Fairey Fulmar
FAA Fairey Fulmar X8812 6F of 809 squadron of HMS Victorious. Damaged one and shot down probableJu88 both in 11/12 August 1942


Two-seat reconaissance fighter, a development of the P.4/34 light bomber. The Fulmar was inferior to modern single-seat fighters, but it was a reliable, sturdy aircraft with long range. At least it provided the RN with a monoplane fighter. 600 built.

The Fairey Fulmar was designed to meet the Admiralty's urgent need for a modern shipboard fighter. The Fulmar prototype was first flown on 4 January 1940 at Ringway and served as the first production aircraft. Fairey's Fulmar was the Fleet Air Arm's first carrier-based fighter with the same weight and firepower of the RAF's Hurricane and Spitfire. In fact, the Fulmar was developed for the FAA after being being rejected by the RAF.

The Fulmar, N1855, was delivered for tests at the C squadron A&AEE Boscombe Down in May 1940, in the same month Fulmar N1856 joined 778 squadron at Lee on Solent with the plan to convert it to a seaplane,  but in fact it was completed as a landplane version. May 1940 saw many Fulmars being delivered to 778 squadron. The type was delivered to the first operation unit, 806 in June 1940 stationed at Worthy Down and boarded HMS Illustrious in August 1940.

Fairey Fulmar 808 squadron 1940
Squadron Profiles drawn by E-draw-wings

The Fulmar was also employed in limited numbers by the RAF, inparticular with 273 squadron (eg X8743) in 1942 in China Bay where some aircraft were lost to enemy action.

With its lack of speed, and the Admiralty's need for a truly modern carrier-based fighter, the Fulmar began being replaced by the Supermarine Seafire by 1943. However, it contined to be useful, being sent to 768, 767 and other squadrons to assist conversion of pilots to Barracudas eg DR664 at Lee on Solent by 810 squadron in April 1943 to May 1943.

 Mk I  Initial production model
 Mk II prototype Singel Mk I conversion
 Mk II 1300hp Merlin XXX engine; tropicalised, some as night-fighter version

Fleet Air Arm history
     Fairey Fulmar
     Total FAA 1939-1945:         1
     First delivered to RN:          1940
     First squadron 1939-1945:    5.1940 to 778 sqdn
     Operational squadron:           806 sqdn 6.1940
     Last served with RN            1945

127 Fairey Fulmar I ordered from Fairey under Contract no 752200/38 to spec O.8/38, built at Heaton Chapel and flown at Ringway
Serial numbers N1854-N2016

First prodtn ac       Served as prototype. Ringway 4.1.40. to RN (N1854)
First RN                5.40 to C sqdn A&AEE (N1855)
First sqdn:             5.40 to 778 sqdn at Lee on Solent (N1856). Many to 778 in 5.40
First op sqdn:        806 sqdn in 6.40 (N1856). Many to 806 and 803 sqdns 6.40
Last RN:               AHU Abbotsinch 3.45 (N1978). At Balado Bridge dump 3.52

123 Fairey Fulmar I and II ordered from fairey under contract no 752200/38 to spec O.8/38
Serial Numbers: N3994-N4147 built at Heaton Chapel. Mk II from N4017

First                     11.40 to Lee (N3995)
First sqdn:             805 sqdn from 1.41 (N4000). A number of 808 fulmar these lost on HMS
                            Ark Royal when sunk on 13.11.41
Last in RN            3.52 on Balado Bridge dump N4021 Mk II

200 Fairey Fulmar II ordered from Fairey under contract no B101971/40
Serial numbered X8525-X8817 built at Heaton Chapel.

First RN                   4.41 RY (X8525)
First sqdn                 RN Fighter Flt at Dekheila from 10.41 (X8526), 806 sdn 3.42
                                (X8525). Many delivered to RN Fighter Flight Dekheila 1941
Last RN:                   Balado Bridge dump 3.53

50 Fairey Fulmar II ordered from Fairey under Contract no B101971/40
Serial numbered BP775 BP839 built at Heaton Chapel.

First RN:                11.41 Arbroath (BP775)
First sqdn:               807 sqdn on 4.42 (BP780), 780 sqdn 4.42 Lee (BP781)
First raf                   273 sqdn in the Far East 4.42 (BP777)
Last RN:                 Balado Bridge dumped 9.52 (BP786)

100 Fairey Fulmar II ordered from Fairey under Contract no B101971/40.
Serial Numbered DR682-DR749 built at Heaton Chapel.

First                        2.42 at St Merryn (DR633), DR635, and DR634 etc
First sqdn                886 sqdn at St Merryn 6.42 DR634, 772 sqdn at Machrihanish 10.42
Last RN                   Balado Bridge dump DR739 on 3.52

Aircraft Type:
Fairey Fulmar 
Primary Role:
Carrie-borne Fighter
First Flight: 
Date operating with FAA squadrons:
Left service in 8/2/45.
Fairey aviation, built at Heaton Chapel and flown at Ringway
One 1300 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 30 engine
 Wing Span: Length: Height: Wing Area: 
Wingspan 46.4 ft  (14.14 m) 
Length40.2 ft (12.24 m) 
Height 10.66 ft  (3.25 m) 
Wingarea 342 sq ft  (31.77 sq m)
Empty Weight: Max.Weight:
3182-4627 kg



Speed  273 mph  (440 km/h) 
Ceiling 27,230 ft  (8,300 m) 
Range  780 mi   (1,255 km)
Eight .303in machine guns in wings
Two 113 kg bombs
800,803,804,805,806,807,808,809,815,822,827,835,879,881,884,886,887,889,893, 897.
Battle honours:
Additional references and notes:

Battle Honours

Many hundreds of Fairey Fulmar fighters fought over the sea in every wartime theatre. The Fulmar played important roles in the early defense of Malta and the defense of Ceylon, and went on to account for nearly 1/3 of the aircraft shot down by the FAA in WWII. Significant numbers of enemy aircraft were shot down in the Mediterranean Campaigns especially from HMS Eagle, Formidable and Illustrious, most notably on Operation Pedestal.

Fleet Air Arm Fulmar MkI of 803 squadron of HMS Formidable in the Mediterranean December 1940

The Fulmar was also used in Operations in the Arctic, most notably against the German forces at Petsamo and Kirkenes in 1941.

The Fulmar was also employed by the RAF with FAA aircrew. On 9 April 1942, Fulmar X8535 of 273 RAF squadron at China Bay, was shot down in a raid on enemy convoys off Batticlos. Sub Lt PR Peirano and Sub Lt RFH Jacob attached from 803 squadron were both killed.

Surviving aircraft and relics

Of the many hundreds of Fulmar fighters only one remains and it is displayed in the Fleet Air Arm Museum (UK). It is N1854, the first production and prototype aircraft which first flew at Ringway on 4 January 1940. Post war it had thecivil register G-AIBE flying with Fairey. It was delivered to the Royal Navy in 1962.

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Fleet Air Arm Museum (UK): The world's only extant Fairey Fulmar, N1854

Associations and reunions
No information
Fairey Fulmar by the FAA SIG website   Detailed photographs of the FAAM preserved Fulmar
Aircraft Profiles by FAUCONBERG AEROGRAPHICS  An A-Z of Aircraft Profiles including FAIREY FULMAR Mk. I, 803 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. Formidable, Mediterranean Sea, December 1940, FAIREY FULMAR I, N1892 "6K", 808 Sqn RNAS, HMS Victorious, December 1940
Squadron Profiles drawn by E-draw-wings
Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) 'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945'  Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 085130 232 7 
Created 3-4-1999, Modified 3-4-2000


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