Aeroplane Monthly 1978-05
B.Gunston - Firebrand
Two studies of the very first, unarmed, B-37 Firebrand F. Mk I prototype, DD804, taken in January 1942. Powered by a 2,305 h.p. Napier Sabre, DD804 first flew on February 27, 1942.
This Charles E. Brown study of the first Firebrand T.F. Mk 4, EK601, emphasises the size of the type. This aircraft first flew on May 17, 1945.
EK748 was one of 68 T.F. Mk 5s built, and is seen complete with torpedo. It later served as aircraft 123/C of No 813 Squadron.
Blackburn test pilot P. G. Lawrence flew EK844 in the Air League Challenge Cup race at Sherburn-in-Elmet on July 22, 1950.
Seen during an approach to HMS Eagle in 1953, Firebrand T.F. Mk 5 EK691 displays its generous span, large flap area and the horn-balanced elevator of this mark.
Blackburn test pilot P. G. Lawrence had won the event at Elmdon on June 30 the previous year in EK621.
The second prototype Firebrand, DD810, had a pair of 20mm British Hispano cannon in each wing. It was delivered to the Royal Navy for deck-landing trials on October 11, 1942.
DK411, a T.F. Mk III, was delivered to RNAS Anthom during May/June 1945.
HMS Eagle with some of No 827 Squadron’s Firebrands on her deck in 1953. In 1952, during a cruise aboard Eagle, the unit took part in Exercise Castanets in the North Sea.
Firebrand T.F. Mk 5s ranged on Eagle’s foredeck in 1953. The carrier’s code letter, J, is borne on their fins.
Firebrand T.F. Mk 5A EK730 was converted from a T.F. Mk 4 and had a 2,520 h.p. Bristol Centaurus as its powerplant.
Crash crew attend EK745/129 after going through Eagle’s barriers. Following their replacement by Wyverns, the Firebrands were either scrapped or used for fire-fighting practice and as catapult dummies.