storage. The wings were made from metal and covered in fabric.

Prototype

The prototype of the Fairey Seafox first flew on May 27, 1936.

Production

On April 23, 1937, the first Seafox was delivered to the Royal Navy.

  • Fairey Seafox: 64
    • Production: 1936 - 1938
    • Numbers: K8569 - K8617, L4519 - L4533

Usage

Seafoxes were used up until 1943 when they were replaced.

Units

  • Catapult Flight Squadrons: No 702, No 713, No 714, No 716, No 718
  • Training Squadrons: No 753, No 754

Start of World War II

When World War II started there were 32 Seafoxes with the Royal Navy, the Royal Australian Navy, and the New Zealand Division.

Battle of the River Plate

In December 1939 Seafoxes took part in the Battle of the River Plate by taking off from the cruisers and directing fire against the Admiral Graf Spee.

Specifications

  Fairey Seafox
Type Reconnaissance
Crew 2
Engine (Type) 1: Napier Rapier VI
1: Napier Rapier VI H-type
Cylinders Inline, 16
Cooling Air
HP 370, 395
Dimensions  
Span 40'
12.19 m
Length 35' 5", 35' 5.5"
10.81 m
Height 12' 1"
3.68 m
Wing area 434 sq ft
40.32 sq m
Weight  
Empty 3,805 lb
1,726 kg
Loaded 5,400 lb, 5,420 lb, 5,421 lb
2,459 kg
Performance  
Speed 125 mph
Speed at 5,860' / 1,785 m 124 mph
200 kph
Climb to 5,000' / 1,525 m 10 minutes 24 seconds
Service ceiling 11,000'
3,355 m
Range 440 miles, 450 miles
708 km
Armament 1: MG
Cockpit rear 1: MG
1: 7.7 mm / 0.303" Lewis MG
Flares or Bombs 4: 20 lb
4: 9 kg

Sources:

  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site