October 2001 (Leduc 0.21) Home December 2001 (Unavailable)

Aircraft of the Month for November 2001

Fairey Gannet

by Alex Stoll


naval specification was issued in 1945 stemming from the recognition of the need for ASW aircraft following World War II for a carrier-based ASW/strike aircraft. The first flight took place on 19 September 1949. After redesigning the Gannet to incorporate three seats and a turboshaft, the new prototype flew in May 1951. Assembly begain in spring 1952. Modifications of the engine and technical equipment resulted in the A.S. Mk 4 version. The T. Mk 2 and T. Mk 5 were training versions with dual controls. After a decade of developement, the Fairey Gannet entered active service, serving with the HMS Illustrius, HMS Ark Royal and HMS Eagle. The first Ganney AEW Mk 3 prototype entered service in 1958, providing the Royal Navy with a needed early warning aircraft. Differences between the AEW Mk 3 and the AS Mk 1 included a new fuselage and larger landing gear.

The Armstrong-Siddeley Double-Mamba turboprop featured two independent power sections powering two seperate counter-rotating propellers. One section could be shut down to increase efficiency and extend range during patrol. The turboprop could run off of the fuel from the aircraft carrier's diesel fuel bunker, decreasing the amount of aviation gas and aviation gas tanks needed.

After the Royal Navy's large aircraft carriers were retired, the Gannet was replaced by the Westland Wessex helicopter. Eventually all the export countries, such as the Netherlands and Australia, also replaced their Gannets.

Gannet Secifications
AS Mk IAS Mk 4
PowerplantOne 2230 kW (2950 shp) Armstrong Siddeley Double-Mamba 100 turbopropOne 2280 kW (3015 shp) Armstrong Siddeley Double-Mamba Mark 101 turboprop
Armament1300 kg (2900 pounds) of torpedoes, depth charges and sonobuoys in a bomb bay plus rockets on underwing hardpoints
Total production349
Ceiling7600 m (25,000 ft)
Max Speed500 kph (269 kts/310 mph)485 kph (261 kts/301 mph)
Range1518 km (819 nm/943 miles)
Range with full armament1227 km (662 nm/762 miles)
Empty6841 kg (15,069 lb)6900 kg (15,200 lb)
MTOW9806 kg (21,600 lb)10,200 kg (22,500 lb)
Wingspan16.6 m (54 ft 4 in)
Length13.1 m (43 ft)
Height4.2 m (13 ft 8.5 in)
Wing area45.5 m² (489.7 sq ft)

Click here to see a list of links to past Aircraft of the Months, sign or view the guestbook, see the counter, visit my home page, or view the Forum.