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Into the Archives – Firebrand

21st August 2015

The Blackburn Firebrand was a single-engine strike fighter for the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy designed during World War II by Blackburn Aircraft. Originally intended to serve as a pure fighter, its unimpressive performance and the allocation of its Napier Sabre piston engine by the Ministry of Aircraft Production for the Hawker Typhoon caused it to be redesigned as a strike fighter to take advantage of its load-carrying capability.

The first image shown above (kindly provided by ex Hawker Siddeley employee Peter Stephenson) shows the aircraft being displayed in Queens Gardens Hull in October 1945. Interestingly this aircraft had just been taken off the “secret list” allowing this photograph to be taken. The initial development of the Firebrand was slow and the first production aircraft was not delivered until after the end of the war. Only a few hundred were built before it was withdrawn from front-line service in 1953.

The new owners of the site have committed to make reference to the strong heritage of the site.  The start of this is the renaming of building 141 office block to Firebrand, the completion of which is due following their refurbishment in early 2016.

Posted by HEP Communications | 21 August 2015

Photo credits: BAE System (Operations) Ltd.