Fairey Seal 
The Fairey Seal was a pre-war biplane fighter. It was a naval variant of the Fairey Gordon,  which itself was a development of the Fairey IIIF which it intended to replace. The Seal was equipped with floats to enable catapult launching from warships in a floatplane configuration. Some 90 were built.

Fairey Seal K4216 824sqdn B flt, HMS Hermes, Kai Tak April 1936

In July 1936 the Fairey Seal started to be replaced by the Fairey Swordfish Mk1 initially with 825 squadron. By 1938, the FAA's torpedo bomber squadrons were equipped solely with Swordfish. The Fairey Seal remained in use until the outbreak of World War II, being operated by 273 Squadron of the RAF in Ceylon until retirement in April 1942, and four survivors in the Fleet Air Arm serving with 753 squadron at Arbroath until they were retired in June 1943. One final Fairey Seal, K4784, was shipped to India as ground instructional frame in November 1942 following use in the RN Photographic Unit at Ford, Sussex.

    Fleet Air Arm history
        Fairey Seal
        Total FAA 1939-1945               4
        First delivered to RN:                Pre-war 1933
        First squadron 1939-1945:         753 sqdn only unit
        Operational squadron:                None 1939-1945
        Last served with RN                 1943
Aircraft Type:
Fairey Seal 
Primary Role:
Bomber and general-purpose aircraft
First Flight: 
Date operating with FAA squadrons:
One 55 hp Armstrong-Siddeley Panther IIA radial piston engine
 Wing Span: Length: Height: Wing Area: 
Wingspan 13.94m 
Length 11.2m 
Height 4.32m
Wing Area 40.69 sq m
Empty Weight: Max.Weight:
Empty Weight 1,588kg 
Maximum Take Off Weight 2,679kg
Speed 233 kph at 915 metres 
Range 966km 
Service Ceiling  6,705m
One fixed 0.303in Vickers machine gun in forward fuselage, One 0.303 Lewis in rear cockpit 
Bombs 500lb of stores carried on lower wing
753 sqdn
Battle honours:
None 1939-1945
Additional references and notes:
Battle Honours and Operational History
None with the Fleet Air Arm 1939-1945

Surviving aircraft and relics
No information - believed extinct

Associations and reunions
No information
Peru Aviones de CombateFairey Seal Photographs of the Fairey Seal [in Spanish]
  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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