1 Development 2 Design 3 Operational history
3.1 Accidents and mishaps 3.2 Harness restraint issues
4 Variants 5 Operators 6 Surviving aircraft
6.1 Australia 6.2 Germany 6.3 Indonesia 6.4 United Kingdom 6.5 United States of America
7 Specifications (Gannet AS.1) 8 See also 9 References 10 External links
The Gannet was built in response to the 1945
The Gannet's distinctive double folding wing.
The pilot was seated well forward, conferring a good view over the
nose for carrier operations, and sat over the Double Mamba engine,
directly behind the gearbox and propellers. The second crew member, an
aerial observer, was seated under a separate canopy directly behind
the pilot. After the prototype, a second observer was included, in his
own cockpit over the wing trailing edge. This addition disturbed the
airflow over the horizontal stabiliser, requiring small finlets on
either side. The Gannet had a large internal weapons bay in the
fuselage and a retractable radome under the rear fuselage.
The Gannet's wing folded in two places to form a distinctive Z-shape
on each side. The first fold was upward, at about a third of the wing
span where the inboard anhedral (down-sweep) changed to the outboard
dihedral (up-sweep) of the wing (described as an inverted gull wing).
The second wing fold was downward, at about two-thirds of the wing
span. The length of the nosewheel shock absorber caused the Gannet
to have a distinctive nose-high attitude, a common characteristic of
In FAA service, the Gannet generally wore the standard camouflage
scheme of a Sky (duck-egg blue) underside and fuselage sides, with
Extra Dark Sea Grey upper surfaces, the fuselage demarcation line
running from the nose behind the propeller spinner in a straight line
to then curve and join the line of the fin. Code numbers were
typically painted on the side of the fuselage ahead of the wing;
roundel and serial markings were behind the wing. The T.2 and T.5
trainers were finished in silver overall, with a yellow "Trainer band"
on rear fuselage and wings.
The prototype first flew on 19 September 1949 and made the first deck
landing by a turboprop aircraft, on HMS Illustrious on 19 June
1950, by pilot
Newly assembled Gannet AS.4 at Manchester Airport, June 1956
By the mid-1960s, the AS.1s and AS.4s had been replaced by the
Westland Whirlwind HAS.7 helicopters. Gannets continued as Electronic
countermeasures aircraft: the ECM.6. Some AS.4s were converted to
COD.4s for Carrier onboard delivery—the aerial supply of mail and
light cargo to the fleet.
Royal Australian Navy
21 November 1958 -
Harness restraint issues Tests on the harness restraint system in the Gannet were carried out after a midflight failure due to the release cables binding. The accident was the result of an unrelated engine failure, but the primary issue was the failure of the harness quick-release mechanism. A brief report in Cockpit, Q4 1973, concerning the accident:
"A Gannet was launched at night from Ark Royal and climbed to 4,000 ft. Shortly afterwards the starboard engine ran down to 60%. Attempts to feather and brake the engine, and a subsequent re-light were unsuccessful and the aircraft was unable to maintain height. (It is considered that the most likely cause of the accident was disconnection of the HP cock linkage). Both observers bailed out at 1,800 ft, but when the pilot, Lieutenant Keith Jones, tried to bail out he could not free himself from the 'Negative g' strap. However, the rest of the harness had fallen clear and so the pilot was committed to a ditching without any restraint from shoulder or lap straps. This was successfully accomplished and the aircrew were all recovered safely and uninjured ... Although the ditching was successful, the most disturbing factor of the accident, was the inability of the pilot to release himself from 'Negative g' strap..."
Gannet T.2 advanced trainer demonstrating in 1955 with one-half of the Double Mamba shut down and weapons bay open
A Gannet COD.4 from HMS Victorious (R38), in 1965.
Type Role Number Built Notes
Type Q Anti-Submarine Warfare 3 Three prototypes were ordered, two in August 1946 and one with a rear cockpit mockup was ordered in July 1949. The first VR546 first flew on 19 September 1949 followed by the second VR577 on 6 July 1950. The third WE488 first flew in May 1951 and all three were powered by the Double Mamba ASMD.1.
AS.1 Anti-Submarine Warfare 183
T.2 Dual Control Trainer version of AS.1 38 1 converted from AS.1
AEW.3 Airborne Early Warning 44 Separate build
AS.4 Anti-Submarine Warfare 75 1 converted from AS.1
COD.4 Carrier Onboard Delivery 6 Converted from AS.4
T.5 Dual Control Trainer version of AS.4 11 3 converted from T.2
ECM.6 Electronic Countermeasures 9 Converted from AS.4 Initially classed as AS.6
AEW.7 Airborne Early Warning 0 Proposal for radical upgrade of AEW.3
An Australian Gannet AS.1 on the USS Philippine Sea in 1958.
Fleet Air Arm
724 Squadron RAN 725 Squadron RAN 816 Squadron RAN 817 Squadron RAN
German Gannets in flight, in 1960.
Marinefliegergeschwader 2 (1958–63) Marinefliegergeschwader 3 (1963–66)
700 Naval Air Squadron 703 Naval Air Squadron 703X Flight 719 Naval Air Squadron 724 Naval Air Squadron 725 Naval Air Squadron 737 Naval Air Squadron 744 Naval Air Squadron 796 Naval Air Squadron 810 Naval Air Squadron 812 Naval Air Squadron 814 Naval Air Squadron 815 Naval Air Squadron 816 Naval Air Squadron 817 Naval Air Squadron 820 Naval Air Squadron 824 Naval Air Squadron 825 Naval Air Squadron 826 Naval Air Squadron 831 Naval Air Squadron 847 Naval Air Squadron 849 Naval Air Squadron 1840 Naval Air Squadron Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Fleet Air Arm
Gannet AS.1 XA334, Camden Museum of Aviation, New South Wales
Gannet AS.1 XA331, Queensland Air Museum, Caloundra, Queensland.
Gannet AS.1 XA434 at the
Fleet Air Arm
Gannet AEW.3 XL450, at the Flugausstellung Hermeskeil. Gannet AS.4 UA-113, at the  Marinefliegermuseum Nordholz e.V Gannet AS.4 at Technik Museum Speyer
-AERONAUTICUM - Indonesia
Gannet AS.1, Serial no. F9139 in Surabaya. Gannet AS.1, Serial no. F9127 at Satria Mandala Armed Forces Museum in Jakarta.
Gannet T.2 XA508, Midland Air Museum, Coventry
Gannet T.5 XG883, Museum of Berkshire Aviation, Woodley, Berkshire,
Gannet ECM.6 XG831 at Davidstow Airfield and
Under restoration or stored
Gannet AS.4 XA460 currently under restoration at Aeroventure, Doncaster
Gannet T.5 XG882 is on the former RAF Errol, between
Gannet AEW.3 G-KAEW (XL500) undergoing a full restoration to airworthiness
United States of America
Gannet AS.1 XT752., Wings of Steel Foundation,
Specifications (Gannet AS.1)
Side view comparison of
Data from 'British Naval Aircraft since 1912' General characteristics
Length: 43ft (13m)
Wingspan: 54ft 4in (16.56m)
Height: 13ft 9in (4.19m)
Wing area: 483 ft² (45 m²)
Empty weight: 15,069 lb (6,835kg)
Powerplant: 1 ×
Armstrong Siddeley Double Mamba
Maximum speed: 310 mph (500 km/h) Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m) Endurance: 5-6 hours
Armament Up to 2,000lb of bombs, torpedoes, depth charges and rockets Avionics
Ekco ASV Mk. 19 radar
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Breguet Alizé Grumman S-2 Tracker Short Seamew Tupolev Tu-91
List of aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm
849 Naval Air Squadron
Smith, Dave. "Hit The Deck." Flypast, No. 328, November 2008.
Sturtivant, Ray and Theo Ballance. The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm.
London: Air-Britain, 1994. ISBN 0-85130-223-8.
Taylor, H.A. Fairey Aircraft Since 1915. London: Putnam, 1974.
Taylor, John W.R. "Fairey Gannet". Combat Aircraft of the World from
1909 to the Present. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969 (reprinted
1977). ISBN 0-425-03633-2, ISBN 978-0-425-03633-4.
Thetford, Owen. British Naval Aircraft Since 1912. London: Putnam,
1978. ISBN 0-370-30021-1.
Velek, Martin, Michal Ovčáčík and Karel Susa. Fairey Gannet
Anti-submarine and Strike Variants, AS Mk.1 & AS Mk.4 . Prague,
Czech Republic: 4+ Publications, 2007. ISBN 978-80-86637-04-4.
Williams, Ray. Fly Navy: Aircraft of the
Fleet Air Arm
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fairey Gannet.
List of surviving Gannets
"XT752: The world's last flying
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F.2 N.4 N.9 N.10 Hamble Baby Campania III Pintail Flycatcher Fawn Fremantle Ferret Fox Kangourou Firefly Long-range Monoplane Firefly II Fleetwing Hendon Gordon Seal S.9/30 TSR.1 G.4/31 Swordfish Fantôme Battle Seafox P.4/34 Albacore Fulmar Barracuda Firefly (monoplane) Spearfish Gyrodyne Primer Gannet Delta 1 Jet Gyrodyne Delta 2 Ultra-light Helicopter Rotodyne Gannet AEW
Avions Fairey aircraft