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Posted 05 March 2018 - 10:37 PM

Fairey Fulmar I N1858


The following information comes from the testing of aircraft

No. N1858 using +4 lb./sq. in. (38" Hg.) boost.



Feet     /mph   /fpm

SL....     213     1105

  1,000  216.5  1120

  3,000  224     1155

  5,000  231.5  1185

  6,500  237     1210

  7,000             1220

  9,000  246.5 

10,000  245     1000

13,000  240       780

15,000  236       635

16,500  232.5    530

18,000  227.5    420

20,000  220       270


Aircraft No. N1854 was tested using +9 lb./sq. in. (48.3" Hg) boost.

It reached 246 mph./S.L., 255.5 mph./2,400 ft., 246 mph./9,000 ft.

Using the standard 1,000 m. increments of this site section it looks

like this:


Altitude / Speed   / Climb

Meters / mph (kph) / fpm

S.L.       246 (396)    / 1105 (5.6 m/sec.)

   731.5 255.5 (411)

1,000    254.5 (410) /  1160

2,000    249.5 (402) /  1210

2,134                          1220 (6.15 m/sec.)
3,000    245 (394.5) /  1010

4,000    240 (386.5) /    770

5,000    233 (375)    /    535

6,000    221 (356)    /    295


Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin VIII: 1,080 hp./T.O./+4 lb.-sq. in. boost

                                                    1,275 hp./S.L./+9 lb.-sq. in. boost



Combat:        10,000 ft.

Operational:  16,910 ft.

Service:         22,400 ft.


Armament: 8 x 0.303 in. (7.7 mm.)/500 rpg.


Maximum Dive Speed: 435 mph. I.A.S.


The following Ranges listed were from Fulmar II N4021 range trials with the

R/R Merlin XXX engine. (See my next post).

Range: approximately 950 ml./142 mph.I.A.S./5,000 ft./1,600 rpm./+2 lb.boost.

     The aircraft was just a little unstable at this speed. The maximum range

     using a speed in which the aircraft was stable:

     155 gallons of fuel/925 ml./150 mph.I.A.S./5,000 ft./1,650 rpm./1.2 lb.boost.

Maximum Range with 60 (imp.) gallon jettisonable fuselage fuel tank: 1,100 ml./

     140 mph./1,750 rpm./5,000 ft.


Wing Area: 342 sq. ft. (31.77 sq. m.)


Combat Weight: 9,672 lb. Normal.


Wing Loading (at take-off): 28.28 lb./sq. ft.


Power Loading (S.L.): 7.586 lb./hp.

Edited by CORSNING, 06 March 2018 - 10:20 PM.



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Posted 06 March 2018 - 09:15 PM

Fairey Fulmar II N4021


Rolls-Royce Merlin XXX: 1,360 hp./S.L./+12 lb./sq. in.


265 mph./1,750 ft.

272 mph./7,250 ft.



1,320 fpm./S.L.

5,000 ft./4.4 minutes


Service Ceiling: 27,200 ft.


Armament: 8 x 0.303 in + 1 x 0.303 in. firing rearward.


Combat Weight (without rear gun and ammo): 9,672 lb.


Power loading: 7.112 lb./hp.

Wing Loading: 28.28 lb./sq. ft.


Maximum range with a 60 gallon drop tank: 1,100 ml./140 mph.I.A.S./

     5,000 ft./1,750 rpm./no boosting.

Edited by CORSNING, 07 March 2018 - 11:57 AM.



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Posted 06 March 2018 - 09:37 PM

References for performance, timeline and comparisons:


Warplanes of the Second World War, Fighters Vol.2 (1961) by William Green

Air International Vol.13 No.2 (August 1977) by Captain Eric Brown

Flying to the Limit (1988) by Peter Caygill

Duels in the Sky (1988) by Captain Eric M. Brown, RN

Fighter Aircraft Performance of WW2 (2016) by Erik Pilawskii


Edited by CORSNING, 06 March 2018 - 09:42 PM.



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Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:20 PM

Fairey Fulmar Timeline


13 January 1937: The first flight of P.4/34 aircraft K5099 as a smaller cleaned up version

     of the Battle, a two-seat attack aircraft.


19 April 1937: The first flight of the second prototype (K7555). The P.4/34 were in direct

     competition with the Hawker Henley until the change in policy at the Air Ministry. The

     P.4/34s were adapted to meet Specification 0.8/38 for a two-seat fighter for the Fleet

     Air Arm. The P.4/34s were both powered by the Rolls-Royce Merlin II capable of

     1.030 hp. and attained maximum speeds of 284 mph.


24 September - 11 October 1937: K7555 was tested successfully by A&AEE at Martlesham



5 May 1938: The Fleet Air Arm gave instructions to Fulmar to proceed with their project.


4 January 1940: The first flight of a production Fulmar, aircraft N1854 piloted by Duncan

     Menzies at Ringway.


3 May 1940: The second Fulmar N1855 is delivered to A&AEE at Boscombe Down.


7 May 1940: The first production trial aircraft N1856 finished testing and was delivered

     to the Service Unit at Lee-on-Solent.


June 1940: The first Fulmar is delivered to the RNAS No.808 squadron at Worthy Down.


1 September 1940: Fulmar Is of No.806 Squadron were flying combat missions in the



2 September - 14 October 1940: The Fulmars of No.806 Squadron flying from the

     Illustrious claimed the destruction of 10 bombers, and while covering Swordfish

     torpedo-bombers at Faranto in November claimed 6 more aircraft shot down.

     No.808 Squadron aboard the Ark Royal became the second Fulmar Squadron.


1 December 1940: Three of No.807 Squadron Fulmars went aboard the Pegasus

     and became the some of the first aircraft as the Catapult Fighter Ship scheme.

     No.807 was the third Fulmar Squadron formed.


1 January 1941: No.805 Squadron was formed at Dekheila, Egypt and was included

     in the defense of Crete.


20 January 1941: A converted Mk.I N4021 was flown for the first time as the Fulmar II

     prototype with a Rolls-Royce Merlin XXX.


During 1941: Four other Fulmar Squadrons were formed; Nos. 800, 804, 809 & 884.


May 1941: Fulmars played a vital role in shadowing the battleship Bismark and thanks

     to its outstanding night reconnaissance the Swordfish were able to carry out a

     nocturnal torpedo attack on 25 May.


July 1941: No.809 Squadron Fulmars provided fighter support at the attack on Petsamo,

    on the North Cape, at which they shot down four Bf 109s.


Early 1942: No.889 Squadron provided the fighter defense of the Suez Canal Zone.


November 1942: No.809 & 893 Squadrons provided reconnaissance and fighter cover

     sorties during the Allied invasion of North Africa. They flew from the Victorious and



During 1943: The Fulmars were being replaced by Seafires.


Note: 250 Fulmar I aircraft were built. 350 Fulmar II aircraft were built.

Edited by CORSNING, 07 March 2018 - 02:08 PM.



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Posted 07 March 2018 - 12:58 PM

Fairey Fulmar Characteristics by Captain Eric M. Brown.


     "Although big by shiporne fighter standards, the Fulmar was a

neat-looking airplane, It was of flush-riveted, stressed-skin construction

with fabric-covered control surfaces and sturdy, wide-track landing

gear. It had a particularly good cockpit layout, and despite a longish

nose, the view from the pilot's seat was commendable."


     "While cruising the Fulmar was stable about all axes, and the

controls were relatively light and responsive for such a large fighter.

Directional trim was sensitive. The plane was extremely steady in a

dive and enjoyed reasonable acceleration. It was not easy to produce

a high speed stall, as the all-up stalling speed was only 66 knots.

However, if a "g" stall was produced and allowed to develop into a

spin, a good amount of height was required to recover. Top speed

was 222 knots (255 mph.) at 2,400 ft.--not very exciting."

     "As a deck landing aircraft, the Fulmar fell into the "easy" category.

It was necessary to hold a lot of power so that the slipstream could

give positive rudder and elevator action, but it was a forgiving airplane.

Since all-down stalling speed was 55 knots, the approach speed was

a gentle 63 knots. and this, combined with the reasonably good view

and responsive controls, made it a popular aircraft on the deck."

     "Of course, the Fulmar's trump card was its eight-gun armament,

which gave it tremendous hitting power. There were four .303 Browning

machine guns in either wing, each with 500 rounds of ammunition. This

two-seat fighter was different in having no rear cockpit gun, a fact that

kindled the fires of survival in observers, some of whom used Verey

pistols to distract the enemy, others, sheets of toilet paper." Note *1

     "Assessment: The Fulmar's performance was well below that of

contemporary single-seat monoplane fighters, but it had a killer punch

if it could bring its forward-firing armament to bear on the enemy. It

was reasonably maneuverable for its size and had an endurance that

made it useful for combat air patrol in carrier service."


Note *1 from Air International Vol.13 No.2 also by Captain Brown:

     " The Fulmar was capable of absorbing its share of punishment

and staying airborne, but it was at a decided disadvantage when

tangling with enemy single-seaters and its observer must have felt

particularly vulnerable. Some aircraft were, in fact, fitted with a

single Vicker's 'K' gun in the rear cockpit, but for the most part...

one squadron is on record as having adopted the tactic of releasing

sheets of toilet paper from the rear cockpit in an attempt to deter

pursuing enemy fighters as nothing more potent was available to

the observer."

Edited by CORSNING, 07 March 2018 - 01:23 PM.



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Posted 07 March 2018 - 01:22 PM

Fulmar Versus CR 42 from Duels in the Sky


"This situation was anomalous in that the biplane's performance was

superior to that of the monoplane. Of course, the biplane was much

more maneuverable. Indeed, it had all the handling assets except

speed in a dive, and so the obvious tactic for the Fulmar was to get

a height advantage over the biplane and, with overtaking speed thus

gained, to bring its heavy armament to bear. The Fulmar could even

pursue the CR 42 round a loop to capitalize on the possibility of

overtaking it sufficiently in the downward part of the maneuver for

firing. I know of actual cases of this happening.

     The CR 42 was so underarmed that its chances of succeeding

against a robust aircraft like the Fulmar were poor. It was , in effect,

always on the defensive, even though the British fighter had no rear-

firing gun.

     Verdict: The spritely CR 42 was not easy prey for the somewhat

pedestrian Fulmar, but one short burst of the latter's eight-gun

armament was enough to cause catastrophic damage to the fabric

biplane. Except as a defensive tactic, the CR 42's superior maneuver-

ability was of little avail because of its inadequate armament."

Edited by CORSNING, 07 March 2018 - 01:22 PM.

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