Fairey
Gannet A.S.4 / T.5
The single Gannet T. 5

(taken from: F-40 #14 "Fairey A.S.4 Gannet")

The Fairey Gannet originated from a Royal Navy demand for a new Anti-Submarine-Warfare aircraft. The aircraft was suposed to have foldable wings, so it could easily be stowed and operated from aircraft carriers.
Maiden flight of the first prototype was at Aldermaston on 19th september 1949. The Gannet was redesigned as three-seat, propeller-turbine driven aircraft and took to the skies in may 1951.
Assembly started already the next spring. Modifications concerning engine and technical equipment lead to the A.S. Mk 4. Training aircraft with dual controls were the T. Mk 2 and T. Mk 5.

Line-up of Gannet A.S. Mk 4

(taken from: F-40 #14 "Fairey A.S.4 Gannet")

Soon after commisioning of the Bundesmarine 15 A.S. Mk 4 as well as a single T. Mk 5 were ordered. These aircraft cost som 30 million DM.
The subhunters were taken from a production lot originally planned for the Royal Navy. But they did not meet the new britisch tactical requirements regarding range and equipment.

The Gannets main task was to secure shipping routes in the North Sea and the Skagerrak, as well as attacking enemy submarine and surface vessels. To achieve these, the Gannet could carry up to 900 kg of ordnance like waterbombs or torpedoes in the internal bombbay. In addition unguided rockets and other ammunitions could be carried on eight to ten hardpoints.

Gannets operating of the shores of Helgoland

(taken from: "Marineflieger", Mittler Verlag)

In 1958 MFGrp 1 received the first four German A.S. 4s as well as the T.5 trainer. These aircraft were suplemented by several maschines leant by the Royal Navy. The Anti-Submarine Squadron of MFGrp 1 was reached operational status in mid 1958 and soon deployed to Schleswig-Jagel soon after.
1962 saw the Gannets moving to Westerland/Sylt. From here they flew their assigned missions over both North- and Baltic Sea and the vital Skagerrak. November 1964 again saw the Gannets move to a new base. This time to Nordholz, where all Gannets formed the newly commissioned MFG 3. Normally only 10 Gannets saw operational service, while the remaining aircraft  were used as reserves.
Only a year later the end of the Gannets aera arrived in form of the newly acquired and far more capable Breguet Br.1150 Atlantic.

Gannet A.S. 4

(taken from: F-40 #14 "Fairey A.S.4 Gannet")

Even though modifications were made, the Gannets were outdated by the time they were introduced into service. old fashioned avionics and poor mission durability of only four hours could not be made up for by the otherwise robust design. Still only one aircraft was lost in 1966, this being the UA-115.

Gannet on the ground

(taken from: "Flugzeug-Photoarchiv")

Technical data:

 
Measures
Wingspan           : 16,60m
Length             : 13,10m
Height             :  4,20m
Weights
Weight empty       :  6900kg
max. Takeoff Weight: 10200kg
Performance
max. Speed         : 485km/h
Range              : 1500km
Serviceceiling     : 23000ft
Engine
Armstrong-Siddeley "Double Mamba" Mk.101 Propellerturbine
Thrust             : 2280kW
 
[back to main page]