The success of ordering the Fairey Firefly off the drawing board

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by cherry blossom, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. cherry blossom

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    A variety of sources such as Fairey Firefly | Tangmere Museum quoted below repeat much the same story of how the Fairey Firefly design started in 1939 and was pushed by the Admiralty as rapidly as possible. Note that the specification N5/40 was essentially written around Fairey's proposal.

    “The Firefly was designed by Fairey Aviation’s H E Chaplin to meet Specification N5/40 calling for a 2-seat naval attack fighter. In June 1940, the Admiralty ordered 200 aircraft whilst still at the design stage and the prototype first flew on 22nd December 1941. Although the Firefly Mk1 was delivered to the Royal Navy as early as March 1943, the type did not enter operational service until July 1944 when No 1770 Naval Air Squadron embarked on HMS Indefatigable.”

    Can anyone explain how such rapid progress was achieved and perhaps compare it to Gruman's work on the Hellcat?
     
  2. cherry blossom

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    I think that I have found part of the answer at Rolls-Royce Griffon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    “In early-1940, on the orders of Lord Beaverbrook, Minister of Aircraft Production, work on the new engine had been halted temporarily to concentrate on the smaller 27 L (1,650 cu in) Merlin which had already surpassed the output achieved with the early Griffon.”

    However, the delay may not have been more than a few months as “The Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XII” by Phil H. Listemann has the Air Ministry ordering two Griffon powered Spitfires in “early 1941” and the first flew on 27th November 1941 https://books.google.co.uk/books?id...dir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=spitfire dp 845&f=false.
     
  3. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure that ordering the Firefly off the drawing board was an unqualified success although it was probably a good idea. It's difficult to estimate how much time was lost due to the crisis following the French defeat and also how much the temporary halt to Griffon development hurt.
     
  4. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    The Firefly came about as a result of Specification N.8/39, issued in July 1939, and was chosen in preference to four other tenders.
    Specification 5/40/F, issued on June 3rd., 1940, was an updated version (including increased speed and four cannon instead of eight machine guns) written around the Firefly prototype Z1826, which first flew 22-12-41.
     
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