Fairey Firefly FR.5

The Fairey Firefly FR.5 was the fighter-reconnaissance version of the multi-purpose Firefly Mk.5, and saw extensive service during the Korean War. The basic FR.5 was similar to the FR.4, but with improved internal equipment. During the production run power-folded wings were finally installed, and were later retro-fitted to earlier aircraft. Radome vibration dampers were installed, improving the clarity of the radar reception. The biggest change was that the FR.5 could easily be converted to serve as the NF.5 night-fighter or AS.5 submarine-warfare aircraft.

A total of 338 Mk.5 Fireflys were built, from an original order for 444. The last sixteen were completed as Firefly AS.6s. When production began the AS.5 was seen as the most important version, but the outbreak of the Korean War meant that the FR.5 became more important.

The Firefly FR.5 entered service with Nos.778 and 782 Service Trials squadrons in May 1948. Two months later No.812 Squadron became the first front-line squadron to receive the type, only six months after converting to the FR.4. This squadron operated the FR.5 for the next four years, using it in Korea between March 1951 and May 1952. It then converted to the AS.6. The FR.5 was used by a number of squadrons during the Korean War, ending with No.810 Squadron on HMS Ocean, which was present from May-July 1953, leaving Korea four days before the armistice that ended the war. It was also used to attack Communist bases in Malaya, often taking advantage of squadrons passing by on their way to Korea.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (31 January 2010), Fairey Firefly FR.5 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_fairey_firefly_FR5.html

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