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Principal types of aircraft operated by R.A.F. during WW2 and crashed in Belgium

Fairey Battle

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Last update: 25/06/23

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the Heroes of Silence

Country United Kingdom
Manufacturer: Fairey Aviation
Primary Role: Light Bomber
Maiden Flight: 10 March 1936

The Battle light bombers were designed to Royal Air Force's Specification P.27/32 in the late 1930s which was meant to replace aging RAF bombers still in service. The design won a RAF contract for 155 aircraft for Specification P.23/35, and the first production aircraft was completed in Jun 1937 at Fairey's Stockport factory. Although the European War started only little more than two years after the design's introduction, these bombers operated by a crew of three were already considered obsolete. Nevertheless, they remained in service due to RAF's need for combat aircraft. On 2 Sep 1939, ten bomber squadrons equipped with Battle bombers were deployed to France as a part of the Advanced Air Striking Force. Although the 20 Sep 1939 downing of a German Bf 109 by a Battle bomber marked the RAF's first aerial combat victory, these bombers were slow, hence suffering a high casualty rate in combat. Defensive armament found on them was weak as well, with only two 7.7mm machine guns, one forward and one rear. During the German invasion of France, the loss rate in May 1940 for Battle bombers, including those in operation by Belgian air force also, was about 50% after losing 77 aircraft without achieving a significant number of objectives. As a result, they were beginning to be withdrawn from front line service in France starting in Jun 1940, though Polish and British Battle bombers continued to conduct cross channel raids until Oct 1940. Although no longer a front line combat aircraft, they remained in service mainly as flight and gunnery trainers for British and other Commonwealth personnel. They also served as test beds for newly developed aircraft engines. They were finally retired from service in 1949.

During the design's production life, 2,185 were built. 1,029 of that total was built by the Austin Motor Company and 18 were by Avions Fairey company in Belgium. Source: Wikipedia.

Battle Timeline

* 10 Mar 1936: The Fairey Battle Day bomber took its first flight.
* 20 May 1937: The Fairey Battle light bomber entered service with No. 63 Squadron at RAF Upwood near Upwood, England, United Kingdom.


* Mk.II
* Machinery One Rolls-Royce Merlin II liquid-cooled V12 engine rated at 1,030hp
* Armament 1x7.7mm Browning machine gun in starboard wing, 1x7.7mm Vickers K machine gun in rear cabin, 4x110kg internal bombs, 230kb of external bombs
* Crew: 3
* Span: 16.46 m
* Length: 12.91 m
* Height: 4.72 m
* Wing Area: 39.20 m²
* Weight, Empty: 3,015 kg
* Weight, Loaded: 4,895 kg
* Speed, Maximum: 414 km/h
* Rate of Climb: 4.70 m/s
* Service Ceiling: 7,600 m
* Range, Normal: 1,600 km


Battle in flight


Bombs looding


Squadron in flight


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