Capt Eddie Kurdziel and Fairey Firefly WB518 have won the Post WWII Reserve Grand Champion category in the Warbirds judging at EAA Airventure 2019!!
The Firefly is a low-wing, all-metal monoplane, with folding wings for carrier storage. The new monoplane sat its crew of two in tandem, though in separate, cockpits. The pilot sat up front near the leading edge while the radio operator/observer was located some distance aft. The powerplant-of-choice became the famous Rolls-Royce "Griffon" IIB series inline piston engine which offered the necessary performance figures of this streamlined design and drove a three-bladed propeller. With a variety of prototypes completed deliveries of production Firefly F Mk Is began in March 1943, although it was July 1944 before the type became operational. Its first assignment was on the aircraft carrier HMS Indefatigable and first operations were off the coast of enemy-held Norway. It was involved with a series of missions against the German ship Tirpitz and eventually was used in all theaters of operation during the Second World War. The Fairey Firefly also harassed Japanese aircraft and ground installations throughout the East Indies, and in July 1945 a Firefly became the first British aircraft to overfly Tokyo. Length 60:00.