Firefly night fighters

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by maxs75, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. maxs75

    maxs75 Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Were the Firefly night fighters (NF I or NF II versions) deployed with RN during WW2? AFAIK they arrived too late to see combat with British Pacific Fleet.

    Max
     
  2. maxs75

    maxs75 Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    And what about Fulmar night fighters? I can't find the number of them converted, and I have few informations about them as well (what kind of radar/equipmente did they have??).
    I hope to get some answers.

    Thanks in advance
    Max
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,160
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    I don't think any of these, Firefly or Fulmar were deployed.
     
  4. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    165
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    The Fairey Firefly NF Mk II (third from the top), was never used operationally. In fact the 37 examples that were produced from the Hayes assembly line were converted back to Mk I standard, and the contract for Mk Is was eventually cut back by a similar quantity. And no production aircraft were destined to be delivered to the NF Mk I standard. Instead the FR Mk I, also carrying the ASH radar (top profile) became numerically the most important production variant of the initial mark of Firefly, deliveries to the FAA commencing late in 1944. F Mk Is subsequently converted to FR Mk I standard by the addition of ASH radar, being redesignated F Mk IAs.

    I think. Sounds complicated.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    165
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    The Fulmar Mk II was fitted with Air Interception (AI) radar Mark VI at Lee-on-Solent, but the results were poor and this led to the installation of the modified AI Mk IV being substituted. Extra drag and other problems held up the issue to front-line squadrons until February 1944, but this version was used from June 1942 to train night fighters crews in preparation for the Fairey Firefly.

    Around 100 Fulmar IIs were converted to night fighters, in more or less equal numbers for operational and training purposes. The arrival of of a new lightweight high-frequency wireless telegraphy set', in early 1942, enabled the Fulmars to operate effectively as long-range reconnaissance aircraft over the Indian Ocean.
     
  6. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,160
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    I dread to think of the performance of the Fulmar with a radar set.
     
  7. maxs75

    maxs75 Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Graeme, Thank you very much!
    Anyway, the Firefly NF I was built (converted from Mk I) carrying radar (ASH???).
    Can you list the models of the Firefly profiles?
    From top:
    FR I / F IA (NF I similar?)
    ???
    NF II
    ....

    And do you have a profile for Fulmar NF?

    Thanks
    Max
     
  8. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    165
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Good breakdown of numerous Firefly variants at this site.
    British Aircraft of World War II - Fairey Firefly

    Resident radar experts.
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/radar/aps-4a-radar-5069.html

    Profiles from top to bottom;
    FR Mk 1
    T Mk 2
    NF Mk 2
    TT Mk 1
    FR Mk 4 (Mks 5 and 6 similar)
    T Mk 7
    U Mk 8
    U Mk 9

    Have Fulmar profiles, but not with radar attached.
     
  9. net_sailor

    net_sailor Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Elbląg/Poland
    Home Page:
    Who is the expert? Me? :oops: :lol:

    My knowlege about Firefly is rather poor, but I can say about radars:
    FR Mk I - yes, that's AN/APS-4 (ASH) radar on external pod
    NF Mk II - the AI Mk X is an British designation of the US SCR-720B microwave radar (lighter and simplified version of SCR-520 radar)
     
  10. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    165
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    I googled 'ASH Radar World War 2' and there you were, at the top of the list! Congratulations!
     
  11. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    165
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Not good!

    I've read that two Fulmar Mk Is (N1856 and N1857) were earmarked to receive floats. However the decision (wisely) was made to complete them as land planes.

    Diving a Fulmar must have been interesting...

    From A.&A.E.E. Boscombe Down Report No. 757.
     
  12. maxs75

    maxs75 Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Thanks,
    the anwers are clear.

    Wasn't the SCR-720 radar the model that equipped P-61? I guess that the space in front of a P-61 is much larger than the one that can be fitted in an external pod of a Firefly. Was the antenna different?

    Max
     
  13. net_sailor

    net_sailor Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Elbląg/Poland
    Home Page:
    Yes, SCR-720 was installed on P-61 but radar insltallation could differ on different aircrafts. The weight of full radar equipment colud reach 850lb, but in poorer version 412 lb only (very fexible, isn't?). There were some differences also between British and American version. For example US SCR-720 radar has an AN/CPN-6 IFF interogator included in the set which wasn't used on British AI Mk. X sets due to incompatability with their IFF systems.
    However the antenna housing seems too small to cover the rotaiting dish, I think it could be fixed.

    I foud AI Mk. X set fitted on Mosqito, see how big radome is needed to cover the rotating dish:
    View attachment Mosquito_NF-30_AI_Mk_X_radar.pdf
     
  14. maxs75

    maxs75 Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Thanks.
    Smaller and fixed antenna. Probably this is another cause of the NF II failure...

    Do you have any profile or description of the Fulmar radar installation (AI Mk IV) ?

    Max
     
  15. net_sailor

    net_sailor Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Elbląg/Poland
    Home Page:
    I found some info in "Fairey Fulmar Mks I II" by David Brown Aircraft Profile No. 254, Profile Publications 1973. I'm too lazy to rewrite all description of radar installation, so i scanned this text:
    Fulmar NF.jpg

    and the single photo (the same source):
    Fulmar NF_photo.jpg
     
  16. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    165
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
  17. maxs75

    maxs75 Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Thank you very much for the photos and description.
    It seems that the night threat to RN wasn't much anyway.

    And so I understand that the Firefly NF I, FR I and F IA had the same ASH radar. Did they have only minor differences. Was for example a FR I capable as night fighter as well?

    Max
     
  18. net_sailor

    net_sailor Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Elbląg/Poland
    Home Page:
    Althought the NF I and FR I had the same radar there were some minor differences in equiment which eliminate them in the second role (especially FR's)
    Nightfigthers were fitted with anti-glare shields over exhaust pipes, additional lights on arrest hook (for night landing) and ASH indicator in pilots' cokcpit (for precise interception) The radar was sitll capable for ASV work.
    Postwar anti submarine (AS Mk. 5) versions was foreseen to use in double NF/ASV role after adding special night eqipment: the radio alitmeter and exhaust fire dumpers.
    On AS Mk. 5 the same ASH radar was remainded on starboard wing, the second nacelle as a 55 Gal fuel tank was used. The wing radomes was originally designed for AI Mk. X with separate transmitting and receiving anntenas but smaller ASH radar could be fitted into one of them (the FR Mk. 4 was first variant where this configuration was tested but she had single role only).
     
  19. maxs75

    maxs75 Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Thank you very much. This is clear now.

    Max
     
Loading...

Share This Page