1950 Fairey Firefly Would Have You Believe It Fought in Korea

Like many other countries involved in the fighting, the Brits rolled out a great deal of airplanes during the years of the Second World War. We all know of the Spitfires and Hurricanes that kept the Luftwaffe at bay over Europe and the Channel, but other, less famous nameplates made their mark on history too.
1950 Fairey Firefly 6 photos
1950 Fairey Firefly1950 Fairey Firefly1950 Fairey Firefly1950 Fairey Firefly1950 Fairey Firefly
One of them is the Fairey Firefly, a carrier-based fighter and anti-submarine aircraft. The single-engine machine first flew in 1943, and it was primarily destined for the Fleet Air Arm, one of the Royal Navy’s five fighting branches. Because it was in production for a long time (it last rolled off the lines in 1955) it ended up in the service of countless nations, including Ethiopia, India, or Thailand.

Compared to the Spitfires and Hurricanes, the Firefly was made in far fewer numbers, just a little over 1,700. There were countless variants made, including target drones. Generally though, combat Fireflies were equipped with cannons, rockets and bombs, and were capable of flying at speeds of up to 386 mph (621 kph), and at a maximum altitude of 31,900 ft (9,700 m).

The Firefly we have here missed all the Second World War fighting, having been made in 1950. It was deployed with the 817 Squadron of the Royal Australian Navy. This unit used Fireflies in its missions during the Korean War, but it’s unclear if this particular plane saw any action during that time – that’s because this is an AS6 variant, and the Fireflies used by the 817 were of the Mk 5 variety.

Wrapped in the colors of the 817 Squadron, the airplane survived to this day and was flown successfully at air shows across the U.S. In 2012 it had a landing accident and had to be restored. The Firefly made a comeback in 2019 at Oshkosh, at it is now for sale. Pricing was not disclosed.


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