British Commonwealth Air Training
Plan Schools using the Fairey Battle:
No. 1 - Jarvis Ontario
No. 2 - Mossbank Saskatchewan
No. 3 - Macdonald Manitoba
No. 4 - Fingal Ontario
No. 5 - Dafoe Saskatchewan
No. 6 - Mountain View Ontario
No. 7 - Paulson Manitoba
No. 8 - Lethbridge Alberta
No. 9 - Mont-Joli Quebec
No. 10 - Mount Pleasant Prince Edward Island
No. 31 - (RAF) Picton Ontario
The Fairey Battle was a British light bomber acquired by the Royal Air Force with the first delivery occurring in June 1937. A total of 2,185 were built - 1156 by the Fairey Aviation Company and 1029 by Austin Motor Company between 1937 and 1940. The Fairey Battle was powered by the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine in Versions Mk I through V. It had space for a three-man crew and a bomb load. Like other aircraft brought into World War II by the RAF, the Battle was soon found to be no match for the superior aircraft and air defenses of the enemy. The battle lacked a reasonable operating range, was slow in relation to the aircraft it faced and woefully under-gunned with only two .303 machine guns. It did not stand a chance against the anti-aircraft fire and fighter aircraft of the German military. By the
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The Royal Australian Air Force took 300+ and the South African Air Force (SAAF) took 150 from the Royal Air Force. The Turkish Air Force also flew the Fairey Battle. One became a test bed for to evaluate various aircraft engines.
Nine variations of the Battle were produced including the:
Fairey Day Bomber (Prototype)
Battle Mk I, Mk II, Mk V
Battle T (conversion from the Mk I II and Vs)
Battle IT (conversion from the Mk I II and V with turret)
Battle IIT (one) which had a Mk I Wright Cyclone engine
Battle TTs (conversion from the Mk I II and Vs)(100)
Battle TTs Mk I (226)
The Fairey Battle had a maximum speed of 257 mph, 1,000 mile range and a service ceiling of 25,000 feet.
Source: Wikipedia – Fairey Battle https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairey_Battle#Operators
David Jenkins of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum is currently in the process of restoring/rebuilding a Fairey Battle used in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
end of 1940, the Fairey Battle was no longer allowed into combat and was relegated to use as a training aircrew and as a coastal patrol aircraft in Northern Ireland and Iceland. By coincidence, the last of the Fairey Battles were manufactured in September 1940.
As a combat aircraft, the Battle’s crew typically included a pilot, observer/navigator and radio operator/air gunner. The pilot was seated in the front of the cockpit in control of one fixed forward facing .303 browning machine gun mounted in the starboard wing and the gunner was in the rear of the cockpit with an .303 Vickers K machine which could be swivelled to shoot at targets. The observer/bomb aimer was located directly beneath the pilot and aimed bombs through a sliding panel in the floor. Four 250 lb. bombs could be carried internally in the wings and an additional 500 lbs. of bombs could be mounted on external racks on the wings.
The Fairey Battle was deployed to 17 RAF Squadrons of which most were moved to France prior to Dunkirk to perform aerial reconnaissance and as a reserve to conduct retaliatory bombing on targets in Germany. It was also tasked to provide unescorted low-level tactical attacks against the advancing German army. In all of these tasks, the Fairey Battle offered a dismal performance. Their final failure in France included the loss of 200 aircraft in six weeks, of which 99 were lost between May 10 and 16 1940. All were withdrawn to Britain. The Fairey Battle’s last combat mission occurred on October 15 1940. Combat roles for this aircraft were assumed by Hawker Typhoon, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and Vickers Wellington aircraft.
Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
Canada 150 Vignette – 021 of 150
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
Aircraft of the BCATP – The Fairey Battle
As a training aircraft, the Fairey Battle was reconfigured with a dual-cockpit replacing the standard long canopy. The bombing/gunnery trainer, the Battle T, had dual controls in the cockpit and an optional Bristol Type I gun turret. As the Fairey Battle TT (target tug), it was equipped with a winch for towing target drogues for gunnery practice.
The Royal Canadian Air Force received a total of 802 Fairey Battles configured as Ts and TTs for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Bombing and Gunnery Schools. The Battles in this role were eventually supplanted by the Bristol Bolingbroke and North American Harvard but some served the RCAF until the end of the war.