Swordfish Mk I
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 1.29.
The Swordfish is a plane often overlooked by new players, but it is common for more experienced players to hold special love for "ugly ducklings". As such, the Swordfish is valued for providing a change of pace towards slower game play 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.
A classic biplane design, thus offensive armament is limited. Restraint only to one machine gun offensively and defensively the Swordfish true strength is the payload.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 1,400 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Max Speed
(km/h at 1,400 m)
|Max altitude (meters)||Turn time (seconds)|| Rate of climb
|Take-off run (meters)|
|Combat flap||Take-off flap||Landing flap||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
| Wing-break speed
| Gear limit
|Max Static G|
|< 260||< 240||< 240||> 290|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power|
|1,067 m||690 hp|
Survivability and armour
- No armour plating
- No armour glazing
- Critical components located at front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
- More fuel tanks located in wings near fuselage
The Swordfish Mk I is armed with:
- 1 x 7.7 mm Vickers E machine gun, nose-mounted (600 rpg total)
The Swordfish Mk I can be outfitted with the following ordinance:
- 4 x G.P. 250 lb Mk.IV bombs (1,000 lb total)
- 1 x 18 inch Mark XII torpedo
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. In ground RB, 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, out manoeuvred and dead. Avoid enemy aircraft if possible.
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Separate||Not ontrollable||Not controllable|
|I||Fuselage Repair||Radiator||Offensive 7 mm|
|II||Compressor||Airframe||New 7 mm MGs||FTC mk.II|
|III||Wings Repair||Engine||Turret 7 mm|
|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
- Very slow airspeed
- Poor rate of climb
- Vulnerable to tank MG's and even main cannons
- Insufficient armament to efficiently fend off planes
- Very poor cockpit visibility
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.
An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.
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.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
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|Torpedo||Swordfish Mk I · Swordfish Mk II · ▄Avenger Mk II|
|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|