Firebrand TF Mk IV
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Firebrand TF Mk IV is a rank II British strike aircraft with a battle rating of 3.7 (AB), 4.0 (RB), and 4.3 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.51 "Cold Steel".
The Firebrand can be considered as a British SB2C. With extremely heavy armament as well as a respectable secondary load, the Firebrand is foremost a strike aircraft and then a fighter only if the situation calls for it. Carrying 4 fast-firing and high-capacity Hispano Mk.V cannons, the Firebrand Mk IV can rip through all aircraft at its BR and all "soft" ground targets with ease. The torpedo options allow anti-ship capabilities, and conventional bombs effectively destroy ground targets.
Originally designed as a naval fighter, the Firebrand in its attacker/torpedo bomber form still retains some characteristics of its roots. The plane has a surprisingly tight turn radius for such a heavy plane, though this is compromised by its extended wingspan intended to generate more lift while carrying payloads, which causes the plane to be less responsive and manoeuvrable compared to traditional fighters. Handling while banking and negative G manoeuvres can be described as "floaty" at best due to the extra lift that gets in the way of the plane. To counter excessive lift, the Firebrand's rugged and complex combat flaps can help to improve the plane's handling characteristics, especially below 420 km/h (the flap's rip speed).
Since dogfighting is not the Firebrand's greatest strength, the plane can be used as a boom-and-zoom fighter to some extent. The plane is somewhat slow to accelerate in a dive, although this can be pushed to its structural limit of 720 km/h. However, the Firebrand's control surfaces will start to lock up at 550 km/h and can be lethal, thus a small airbrake is featured to help restore the plane's controllability. As with most of the naval fighters, the Firebrand performs best at lower altitudes (below 4,000 meters).
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,572 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 433||< 500||< 550||> 307|
Survivability and armour
- 12.7 mm Steel - Armour plate, upper seat back and headrest
- 42.8 mm Bulletproof glass - Armoured windscreen
Modifications and economy
The Firebrand TF Mk IV is armed with:
- 4 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.V cannons, wing-mounted (200 rpg = 800 total)
The Firebrand TF Mk IV can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 1 x 18 inch Mark XV torpedo
- 2 x 250 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (500 lb total)
- 2 x 250 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs + 8 x RP-3 rockets (500 lb total)
- 2 x 500 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (1,000 lb total)
- 1 x 1,000 lb G.P. Mk.I bomb + 2 x 500 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (2,000 lb total)
- 1 x 1,000 lb M.C. Mk.I bomb + 2 x 500 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (2,000 lb total)
- 1 x 1,000 lb G.P. Mk.I bomb (1,000 lb total)
- 1 x 1,000 lb M.C. Mk.I bomb (1,000 lb total)
- 8 x RP-3 rockets
- 2 x Uncle Tom rockets
Usage in battles
In Arcade battles, the Firebrand can actually excel. There are no speed limits or breakage and performance is exaggerated. Thus, the Firebrand can be used somewhat effectively as a fighter. Turning and handling are both still poor performers with this aircraft compared with Realistic battle while the climb rate is significantly increased.
Boom & Zoom is a good tactic in Arcade battles. Due to terrible handling characteristics, simply diving and flying flat is a good defensive tactic.
As a striker, the Firebrand can be extremely effective as well. Diving at an insane speed at targets is a good tactic, as its wings cannot rip and the Firebrand possesses amazing top speed and dive acceleration. Make sure to pull up quite soon, however, as handling is very poor.
Due to unlimited ammunition, the cannons are remarkably effective in Arcade battles.
When using the Firebrand as a striker, it is recommended to side climb at the beginning of the match. Perform a shallow dive until you reach the target, as speed will accumulate rapidly and the evasion of ground fire and enemy aircraft will be far easier. Plan ahead when striking your target - don't begin diving until you have approximated where the target may be once you reach it (say a destroyer or convoy). With RP-3 rockets, glide in at a shallow angle, aiming the bottom crosshair of the rocket sight on the target, and fire at about 400 metres. (0.40km or 0.25mi)
As a fighter, the Firebrand is more lacklustre. It possesses very poor handling capabilities, and manoeuvring is very sluggish. Partially due to wing-loading and weight, the Firebrand does, surprisingly, have a small turn radius and turns quite quickly, similar to the Me 410. However, turning with the Firebrand is not recommended - turning will severely bleed energy, enough to make you an eventual sitting duck.
High altitude performance, as well as zoom climbing, is extremely poor due to the lack of engine injection or throttle. Roll rate is poor as well, and the Firebrand is a massive target, compared to smaller and nimbler fighters such as the Bf-109. However, energy retention, as well as level-flight speed, is excellent. Using Boom & Zoom is recommended when using the Firebrand as a fighter, and using the Firebrand as a bomber hunter is also a good idea.
Always avoid fur balls with superior turning fighters, which includes almost all single-engine fighters at 4.3-5.3. In general, tactics for the Firebrand also apply for the Me-410, and vice versa.
Unlike Realistic battles, Simulator battles require the use of the cockpit, and the first-person view with the Firebrand is actually quite decent. It has quite a good view due to its decent bubble canopy. Unfortunately, due to the size of the cowling and wings, there are many blind spots around the plane.
Thus, the Firebrand offers good visibility for its battle rating level in simulator battles.
For Ground Attack
The Firebrand excels at destroying both "soft" (Armored Cars, AA, Artillery and Trucks) and harder targets such as Pillboxes and Tanks: with both 500 lbs (wing-mounted) and 1,000 lbs bombs (always center-mounted), along with 8 RP-3 Rockets at its disposal, it can make quick job of all mission objectives, being able to mix and match these loadouts. When equipped with the Ground Targets belt, only one or two quick taps will destroy "soft" targets, but can also destroy Light Pillboxes easily with sustained fire towards their roof.
Due to its air spawn in Air Realistic Battles as a Strike aircraft, the Firebrand can quickly swoop towards ground units, as it can sustain around 500 km/h in level flight after a shallow dive: however, it is recommended to retreat immediately after unloading onto ground targets, as both enemy Fighters and other Strike aircraft will most probably be attracted to the position. Enemy aircraft however, can still be taken care of easily if it's necessary, and none will survive a head-on towards the Firebrand's cannons. On the other hand, there is not much to do after an enemy Fighter starts to chase, as turn-fighting should be a last resort.
Thanks to its capabilities for Close Air Support in Ground Realistic Battles, the Firebrand acts as a great addition to a line-up, and while it can make up in firepower for what it lacks in energy retention or turnfighting capabilities, it is not a replacement for other aircraft of similar Battle Rating such as the Typhoon Mk Ib/L or the Spitfire Mk Vc/trop, the former being able to carry two 500 lbs or 1,000 lbs bombs, with the latter being limited to only two 250 lbs bombs; both being more focused on direct air-to-air countering than air-to-ground support.
In any case, the Firebrand can deliver great performance when it comes to ground attack, both with a bomb load or without it, and as long as it has the advantage of speed or altitude over the enemy, can still shine thanks to its heavy armament, as all of its ammunition belts include High-explosive Fragmentation Incendiary (HEF-I) shells, making any aircraft on the receiving end of its guns never escape unscathed. High situational awareness rewards the Firebrand with being able to choose its engagements in the case of being threatened by enemy aircraft, as retreating then re-engaging is more fruitful than getting distracted on ground attack: it can quickly counter any enemies that have dived low onto the Firebrand's altitude, as its turn-rate becomes much better at speeds in between 250 and 400 km/h, a quick turn-around to commit to a head-on can turn out well as long as the enemy had not had a significant altitude advantage.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Controllable
Auto control available
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Pros and cons
- Excellent armament compared to planes in the BR bracket, Hispano Mk.V variant fires very fast compared to standard Mk.II
- Generous ammo capacity
- Small turn radius
- Effective combat flaps with above average rip speed
- Good durability
- Decent level speed
- Variety of payload options, including a torpedo
- Poor manoeuvrability and handling in general: roll rate, turn rate, etc. are very poor
- Large target
- Mediocre climb rate
- Poor high-altitude performance
- Controls unresponsive at speeds past 550 km/h (350 mph)
- Mediocre energy retention
- Lacks any bombload stock
- The Hispano Mk.Vs' dispersion when firing can be frustrating
The Blackburn Firebrand was a British naval torpedo strike fighter, originally designed as a naval fighter aircraft. Due to circumstances, it was overtaken by events, and by the time it finally entered service it was no longer relevant - and too late to enter service in World War II.
Designed to a 1939 tender by the Royal Navy's Admiralty, originally the Blackburn Firebrand was intended as a carrier-borne escort fighter, with emphasis on its range over speed. This was due to a prevailing school of thought that carrier fighters' primary task was that of escorting strikes on enemy forces, with the aerial defence of the fleet best left to the ships' own anti-aircraft guns. The original tender, N.8/39, specified a carrier-borne fighter with a fixed forward armament of 4 x 20 mm cannons, preferably an aircraft with a two-man crew consisting of a pilot and a navigator for long-distance flights over water. Blackburn started preliminary work on such a design.
Already having two aircraft serving in a fighter role, the Gloster Sea Gladiator and the Blackburn Skua, the Admiralty belatedly realised the folly of their original tender and modified the N.8/39 specification into a new set, N.11/40, which retained most of the previous specifications but explicitly called for a single-seat fighter with 400 mph performance and a 4-hour endurance. Both Blackburn and Hawker responded to this tender, Blackburn with their B-37 design which would eventually evolve into the Firebrand and Hawker with their P.1009 proposal of a navalised Hawker Typhoon.
Blackburn won the contract, however, the prototype fighter turned out to be too slow and too heavy to be considered for a fighter role and the destruction of one prototype attempting an emergency landing with a dead engine lead to concern for the direction the aircraft was going. Following the belated realisation the Firebrand would not make an adequate fighter, the Admiralty decided it would instead become a fast torpedo bomber as a replacement for the antiquated Fairey Swordfish, especially for use against heavily defended targets such as capital battleships. Following a redesign, the first Firebrand torpedo bomber flew on March 31st 1943; by this time the design had been refined, but it still had alarming landing properties, such as abrupt trim changes during missed wire approaches and poor forward sight which made it liable to being rejected for carrier operations.
Problems with the prototypes, several adjustments to the aircraft's requirements and inability to get necessary engines towards the end of the war belated the Firebrand TF Mk IV's entry into service, missing World War II entirely. Though pressed into service, production ceased by March of 1947 and all were withdrawn from active duty by May 1953.
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.
|Blackburn Aircraft Ltd.|
|Fighters||Firebrand TF Mk IV · Firecrest|
|Strike aircraft||Buccaneer S.1 · Buccaneer S.2|
|Britain strike aircraft|
|Blackburn||Firebrand TF Mk IV · Firecrest|
|Bristol||Beaufighter Mk I (40-mm) · Beaufighter Mk VIc · Beaufighter Mk X · Beaufighter Mk 21|
|Fairey||Firefly F Mk I · Firefly FR Mk V|
|de Havilland||Mosquito FB Mk VI · Mosquito FB Mk XVIII|
|Hawker||Hurricane Mk IV · Tempest Mk V (Vickers P)|