Fairey P.4/34

Role Light Bomber
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Fairey Aviation
Designer Marcel Lobelle
First flight 13 January 1937
Number built 2
Developed into Fairey Fulmar

The Fairey P.4/34 was a competitor for an order for a light bomber to serve with the Royal Air Force. Although not produced in that form, it formed the basis for the Fulmar long-range carrier-based fighter for the Fleet Air Arm.


In 1934 the Air Ministry issued Specification P.4/34 which called for a light bomber that could also be deployed in a close-support role. Fairey, Gloster and Hawker all supplied proposed designs; contracts were issued for the construction of examples of Hawker and Fairey's designs. The P.4/34 design was a low-wing all-metal monoplane, powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, with a crew of two accommodated in tandem under a long-glazed canopy. Its layout was similar to Fairey's earlier Battle bomber, but the P.4/34 was smaller and had a wide track, inwards-retracting undercarriage. The aircraft was stressed for dive bombing, as required by the specification, and carried its load of two 250 lb (110 kg) bombs underwing (the competing Hawker aircraft had an internal bomb bay).

Two Fairey P.4/34s were ordered, with the first (serial K5099) flying on 13 January 1937.[1] The Hawker prototype followed on 10 March 1937. The Hawker was deemed superior; however, the demand for a light bomber had changed, and it would enter service as a target tug. The Royal Danish Navy purchased a licence to build the P.4/34 and a production line set up at the Danish Naval Shipyard (Orlogsværftet) in Copenhagen. However, none of the 12 aircraft ordered was completed by the time of the German Invasion of Denmark in 1940.[2]

The P.4/34 would serve as the basis for a two-seat, long-range, carrier-based fighter for the Fleet Air Arm to meet the requirements of Specification O.8/38. The second prototype P.4/34 (serial K7555) was therefore modified with, among other things, a reduced-span wing and lowered tailplane as an aerodynamic prototype for the Fulmar. It was later used to test retractable Fairey-Youngman flaps to be used on the Fairey Firefly fighter, while the first prototype was used for tests of the effects of flying into barrage balloon cables.[3]

Specifications (P.4/34)

Data from The British Bomber since 1914 [1]

General characteristics



See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era



  1. 1 2 Mason 1994, p. 306
  2. Balsved, Johnny E. "Danish Naval History, Naval Aviation". Retrieved 2007-11-05.
  3. Taylor 1974, p.306
  4. Taylor 1974, p.312


  • Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber since 1914. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.
  • Taylor, H.A. Fairey Aircraft since 1915. London: Putnam, 1974. ISBN 0-370-00065-X.
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