Sky Guardians SGE7200203 Royal Navy Fairey Gannet Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft - No. 849 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, HMS Hermes, 1970 (1:72 Scale)
"Some ships are designed to sink, others require our assistance."
- Nathan Zelk, former RM2(SS) USS Montpelier (SSN 765) August 1993 - October 1997
The Fairey Gannet was a British carrier-borne anti-submarine warfare and airborne early warning aircraft of the post-Second World War era developed for the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm by the Fairey Aviation Company. It is a mid-wing monoplane with a tricycle undercarriage and a crew of three, and double turboprop engine driving two contra-rotating propellers.
The prototype first flew on September 19th, 1949, and made the first deck landing by a turboprop aircraft, on HMS Illustrious on June 19th, 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 Mark 1 variant at RNAS Ford in April 1954. A trainer variant (T Mark 2) first flew in August 1954. The RN's first operational Gannet squadron (826 NAS) was embarked on HMS Eagle. The initial order was for 100 AS 1 aircraft. A total of 348 Gannets were built, of which 44 were the heavily modified AEW.3. Production was shared between Fairey's factories at Hayes, Middlesex and Stockport / Ringway near Manchester.
An Airborne Early Warning variant (AEW Mk 3) was developed to replace the American-supplied, piston-engined Douglas Skyraider aircraft. This aircraft carried the American AN/APS-20F radar in a large, bulbous radome suspended beneath the fuselage, under the wing leading edge, requiring a major structural redesign. The fin area was increased to counter increase in side area of the radome, and the undercarriage had to be extended to provide the necessary ground clearance, giving the AEM 3 a more-or-less level stance on the ground. The two radar operators were located in a cabin in the fuselage, sat facing the tail, accessed by small hatches over the wing trailing edge. 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. When the AEW 3s were withdrawn and scrapped, their radar equipment was recycled into the Royal Air Force Avro Shackleton AEW 2.
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.
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 5s (re-modeled from RN AS 1s and T 2s) in 1959. Some Gannets were later acquired by various other countries.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale Royal Navy Fairey Gannet Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft that was attached to No. 849 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, then embarked upon the HMS Hermes, during 1970.
Wingspan: 8-3/4 inches
Length: 7-1/2 inches
Release Date: June 2011
Historical Account: "Deep Sea Fishing" - RAF Brawdy was a Royal Air Force station in South West Wales near to St David's. The Pembrokeshire base was officially opened on February 2nd, 1944, as a satellite station for the nearby RAF St. David's. On January 1st, 1946, the station was handed over to the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy and was initially used as a Relief Landing Ground for RNAS Dale. It was commissioned as HMS Goldcrest on 4 September 1952. In March 1953 the first Hawker Sea Hawk entered service with 806 NAS at RNAS Brawdy. From 1963 till 1971 Fairey Gannet and Hawker Hunter were based at Brawdy in 849 NAS and 738/739 NAS respectively. The Gannets were primarily used in Airborne Early Warning (AEW) and the Hunters for advanced flying training including low-level Navigation, ground attack and air-to-air weapons training.The Royal Navy left in 1971 and the base was allocated to the Department of the Environment.