Swordfish Mk I

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"APACHE" | AH-64A Peten
Swordfish Mk I
General characteristics
3 peopleCrew
4.20 tTake-off weight
0.16 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
3300 mCeiling
Bristol Pegasus III M3Engine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
390 km/hStructural
400 km/hGear
Offensive armament
7.7 mm Vickers E machine gunWeapon 1
600 roundsAmmunition
900 shots/minFire rate
Defensive armament
7.7 mm Vickers K machine gunTurret
600 roundsAmmunition
950 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
4 x 250 LB G.P. Mk.IV bombSetup 1
6 x 250 LB G.P. Mk.IV bombSetup 2
2 x 250 LB G.P. Mk.IV bomb
2 x 500 LB G.P. Mk.IV bomb
Setup 3
1 x 18 inch Mark XII torpedo (1548 lbs)Setup 4
2900 Rp icon.pngResearch
700 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png350 / 441/200 / 252/200 / 252Repair
200 Sl icon.pngCrew training
1000 Sl icon.pngExperts
20 Ge icon.pngAces
100 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
90 % Sl icon.png90 % Sl icon.png30 % Sl icon.png


GarageImage Swordfish Mk I.jpg

The Swordfish Mk I is a rank I British bomber with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.

The Swordfish is a plane often overlooked by new players, but it is common for more experienced players to hold a special love for "ugly ducklings". As such, the Swordfish is valued for providing a change of pace towards slower gameplay and simultaneously a challenge, being mostly staying alive.

As with all torpedo bombers, maintaining low altitude, high speed, and fighter cover are all recommended. The optimal distance for launching a torpedo is 1 km from the target, though the Swordfish is slow enough to be able to drop torpedoes efficiently from shorter distances. Targets should be engaged from directly ahead or astern, making "leading" the target much easier.

If torpedo bombing is not an option, the plane can carry bombs for attacking ground targets. The aircraft's slow speed means it is great practice for aiming bombs. With practice, any pilot can make short work of tanks and light pillboxes with the Swordfish.

The Swordfish is an in-game oddity because it can exceed its max altitude of 3,300 m and go up to about 4,000 m with the 4 x 250 lb bombs attached.

Inside the Cockpit of the Swordfish

A classic biplane design, thus offensive armament is limited. Restrained to only one machine gun offensively and defensively, the Swordfish's true strength is the payload.

General info

Flight performance

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 1,400 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 208 200 3300 14.0 15.1 6.4 6.4 297
Upgraded 246 226 12.1 13.0 12.7 9.2


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
390 400 N/A N/A 400 ~8 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 200 < 220 < 260 > 310
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
366 m 870 hp N/A

Survivability and armour

The Swordfish does not feature any armour, and its canvas structure does not provide any degree of protection. One has to rely on the Vitality crew skill to prolong the lifetime of the plane. The only survivability advantage of note is in the airplane's self-sealing fuel tanks and a large, radial engine, which might soak up some bullets before the plane is taken down. Still though, overall the best tactic is to avoid attention, as the low speed combined with negligible protection make it a tempting target for enemy airplanes.

  • No armour protection
  • Self-sealing fuel tanks


Offensive armament

Main article: Vickers E (7.7 mm)

The Swordfish Mk I is armed with:

  • 1 x 7.7 mm Vickers E machine gun, fuselage-mounted (600 rpg)

Suspended armament

The Swordfish Mk I can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 4 x 250 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (1,000 lb total)
  • 6 x 250 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (1,500 lb total)
  • 2 x 500 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs + 2 x 250 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (1,500 lb total)
  • 1 x 450 mm 18 inch Mark XII torpedo

Defensive armament

Main article: Vickers K (7.7 mm)

The Swordfish Mk I is defended by:

  • 1 x 7.7 mm Vickers K machine gun, dorsal turret (600 rpg)

Usage in battles

For now, the use of the Swordfish is confined to the early ranks, where it is moderately effective as a bomber. While it is slow and poorly armed, it is quite manoeuvrable and carries a decent payload. Therefore, it is strictly relegated to bombing and torpedo bombing. During ground realistic battles, the Swordfish can be great for accurately bombing enemy vehicles, however, you will be a very easy target for SPAA and enemy fighters. Even tanks may try to shoot you down. Therefore you must be careful and try to drop your bombs as quickly as possible before returning to base to rearm. Hanging around once your bombs are gone will quickly get you shot down. Pinpoint your target at a distance, drop your bombs and then make your escape.

A good tactic is to fly at a distance from the fighting, keeping out of range of machine gun fire or worse. If an enemy starts to capture one of your capture points, you can then swoop in and bomb the capture point, clearing it of any enemy vehicles. This way you can be assured a target is available. Circling over the combat area looking for targets is not a good idea. This is risky enough in faster, more nimble aircraft, so in a big, slow biplane bomber, it is almost suicidal.

If you are intercepted by an enemy aircraft, your best option is to call for help. The Swordfish is by no means fast or manoeuvrable enough to escape from enemy fighters at the rank. Your rear gunner may be able to deter some more cautious players, but most players will shrug off the small calibre rounds. Therefore, you should not rely too much on the single 7.7 mm gunner. The same goes for the offensive 7.7 mm. Do not be tempted to start trying to dogfight with other aircraft, as you will quickly find yourself outgunned, outmanoeuvred and dead. Avoid enemy aircraft if possible.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Not controllable Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Combined Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Offensive 7 mm UC Mk.1
II Compressor Airframe New 7 mm MGs UC Mk.2
III Wings repair Engine Turret 7 mm FTC mk.II
IV Engine injection Cover New 7 mm MGs (turret)

Pros and cons


  • Quite manoeuvrable
  • Good bomb load for its rank
  • Useful at downing vehicles in tank battles
  • Easy to aim bombs thanks to its low speed
  • One forward firing machine gun for taking out soft/light targets
  • One rear-facing machine gun that may prove itself useful
  • Like in real life, unlike most aircraft, it is easy to control at low speeds
  • Engine cooling is great (does not overheat for a while even when on WEP)


  • Terribly slow
  • Quick speed loss in tight turns combined with slow speed means that you might be struggling to maintain a non-stall airspeed
  • Poor rate of climb
  • Vulnerable to tank MG's and even main cannons
  • Offensive armament is virtually useless
  • Insufficient armament to efficiently fend off enemy planes
  • Very poor cockpit visibility


The Swordfish took part during the raids of Kirkenes and Petsamo, find out more from the Disaster In the Arctic historical article .

Affectionately known as the "Stringbag" by the pilots, engineers and crews who operated her, the Fairey Aviation Company's Swordfish was a design that was outdated from the very beginning of the Second World War. Despite this, it managed to outlive its replacements, including the Fairey Albacore, in service until the arrival of modern monoplane Torpedo Bombers such as the Fairey Barracuda. Seeing 4 models, plus a float plane modification, the Swordfish would finally bow out of service in 1945 after VE day after showing just how successful the outdated design had become. From the Battle of Taranto, Operations in the Atlantic, to the attack on the Bismarck, the Swordfish struggled on to the end.

Taking to the skies for the first time in 1934, the Swordfish was born into an era that ensured its time would be limited from its very conception, as just one year later in 1935, the Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt BF 109 also made their debut. Regardless, the Swordfish would make its mark on history, before its swansong over 10 years after its first flight.

In-game description

A single-engine biplane of mixed construction, the Fairey Swordfish was developed initially as a Torpedo Bomber/Spotter/Reconnaissance aircraft. The origins of the Swordfish lay in the TSR I prototype of 1933 which, after being lost in an accident, was replaced by the TSR II which first flew on April 17th 1934. The first order for 86 aircraft was placed in April 1935 and in July 1936 the first Swordfish entered service with 825 Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm.

The Swordfish Mk I was powered by a radial air-cooled Bristol Pegasus Mk IIIM engine and was equipped with one synchronised, fuselage-mounted 0.303 inch Vickers Mk.II machine gun and one 0.303 inch Lewis or Vickers 'K' machine gun in the Telegraphist Air Gunner's cockpit. The Swordfish Mk I could carry one 18 inch torpedo (731 kg), one sea mine (680 kg), three Mk VII depth charges or up to 1500 lbs (680 kg) of bombs underneath the fuselage and wings. Later variants could carry 60 lb rockets.

The Swordfish was normally crewed by three; the pilot, the observer and in the rearmost cockpit, the Telegraphist Air Gunner, or TAG. On some occasions the observer would be seated in the TAG's cockpit whilst an extra fuel tank was fitted in the observer's cockpit.

As an open cockpit biplane with a fixed undercarriage and areas of fabric skin, the Swordfish was viewed by most as an anachronism and obsolete by the beginning of the Second World War. Nothing could be further from the truth; the Swordfish possessed stable, forgiving handling characteristics which made it ideally suited for naval operations from the unforgiving decks of aircraft carriers in rough seas or at night. With a low stall speed and an incredible agility for an aircraft of its size, the Swordfish could out turn most enemy fighters at slow speeds. It was a tough, robust aircraft capable of withstanding battle damage which would have destroyed many more 'modern' aircraft. It even outlasted its intended replacement, the Fairey Albacore.

The Swordfish became immortalised in the annals of naval aviation history when, on the night of 11th-12th November 1940, when 21 Swordfish of 813 NAS, 815 NAS, 819 NAS and 824 NAS carried out a daring attack on the Italian port of Taranto, crippling three Italian battleships and causing significant damage to smaller warships and coastal installations. The attack would become the model for the Japanese Navy's strike on Pearl Harbour. Swordfish of 818 NAS also succeeded in crippling the steering gear of the German battleship 'Bismarck' allowing Royal Navy warships to destroy her. Perhaps the most tragic moment in the illustrious career of the Swordfish was when six aircraft of 825 NAS attacked the German warships 'Scharnhorst', 'Gneisenau' and 'Prinz Eugen' through a screen of anti aircraft fire and squadrons of German fighters. All six Swordfish were lost and their CO, Lt Cdr Eugene Esmonde, was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross, one of only four ever to be awarded to naval aviators.

After a career matched by no other naval strike aircraft in history, production of the Swordfish ceased in August 1944. A Swordfish carried out the last operational flight by a biplane in the Fleet Air Arm in June 1945, leaving only a few of Swordfish to carry out ancillary duties until the last disappeared from the Royal Navy's books in the 1950s. A total of 2,391 Swordfish were produced, 992 of which were from the Mk I series.


See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Fairey Aviation Company, Limited
Fighters  Firefly F Mk I · Firefly FR Mk V
Bombers  Swordfish Mk I · Swordfish Mk II

Britain bombers
Torpedo  Swordfish Mk I · Swordfish Mk II · ▄Avenger Mk II
Dive  V-156-B1
Hydroplanes  ▄Catalina Mk IIIa · Sunderland Mk IIIa · Sunderland Mk V
Light  Blenheim Mk IV · Beaufort Mk VIII · ▄Hudson Mk V · Brigand B 1
Based on A20  ▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄DB-7
Hampden  Hampden Mk I · Hampden TB Mk I
Wellington  Wellington Mk Ic · Wellington Mk Ic/L · Wellington Mk III · Wellington Mk X
Halifax  Halifax B Mk IIIa
Stirling  Stirling B Mk I · Stirling B Mk III
Lancaster  Lancaster B Mk I · Lancaster B Mk III
Lincoln  Lincoln B Mk II
Attackers  ▄Wirraway