Fairey Firefly F.3

The Fairey Firefly F.3 was the first attempt to fit a two-stage supercharged Griffon 61 to the Firefly, but was abandoned after problems with the new engine installation.

The idea of putting a Griffon 61 in the Firefly was first raised by Fairey in February 1942, but they wanted to use the new engine in a single-seat version of the aircraft. The Admiralty wasn't interested in this, but in October 1942 ordered Fairey to begin work on a Griffon 61 powered two-seat night fighter, and announced that they would be ordering 200 aircraft (100 were eventually ordered).

The tenth Firefly F.1 (Z1835) was used as the prototype for the F.3. The Griffon 61 engine was installed, along with a larger radiator with annular cowling. This aircraft went to Boscombe Down to trials on 22 July 1943, but results were poor. The larger radiator caused extra drag, which limited the new top speed to 345mph, 35mph faster than the F.1, but not as big an increase as expected. Handling was also poor, and the aircraft was unstable in every direction. At a meeting in December 1943 the decision was made to cancel the Firefly F.3 and look at alternative methods of installing the Griffon 61 engine in the Firefly. Z1835 would take part in that programme, becoming one of the prototypes for the Firefly FR.4.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (31 January 2010), Fairey Firefly F.3 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_fairey_firefly_F3.html

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