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Fairey Fox / Sea Fox

 

faieryfox

Fox

 

Richard Fairey realised that the Curtiss D-12 engine, in combination with a Curtiss-Reed propeller, was a most significant factor in this American success in the 1923 Schneider Trophy Contest.


The engine was the world's first wet-sleeve monobloc aero-engine, and it was of small frontal area. The propeller was of comparatively small diameter with forged duralumin blades of thin aerofoil section. It could be rotated at high speed - the blade tips approaching the speed of sound - without any serious loss of efficiency. So fast was the rotational speed that there was no need for a reduction gear between engine and propeller. No reduction gear, small-diameter lightweight propeller blades and a shorter landing gear, all produced weight savings that were vitally important to a high-performance aircraft.
Fairey began negotiating for the licence rights to import and/or build this power plant in Britain, and acquired an engine and propeller for the development of a fast day bomber for the RAF.

A prototype single-bay biplane with unequal-span staggered wings was built as a private venture. Landing gear, tail unit and fuselage were typical Fairey design but the fuselagewas much slimmer than usual. Notable were the considerable efforts made to produce a structure as free from drag as then possible. Even the mounting for the gunner's defensive Lewis gun was of Fairey design, to eliminate the drag induced by the normal Scarff ring.

 

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The prototype was first flown on 3 January 1925 named Fox. Demonstrated in October of that year to Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard, its performance was so impressive that a complete squadron of aircraft was ordered into production. Strict budgets of that time (which became tighter as the 1930s approached) limited procurement to 28 aircraft. When issued to No 12 Squadron (in August 1926) they proved to be some 80km/h faster than the Fairey Fawns which they superseded. At a later period some of these aircraft were re-engined with the Rolls-Royce Kestrel and redesignated Fox IAS, remaining operational until 1931.

 

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The British Fox was built under the Fairey Aviation Company sister name in Belgium, Avions Fairey.
Avions Fairey was set up in Belgium as an offshoot of the Fairey Aviation Company of Britain. The production facility was initially created for the local production of the Fairey Firefly, to which the facilities were later used for production of the Fairey Fox aircraft.

The Seafox was a light two-seat (the rear cockpit enclosed) reconnaissance catapult seaplane, remembered for the action against the Admiral Graf Spee during the Battle of the River Plate in December 1939, having flown from the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Ajax. A total of 64 Seafox biplanes were built for the FAA, each powered by a 294kW Napier-Halford Rapier VI 16-cylinder air-cooled engine.

Later models were adapted for service by the Belgium air force with total production amounted to 176 examples.

 

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Seafox


The Seafox was a light two-seat (the rear cockpit enclosed) reconnaissance catapult seaplane, remembered for the action against the Admiral Graf Spee during the Battle of the River Plate in December 1939, having flown from the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Ajax. A total of 64 Seafox biplanes were built for the FAA, each powered by a 294kW Napier-Halford Rapier VI 16-cylinder air-cooled engine.

Fox
Engine; 1 x Rolls-Royce "Kestrel IIS", 405kW
Max take-off weight; 2140-2300 kg / 4718 - 5071 lb
Empty weight; 1450 kg / 3197 lb
Wingspan; 11.6 m / 38 ft 1 in
Length; 9.9 m / 32 ft 6 in
Height; 3.3 m / 10 ft 10 in
Wing area; 34.0 sq.m / 365.97 sq ft
Max. speed; 304 km/h / 189 mph
Ceiling; 9500 m / 31150 ft
Armament; 3 machine-guns, 250 kg of bombs
Crew; 2

Fairey Fox Mk. VI
Engine : Hispano Suiza HS 73-12 Yrds, 848 hp
Length : 32.152 ft / 9.8 m
Height: 10.499 ft / 3.2 m
Wingspan : 38.484 ft / 11.73 m
Wing area : 370.282 sq.ft / 34.4 sq.m
Max take off weight : 5402.3 lb / 2450.0 kg
Weight empty : 3947.0 lb / 1790.0 kg
Max. weight carried : 1455.3 lb / 660.0 kg
Max. speed : 164 kts / 304 km/h
Initial climb rate : 2165.35 ft/min / 11.0 m/s
Service ceiling : 22966 ft / 7000 m
Wing load : 14.56 lb/sq.ft / 71.0 kg/sq.m
Range : 324 nm / 600 km
Endurance : 3 h
Crew : 2
Armament:
2 x 7.62mm FN-Browning machine gun
1 x 7.62mm FN-Browning machine gun in rear cockpit position

 

Fairey Sea Fox
Length : 35 ft 10 in / 10.81 m
Height : 12 ft 2 in / 3.68 m
Wingspan : 40 ft / 12.19 m
Wing area : 434.004 sq.ft / 40.32 sq.m
Max take off weight : 5419.9 lb / 2458.0 kg
Weight empty : 3805.8 lb / 1726.0 kg
Max. speed : 108 kt / 200 km/h
Cruising speed : 92 kt / 171 km/h
Service ceiling : 2957 m / 9700 ft
Wing load : 12.51 lb/sq.ft / 61.0 kg/sq.m
Range : 382 nm / 708 km / 440 miles
Engine : Napier Rapier VI, 390 hp
Crew : 2
Armament : 1x cal.303 MG (7,7mm), 160kg of bombs

 

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Fairey Fox

 

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Fairey Seafox

 

 


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