Royal Navy Gannet T2

Review by David Harvey


The Gannet was built in response to the 1945 Admiralty requirement GR.17/45, for which prototypes by Fairey ("Type Q")or "Fairey 17" after the requirement, and Blackburn B-54 / B-88 ("YB 1") were built.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 Lieutenant Commander G. Callingham. After a further change in operational requirements, with the addition of a radar and extra crew member, the type entered production in 1953 and initial deliveries were made of the AS 1 variant at RNAS Ford in April 1954. A trainer variant (T 2) first flew in August 1954. The RN's first operational Gannet squadron (826) was embarked on HMS Eagle. The initial order was for 100 AS.1 aircraft. A total of 348 Gannets was built, of which 44 were AEW.3s (later series). Production was shared between Fairey's factories at Hayes (Middlesex) and Stockport/Ringway (near Manchester).

An Airborne Early Warning variant (AEW 3) used the AN/APS 20 radar in a bulbous radome suspended beneath the body. This variant first flew in August 1958, with trials carried out with HMS Centaur in November. For stability, it required a redesigned fin and rudder together with the small vertical fins on the tailplane fitted to the other versions.

By the mid-1960s, the AS 1s and AS 4s were replaced by the Westland Whirlwind HAS7 with some Gannets continuing as an Electronic countermeasures ECM 6 variant. These were extended in service until finally scrapped, with the radars re-used in the Royal Air Force Avro Shackletons. Some AS 4s were also converted as COD 4s for Carrier onboard delivery.

The Royal Australian Navy purchased the Gannet (AS 1 - 36 aircraft). It operated from the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne and the shore base HMAS Albatross near Nowra, New South Wales. The German Navy bought the AS 4 and T 5 variants. Indonesia bought a number of AS 4 and T 5 variants (re-modelled from RN AS 1s and T 2s) in 1959. Some Gannets were later acquired by various other countries.

(historical information sourced from Wikpedia)

The CD

With the recent plethora of Gannet kits in 1/72 and 1/48 this CD is well timed to assist with the detailing of the different kits. The CD's come in a plain brown envelope with no instructions, not that they are needed and load easily on my computer. The CD contains 44 large, high quality images of the Royal Navy Gannet in the image above. The images show some very good detail of a number of the external areas, especially the wing fold and the wheels. Unfortunately there are no interior shots of the cockpits but there are a number of images on the web which show these areas. The downfall for this and other CD's is that there is in fact quite a large amount of pictures freely available on the internet of not only this, but a great deal of other pieces of equipment.


I highly recommend this CD for those in the process of making the various kits of the Gannet. Whilst you may be able to source images of the aircraft from the net I believe that having a CD such as this available is of great use.

CD provided courtesy of Ley reynolds of Platypus Publications. Contact ph: 02 4753 6148 (10am till 4pm) or PO Box 13, Glenbrook NSW 2773.

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