Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Blackburn Firebrand

A set of Blackburn publicity shots from the late 1940's currently on offer from this Italian Ebay seller. First two photos depict the Mk. 1 prototype. The Firebrand was designed at the outset as a Sabre-powered fighter for the Royal Navy, but with the Typhoon given priority for the Sabre engine and the Seafire fulfilling the fighter role, the Firebrand was redeveloped around the Bristol Centaurus radial engine and according to 'Flight' was set to become the RN's standard single-seat maritime strike aircraft.









Blackburn Firebrand development versions as covered in a February 1947 issue of 'Flight' Flight archive 1947

"..The Firebrand was yet another hastily developed war-time aircraft which, in the end, after monumental aerodynamic handling problems, provided little return for a substantial investment in skills, manpower, time and material in desperate times. The aircraft took six years to reach squadron service, and must hold the all-time record for being the most continually aerodynamically reconfigured aircraft. Although 102 operational aircraft were produced, only two Fleet Air Arm (FAA) squadrons, Nos 813 and 827, were equipped with the type, and these aircraft were scrapped in 1953 after six years' front-line service, during which the Firebrand proved a most troublesome creation...."   (Aeroplane Monthly 1996/04)





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