The Fairey Albacore was designed as an improved version of the legendary Swordfish torpedo bomber. Though also built as a biplane, it featured a closed cockpit, hydraulic flaps, and a more cleaned-up look in addition to being able to carry a heavier payload than its predecessor. It suffered from slow speed but was active in most theaters of war, notably the Mediterranean where it scored hits against the Italian battleship Vittorio Venetto during the Battle of Cape Matapan. It was also active in the desert and during the invasions of Sicily, Italy and Southern France. Sadly, a series of unsuccessful missions over Norway and against the Tirpitz sealed its reputation as a failure despite its modest success elsewhere and as a consequence ended up being outlasted by the Swordfish in both service and production. Still, a number continued in service with the Royal Canadian Air Force which used it on D-Day.
The first Albacore prototype was flown in 12 December 1938, the only production variant was the Mk. I though some aircraft had a more powerful Taurus XII engine installed.
|Design||Albacore Mk. I|
|Wing Span||15.24 m|
|Wing Loading||82.0 kg/m²|
|Engine||1 x Taurus II|
|Guns||1 x .303-inVickers 1-2 x .303-inVickers K|
|AS Weapons||Mk. XV|