1 in stock
1 in stock
Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 Scale AA36301: Fairey Swordfish Mk I of 810 NAS, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, HMS Ark Royal, Bismark Sinking, 1941
Length 6 inches Wingspan 7.75 inches
The Fairey Swordfish, the legendary ‘Stringbag’, was a Torpedo Spotter Reconnaissance biplane dive-bomber which went into service with the Fleet Air Arm pre-war in 1936. Initially, Swordfishes operated from the large fleet carriers. Later Swordfishes operated from escort carriers, and were very effective against U-boats. The nickname Stringbag indicated the versatility of the Swordfish, which could carry an unlikely combination of loads, but also referred to its jungle of bracing wires, which belonged to a past age. The Swordfish remained operational until the end of the war, gaining the distinction of being the last biplane to see active service. In May,, 1941, Swordfish from HMS Ark Royal played a central role in sinking the German battleship Bismarck. On 24 May, 1941 the new carrier HMS Victorious launched nine Swordfish to intercept the Bismarck in the North Atlantic Ocean, but with bad weather conditions the aircraft only scored a single hit. On 26 May 1941, 15 Swordfish were launched by the carrier HMS Ark Royal, but attacked the British cruiser Sheffield by mistake, but later in the day 15 Swordfish were launched into a storm carrying torpedoes armed with contact detonators, they scored two hits on the German battleship: one did no damage, but the other struck the Bismarck’s steering gear. None of the aircraft were lost in the attack, though a German officer said, ” It was incredible to see such obsolete-looking planes having the nerve to attack a fire-spitting mountain like the Bismarck.” The Bismarck was sunk by gunfire from the Royal Navy Fleet the next day.
This spotter-reconnaissance aircraft, built by the Fairey Aviation Company for the British Royal Navy, was first flown on February 22nd, 1934. Nicknamed “Stringbag” after a housewife’s string shopping bag, the Swordfish could carry an unlikely combination of loads. It could lift off a carrier deck with a standard torpedo, although this made it vulnerable to fighter attack. Its low speed and stable stance made it easy to line up for a torpedo attack, as it did against the German Bismark and on the Italian naval base at Taranto, where 21 Swordfish destroyed three battleships, a cruiser, two destroyers and other warships.