What an extraordinary aircraft the Fairey Swordfish turned out to be. Born at the end of the biplane era, this was an aircraft apparently totally unsuited to fight the war in which it became embroiled. Despite being deemed obsolete at the onset of hostilities, it not only outlived aircraft designed to replace it, but it gave sterling service, virtually unchanged, in all theatres throughout the war.
This reliable and manoeuvrable aircraft, much loved by its crews, had its major honours at Taranto and in the sinking of the Bismarck, but it also played a huge part in the Battle of the Atlantic and with the Arctic convoys as well as campaigns across the globe.
This is the story of the marathon 26 month restoration of the world's oldest flying Fairey Swordfish, W5856, filmed at their Brough factory by British Aerospace in the 90's.
W5856 is currently hangared with the Royal Navy Historic flight at RNAS Yeovilton and is still a regular and popular display aircraft at air shows around the UK.
First Publishment Date: 01 January 1970