Fairey Firefly PP566

Meikle Bin, Campsies / Kilsyth Hills

 
     
 
lefttop
 

 

 

Advertisements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: Royal Navy Fairey Firefly WB518. This aircraft is similar to the one featured on this page.

 

Royal Navy Fairey Firefly WB518, similar to Firefly featured on this page

 

Photo: 2002-2004 Paul Maritz ('paulmaz'). Released by the author to the public domain under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

RN (FAA / NAS) Fairey Firefly / PP566, coded 208AC

 


 

Aircraft Type Nickname: "Firebox"

 

 

A two-seater (pilot and observer) fleet reconnaissance, anti-submarine, night fighter and strike aircraft used by the Fleet Air Arm / Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy. Successor to the Fairey Fulmar, the Fairey Firefly was considered a superior aircraft and was powered by a Rolls Royce Griffon engine.

 

 BELOW:

 

A Rolls-Royce Griffon power plant. Variants of this engine were fitted to Fairey Firefly, Supermarine Spitfire, and other fighter aircraft.

 

a rolls-royce griffon engine on display. This was the the type used by the fairey firefly

 

Photo: [n/d] Released by the author under GNU Free Documentation License

 

(See also the later Rolls Royce Griffon 65 engine photos at Aircraft Resource Center)

 


 

The Firefly was equipped with folding wings for use on aircraft carriers.

 

The aircraft continued in service until 1950, when it was retired from the FAA. Aircraft production continued, however, until 1955; and the Firefly was still being used elsewhere for several years after this.

 

Firefly fighters were engaged in action against the German battleship, Tirpitz, and against targets in Norway, Palembang and Japan.

 


 

BELOW: Royal Canadian Navy Fairey Firefly Mk.5 VH142 at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

 

Royal Canadian Navy Fairey Firefly VH142 at Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

 

Photo: 2008 'Balcer'. Released by the author to the public domain under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Squadron Details

 

During the war, 1830 Squadron had been active in Sabang (1944), Palembang (1945) and Okinawa (1945).

 

1830 RNVR Squadron was formed at Abbotsinch (Glasgow) in 1947. Under the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR), it operated as a fighter and anti-submarine squadron until 1957.


 

 

 

 

Aircraft Accident Details

 

Initially, the Fairey Firefly was reported missing, and was the subject of a BBC radio appeal for information.

 

Later, it was discovered that Firefly PP566 of 1830 NAS coded '208AC' had clipped a hilltop when inbound to Abbotsinch (near Glasgow) at 15.30 hrs. [A. Leishman.]

 

The wreckage1 of the Firefly fighter was discovered close to the summit of Meikle Bin in the Campsie Fells, Stirling. The bodies of the two occupants were found nearby.

 

Among the rescue units, was a crew from St Andrew's Ambulance Service. A vehicle with Driver / Attendant Mr. Callander2 was dispatched to the scene. Sadly, they found that the two crewmen from the aircraft had been killed on impact.

 


 

Footnotes

 

Footnote 1: Today, wreckage sections can be found on the upper and lower western slopes of Meikle Bin, and also on the lower eastern slopes of this hill.

 

Footnote 2: Mr. Callander was with St. Andrew's Ambulance Service (now, Scottish Ambulance Service) from 1938 until his call to the Forces in 1941. He served with Air Sea Rescue. On his discharge in 1946 he returned to the Ambulance service. He resigned in 1951.

 

 

[Latter details above kindly provided by Alexander Callander.]

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

Both airmen died in this accident . These were:

  • Lt. John Arthur Robertson (RNVR), Pilot. (from Glasgow)

  • Naval Airman John Smith. (from Paisley)

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos (Page 1-A)

 

 

 

Researcher's Notes (1970s) [From John Martindale's log]
.

 

    Wreckage Description and Aircraft History --

     

  • Firefly PP566
  •  

  • 668822
  •  

  • Spread over top and east slopes of Meikle Bin, Campsie Fells.
  •  

  • Wing is near the summit of the hill. Digits “566” are recognisable.
  •  

  • Engine Rolls Royce Griffin is father down the west side, with forward fuselage parts nearby.
  •  

  • On the east slopes are parts of the other wing.
  •  

  • Inside the wing a stencil appears “566”.
  •  

  • Was based at Abbotsinch and hit hill in bad weather.

 

 


 

 

Current Photos

 

 

BELOW: Aluminium section from the Fairey Firefly on Meikle Bin lying beside the burn.

 

Aluminium section from the Fairey Firefly lying beside the burn.

 

Photo: © 2015 Steven Spink

 


 

BELOW: A closer view of the aluminium skinning, possibly from a wing.

 

A closer view of the aluminium skinning, possibly from a wing.

 

Photo: © 2015 Steven Spink

 


 

BELOW: Hinged part lying in the burn.

 

Hinged part lying in the burn.

 

Photo: © 2015 Steven Spink

 

 


 

 

 

Earlier Photos

 

 

BELOW: Part of one of the folding wings. RN / FAA Fairey Firefly wings could be folded for storage below decks on an aircraft carrier.

 

A section of an undercarriage leg (oleo strut) can be seen at the top left of the photo.

 

Part of one of the folding wings.

 

Photo: © 1970s-2015 John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: The Rolls Royce Griffon engine used in the Fairey Firefly. (This engine was used also in later versions of the Spitfire).

 

The Vee-cylinder layout of the engine can be seen here.

 

The Rolls Royce Griffon engine used in the Fairey Firefly.

 

Photo: © 1970s-2015 John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: The V-12 engine viewed from the front. The propeller hub and the stubs of the propeller blades can be seen in this photo.

 

The V-12 engine viewed from the front.

 

Photo: © 1970s-2015 John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: Side view of the V-12 piston engine, showing the exhaust stubs (top) and the cams / camshafts / conrods (bottom).

 

Side view of the inline piston engine.

 

Photo: © 1970s-2015 John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: This collection of wreckage shows part of the Firefly's code on the aluminium skinning (top left).

 

This collection of wreckage shows part of the Firefly's code on the aluminium skinning.

 

Photo: © 1970s-2015 John Martindale

 


 

 

Later Photos

 

 

(The following photos were kindly contributed by Neil Daniel.)

 

BELOW: View from the summit of Meikle Bin.

 

View from the summit of meikle bin

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: A section of the port wing.

 

This wreckage can be found on the upper western slopes just below the summit of Meikle Bin.

 

port wing section on slopes below summit of meikle bin

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the port wing section.

 

This view shows the cannon ports (the rusty cylinders on the right hand side) and part of the undercarriage.

 

another view of the port wing section

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Port wing section viewed from the rear.

 

The shock absorbing undercarriage leg is at the top left of the photo.

 

Just visible at the bottom right is the worm drive and actuator for the wing flaps (more photos of this item below).

 

port wing section viewed from the rear

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: The Griffon engine from the Fairey Firefly.

 

This engine can be found on the lower western slopes of Meikle Bin.

 

the griffon engine from the fairey firefly

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the RR Griffon engine. (See also Page 1-C.)

 

another view of the rr griffon engine

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Engine section close-up.

 

engine section close-up

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 

 

MORE PHOTOS BELOW

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

(The following photos were kindly contributed by Gary Nelson.)

 

BELOW: Worm drive and actuator from starboard wing flaps.

 

worm drive from wing flaps

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Closer view of worm drive and actuator on starboard wing flaps.

 

The worm drive itself is non-rotating. The actuator mechanism to which it is attached rotates on the worm drive.

 

close-up of worm drive and actuator on wing flaps

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the actuator mechanism.

 

another view of the actuator mechanism 

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Wing spar and skin section.

 

This wreckage lies on the eastern slope of Meikle Bin. (Wreckage location photos follow on Page 1-B.)

 

wing spar and skin section on eastern slope of meikle bin 

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the wing section shown above.

 

another view of the wing section shown above

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: A large piece of the starboard wing (partially folded).

 

Being an RN / FAA aircraft, the Fairey Firefly was equipped with folding wings to enable it to fit onto an aircraft carrier's elevator, and for stowing the aircraft below the main deck.

 

large piece of partially folded starboard wing

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the partially folded starboard wing.

 

another view of the partially folded starboard wing

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Linkages and joints of the starboard wing's folding mechanism.

 

linnkages and joints of starboard wing's folding mechanism

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 

 

More (larger) photos from this collection on

Page 1-B

 

 and also on
 Page 1-C

 

 


 

Other photos below

 


 

 

Other Photos

 

(The following photos were kindly contributed by James Towill.)

 

BELOW: The end view of the Griffon engine at the Firefly crash site, showing the propeller shaft section partly buried in the ground.

 

End view of Griffon enine

 

Photo © 2008 James Towill

 


 

BELOW: The position of the engine in relation to nearby trees.

 

position of engine in relation to  nearby trees

 

Photo © 2008 James Towill

 


 

BELOW: A section of one of the Firefly's wings lies not far from the summit of Meikle Bin.

 

a wing section from the firefly, partially embedded in the snow-covered ground

 

Photo © 2008 James Towill

 

 


 

 

Photo Gallery

 

For additional crash site and wreckage photos please select

 FAIREY-FIREFLY-MEIKLE-BIN

from the drop down Album Menu in the Photo Gallery.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP OF PAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Date / Site

 

 

Page last updated: 6 May 2015

 


 

Accident Date: 8 Jan 1950

 

Accident Site:

Meikle Bin (570m / 1,870ft)

(Campsie Fells / Kilsyth Hills)

 

Region: Stirling

 

Nearest town or village:

Lennoxtown and Campsie Glen

 

Nearest large towns:

Kirkintilloch (S) [map] or Kilsyth (SE) [map]

 

OS Grid Ref. 63 / NS 666 822

 

GPS Refs

(wing section): NS 66646 82200 ± 5m, 551m ASL
(engine): NS 66434 82225 ± 5m, ~500m ASL

 

Present Condition: Wing section, hydraulics, Griffon engine and other wreckage still to be found onsite.

 

Access: A good path has now been constructed along the valley between Meikle Bin and Little Bin. This path passes very close to the wreckage on the eastern slopes,

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: PP566, coded 208AC.

 

Operator: Royal Navy (Naval Air Squadron / Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve)

 

Operating Base: RNAS Abbotsinch; 1830 RNVR Squadron (Base also for RAF Abbotsinch / RN HMS Sanderling)

 

Base Location: Glasgow (Abbotsinch [map]), Scotland.

 

Current Airport Status: Operational Civil Airport.

 

Current Airport Name: BAA Glasgow International Airport (EGPF)

 

 

 

 

Hill Walking Links

 

(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)

WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)

Walking Scotland's Mountains

 

 

Other Outdoor Activities

 

Backpacking and Backpackers

Backpacking in Britain

Backpacking Lite

Cicerone (Backpacking Guides for Walking in the UK)

The Backpackers Club

UK Backpacking Websites

 

 

Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayak Scotland (Sea Kayaking in Scotland)

Kayaking at Active Scotland (Various venues)

Sea Kayak Scotland

 

Mountain Biking

H and I Adventures (Mountain bike holidays in Scotland).

Mountain Bike Trails (Forestry Commission Scotland)

Mountain Biking (Sport Scotland, Glenmore Lodge).

Mountain Biking in East Scotland.

Scotland Cycle Routes.

Trail Scotland (Scotland's mountain bike community).

 

Rock Climbing and Abseiling

Abseiling in Perthshire

Abseiling Scotland (Various venues)

Climbing, Scrambling and Abseiling Scotland

Mountain Sports Courses and Paddle Sports Courses at Glenmore Lodge

Rock Climbing at Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre (Skills Courses and Qualifications Courses)

Rock Climbing in Scotland (Rock Climbing Areas)

UKClimbing.com (UKC) (Includes Abseiling / Rappelling)

 

Trekking and Hiking

Gairloch Trekking Centre (Pony Trekking in the Scottish Highlands)

Pony and Quad Treks (North Wales)

Ramblers (UK)

Ramblers (Worldwide Holidays)

Trekking Britain

Walking and Hiking

 


 

Emergency Services Link

Register for Text 999 Emergency Service

If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone.

 

 

 

 
righttop