Fairey Fulmar (N1854)
Developed from the P.4/34 specification Fairey two seat light bomber, the FULMAR was created to satisfy the Royal Navy requirement for a two seat carrier borne fighter. A float plane version was designed but never built and plans for the Danish Navy to produce them under licence also halted with the outbreak of World War II.
The name FULMAR was decided in 1938 but not referred to publicly until the type entered service in 1940.
FULMAR aircraft first saw active service in September 1940, against the Italian airforce, in defence of the Malta Convoys, claiming 10 Italian bomber aircraft by the end of October.
FULMAR aircraft were used by 20 Fleet Air Arm Squadrons acting as support air cover in many key areas of World War II, such as-Taranto, Petsamo, Russian convoys, North Africa, Italy and shadowing the German battleship Bismarck.
The FAIREY FULMAR was also used successfully for night intruder operations and night fighter training.
The Museums Aircraft - Fairey Fulmar N1854
This aircraft was the first production version and also the first true prototype of the FULMAR. It made its initial flight in January 1940 (the first FULMAR to fly) before going to A&AEE Boscombe Down for flight trials (along with two other early FULMAR aircraft N1855 & N1858). It also took part in deck landing trials on board HMS Illustrious in 1940.
After the war it was retained by the Fairey Aviation Company for use as a communications and transport aircraft and registered G-AIBE on the civil register.
In 1972 it returned to its former code N1854 and was presented to the Fleet Air Arm Museum as the last surviving example of the 600 Fairey Fulmars built.
The Fairey Fulmar was named after the Fulmar, a gull-like sea bird related to the Albatrosses. It is known for its graceful gliding flight over the sea.
FAIREY AVIATION LTD.
2 SEAT CARRIER BORNE FIGHTER
Engine - Rolls Royce Merlin VIII (1,080hp)
Wingspan - 46ft 4.5ins
Length - 40ft 3ins
Height - 14ft
Weight - 9,800lbs loaded
Max Speed - 280mph
Armament - 8 wing mounted .303 machine guns or rear mounted single Vickers K type machine gun
Other exhibits in this hall