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Great Britain's flagGreat Britain's RAF aircraft marking

Great Britain's Fairey Fulmar fighter


  • Fairey Fulmar fighter
  • Fairey Fulmar fighter


Based on the abandoned P.4/34 light bomber project, the Fulmar filled the Royal Navy's need for a modern fighter in the 1930s.

The Royal Navy wanted the fighter to be able to return to the carrier in any weather and felt a second crewman was necessary to act as navigator.

A dingy was included in case of ditching at sea.

The Fulmar was an all metal aircraft.


The wings could be folded back on the Fulmar to allow for better storage on a carrier.


The undercarriage retracted inwards and the tail wheel was fixed. There was also a landing hook installed.


The Fulmar was the first British carrier plane to be armed with eight machine guns.


The first P.4/34 light bomber prototype flew on January 13, 1937.

The fighter prototype flew on January 4, 1940. It was evident early on that the fighter didn't perform very well.


Approximately 600 were built, with the last one being delivered in February 1943.

  • Fulmar Mk I: 127
  • Fulmar Mk II: 450
  • Total: 602
  • Manufacturer: Fairey Aviation Co. Ltd.
  • Production: 1940 - 1943


  • Fulmar:
  • Fulmar night fighter: 100 were converted, but had little success.


Entered service in 1940 protecting convoys to Malta.

Used in 20 squadrons and on eight fleet carriers and five escort carriers.

Battle of Britain

The No. 808 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm had Fulmar Mk Is at the time of the Battle of Britain but did not see combat.

Battle of Taranto

Were used for cover for the Swordfish in the raid on Taranto from the carrier HMS Illustrius.

Battle of Matapan

From the HMS Formidable, Fulmars escorted Swordfish and Albacores that attacked the Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto.


There were two squadrons of Fulmars protecting Colombo during the Japanese navy attacks in the Indian Ocean in early 1942.

Most were shot down by the Japanese naval fighters.


  Fairey Fulmar
Type Carrier fighter
Crew 2
Engine (Type) 1: Rolls-Royce Merlin X
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,145
Span 46'
Length 40' 3"
Height 11' 6"
Speed 300 mph
Wings 8: MG
  Fairey Fulmar Mk I
Type Carrier based fighter, Fighter
Crew 2
Pilot, navigator
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin VIII piston
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,080
Propeller blades 3
Span 46' 4", 46' 5"
14.14 m
Length 40' 2", 40' 3"
12.24 m
Height 14'
4.27 m
Wing area 342 sq ft
31.77 sq m
Empty 8,700 lb
3,955 kg
Loaded 9,800 lb, 10,677 lb
4,853 kg
Speed at 7,500' 265 mph
Speed at 9,000' / 2,745 m 247 mph
398 kph
Climb 1,200'/minute
366 m/minute
Service Ceiling 21,500', 26,000'
6,555 m
Range 800 miles
4 hours
Armament 8: MG
Wings 8: 7.7 mm MG
  Fairey Fulmar Mk II
Type Carrier based fighter
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XXX piston
Cylinders Inline, V 12
HP 1,260, 1,300
Span 46' 4.5"
14.13 m, 14.14 m
Length 40' 2"
12.24 m
Height 10' 8"
3.25 m
Wing area 342 sq ft
31.77 sq m
Empty 7,384 lb
3,349 kg
Loaded 10,200 lb
4,627 kg
Speed at 16,500' / 5,029 m / 5,030 m 272 mph
438 kph
Climb 1,320'/minute
402 m/minute
Service Ceiling 27,200'
8,290 m, 8,291 m
Range 780 miles
1,255 km
Wings 8: 7.7 mm / 0.303" MG
Cockpit - Rear (a few models) 1: 7.7 mm / 0.303" MG


  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, 1998, Chris Bishop
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