Photo of Fairey Firefly Mk. VI

 Click on one of the thumbnails below to access the 26 photos of this aircraft.

  • Status: On display
  • Airworthiness: Airworthy (flown regularly)
  • Type: Fighter
  • Built: 1951
  • Serial Number: RN WH632
  • Construction Number: F.8755
  • Civil Registration: C-GBDG
  • Current Markings: RCN VH142
  • Length: 37 ft
  • Wingspan: 41 ft
  • Power: 2,245 hp
  • Engine: 1 x Rolls-Royce Griffon 74
  • Maximum Speed: 345 mph
  • Service Ceiling: 29,200 ft
  • Range: 1,070 miles

Aircraft Description

The Firefly was designed by Fairey Aviation, UK, in 1940 to meet a British Admiralty requirement for a carrier borne, fighter reconnaissance aircraft. The Firefly prototype first flew in December 1941 from Fairey’s Great West Aerodrome, (now Heathrow Airport). Successful flight trials were completed by the end of 1942 and the first production aircraft, Mk. Is were delivered to the Royal Navy in March 1943.

Fireflies went into squadron service in October 1943 and later saw action in July 1944 against the German battleship Tirpitz, in Norway, when flying from HMS Indefatigable. From January 1945 onwards, the main area of operations for the Firefly was the Far East. Flying from HMS Indefatigable and HMS Implacable, they fought against the Japanese in Sumatra, the Caroline Islands and in the waters surrounding Japan. Later, Fairey Fireflies served with the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, during the Korean War.

A total of 64 Fairey Fireflies served with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), between 1946 and 1952. Based at Dartmouth, NS, they were flown from the aircraft carriers HMCS Warrior and HMCS Magnificent by No. 825 and 826 Squadrons. The Mk. V anti submarine version was ordered in 1949 to meet a NATO role for the RCN in anti submarine warfare. Firefly Mk. Vs operated in this role until late 1950, when they were replaced by Grumman Avengers.

Manufacture of the Fairey Firefly ceased in April 1956, after 1,702 aircraft had been produced. About 20 Fireflies survive, but the Museum's example is the only one in flying condition today.

The Museum's Firefly was built in 1951 and first served with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, at Ford, UK. Later, it was transferred to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1953. It was retired from the RAN in 1960 and ended up in a museum in New South Wales, Australia. The Museum purchased it from them in 1979. Although a Mk.VI, it has been restored in the colours and markings of a RCN No. 825 Squadron Firefly Mk. V operating from HMCS Magnificent in 1949-50.

© Canadian Warplane Heritage 2024