Saturday, 17 December 2011

(1929-1941) Fairey IIIF

Greek Fairey IIIF
A naval cooperation hydroplane ordered by the Naval Air Force and received by the newly unified Hellenic Air Force. It took part in the war, but in less promiment operations than the Dornier Do.22 and Avro Anson.

Operational History
1929-1931 - 10 aircraft delivered from Britain. They are assigned the serial numbers N1 - N10.
1935 - Used to maintain contact with the fleet during the 1935 movement.
3 Jun. 1940 - Three killed during training accident due to bad weather near Almyros Magnisias. The aircraft is damaged beyond repair.
18 Jul. 1940 - Two killed during training accident near Rafina, Attica.
Fairey IIIF painting by unknown artistOct. 1940-1941 - Used by the 11th Naval Cooperation Squadron for reconnaissance and convoy escort missions during the war. The squadron is based at Valtoudi.
14 Apr. 1941 - N10 (crew: Economou, Drakakis, Barbas) is returning to Moudros (Limnos) after a special operation. Around 3pm, it meets four German Ju88 fighter-bombers between St. Efstratios and Skyros. (It is claimed that) Drakakis, the gunner, forces one of the aircraft to abort, but his machine gun jams. N10 is forced to ditch at sea. The crew swims to safety (presumably to Skyros), but the aircraft is sunk and Barbas has been wounded.
20 Apr. 1941 - A Dornier Do.22 (N27, crew: Dimitriadis, Papadopoulos, Fotinatos) locates the crew of a Fairey IIIF hit by a Ju88 over Skyros Fairey IIIF formationthe previous day. Despite being attacked by new Ju88s, it manages to return to base at Paloukia Salaminas.
30 Apr. or May 1941 - All remaining Fairey IIIF hydroplanes are machinegunned after Greece's surrender to the Germans, while stationed in Monemvasia and waiting for their escape orders. It is unclear why the aircraft do not escape to Crete or Egypt.

Fairey IIIF

Length: 10.82 m
Height: 4.27 m
Wingspan: 13.95 m
Wing Area: 40.74 sq. m
Weight: (max) 2,858 kg, (empty) 1,779 kg
Engine: 1 x Napier Lion XIA 570 hp
Service Ceiling: 6,100 m
Speed: 209 km/h
Armament: 1 fixed Vickers 7.7mm machine gun, 1 rotating Lewis 7.7mm machine gun. The bomb payload varied according to time period
Crew: 3

For Gamers and Game designers
The Navy specification heavy type radio (110 Kg) shifted the center of gravity of the airplane causing a lot of accidents. It is possible that for this reason, the radios were removed, significantly reducing the operational capabilities of the type.

For Modellers

Profiles by unknown artist from
Fairey IIIF profile
Fairey IIIF taking off, Valtoudi Magnisias

A computer model of the Fairey IIIF for MS Flight Simulator by Ted Cook and Matteo Arrotta:
Fairey IIIF for MS Flight Simulator by Ted Cook and Matteo Arrotta

Additional photographs of unidentified Greek Fairey IIIF aircraft:


  1. So there were 9 or 8 at October 40?
    Also i checked Valtoudi at Google maps and it is in land some distance from the sea. Any reason?

  2. Probably 8.

    Not really far from the sea. That's where it is:
    South of Argalasti, in Magnisia.