Firebrand Mk TF.5 landing on HMS Illustrious

Blackburn Firebrand TF5 HMS Illustrious

Firebrand TF.5, HMS Illustrious 813 Squadron FAA

Originally designed as a single-seat Fleet Fighter around the Napier Sabre III 24-cylinder liquid-cooled H-type engine, in compliance with Specification N.11/40, the Firebrand’s initial prototype, which was unarmed, took to the skies on February 27, 1942. Subsequently, the Mk. I prototype was released, with full armament and military equipment, six months later. Given that the Sabre engine was in its nascent production stages and the Hawker Typhoon was further advanced than the Firebrand, the former received priority for the new engine, necessitating the search for an alternative power-plant for the Firebrand. Furthermore, it was decided to expand the aircraft’s sphere of utility by transforming it into a strike aircraft, capable of carrying torpedoes, heavy bombs, or rockets, while also serving as an offensive fighter after releasing its ordnance. TF.5 version was the final iteration produced.

Published at 1510 × 921 px.
Link to full-size photo:
Firebrand Mk TF.5 landing on HMS Illustrious

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