Prop Power

Aircraft development was slow in the interwar years however it accelerated in the late 1930s. At the start of World War II the Royal Navy Fleet fighter was the venerable Fulmar, slow and carrying a crew of 2, it was limited in its manoeuverability. By the end of the War the Navy was operating significantly faster and more capable craft, such as the Spitfire-derived Seafire and the new Hawker Sea Fury, which turned out to be the ultimate piston engined fighter. The Swordfish saw the start of hostilities as an obsolete airframe, yet managed to fill an absolutely essential gap and became part of the machine that won the vital Battle of the Atlantic. It was the only aeroplane available that could operate from small and thus available decks in support of the many convoys that brought the war supplies so vitally needed in Europe.

The Swordfish

The Swordfish was one of the most successful aircraft in the history of naval air warfare owing to its versatility and manoeuvrability

read more


One of the most significant Fleet Air Arm training aircraft of the 1940 and 50s, the T.6 Texan is used as a training aircraft by the pilots of the Royal Navy Historic Flight read more

Douglas AD4 Skyraider

The Douglas Skyraider filled an important gap in British Naval Aviation and occupied a unique position in the Royal Navy because of her ability to carry nearly a ton of powerful radar equipment, complete with pilot and two radar operators. read more

Sea Fury

One of the fastest single piston-engined production aircraft ever built, the Sea Fury was the last propeller driven fighter to serve in the Royal Navy.

read more