Fairey Firefly T.1

The Fairey Firefly T.1 was an advanced dual-control trainer produced as a private venture by Fairey, and accepted by the Fleet Air Arm. The most obvious modification to the basic design was the installation of a raised pilot's cockpit in the place normally occupied by the observer's cockpit.

The first prototype for the T.1 was a Firefly FR.I (Z2033) that was given a mockup of the new cockpit. It made its maiden flight on 29 May 1946, followed in July 1946 by the first true prototype, MB750, which was a FR.I with the second cockpit installed. Thirty-four further aircraft were produced by converting F.Is and FR.Is that had been returned to Fairey for repairs. All of the trainers had their original engines replaced by the Griffon XII. The first nine retained two of their four 20mm cannon, but the remaining aircraft had all guns removed, as did the first four. The instructor used the second raised rear cockpit, while the student used the normal pilot's cockpit.

The first of the production T.1s made its maiden flight on 1 September 1947. At first they were used by No.736 Squadron, the Naval Air Fighter School at St. Merryn, serving from July 1948 until February 1950, when they were replaced by the Sea Fury. They were then used for general training. Pupils started on the Harvard, then moved onto the Firefly T.1 for 70 hours of more advancing training, with either No.764 or No.766 Squadron at RNAS Lossiemouth. The T.1 remained in use here until the mid 1950s, when it was replaced by the Sea Vampire and the Fairey Gannet.

Engine: Griffon XII
Power: 1,720hp at take-off, 1,495 at altitude
Crew: 2
Wing span: 44ft 6in
Length: 37ft 7in
Height: 13ft 7in
Empty Weight: 9,647lb
Loaded Weight: 14,621lb
Max Speed: 305mph at 16,500ft
Service Ceiling: 28,400ft
Range: 805 miles
Armament: none
Bomb-load: none

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (31 January 2010), Fairey Firefly T.1 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_fairey_firefly_T1.html

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