The Fairey III, was designed as Fairey N.10 because of an specification of the RNAS in 1917 for carrier aircraft. It was an two seat biplane on floats, equipped with folding wings and a 260 hp Sunbeam Maori engine. It made its maiden flight in September 1917.
Further test followed with both a float version as a land version.
Soon an order for 50 examples of the Fairey IIIA, a reconnaissance land aircraft and for 60 Fairey IIIB, a float plane with larger span of the upper wing (19,13 m in stead of 14,19 m) and a bomb load of about .
Just 28 examples of the Fairey IIIB were built, the other aircraft of the order were finished as Fairey IIIC, an improved version with the same wingspan as the Fairey IIIA and the more powerful and reliable Rolls Royce Eagle VIII engine, rated 375 hp.
The next version was the Fairey IIID, an improved IIIC, with the possibility to carry a third crew member.
It could be equipped with an undercarriage with floats of with wheels.
First flight of the Fairey IIID equipped with a Rolls Royce Eagle engine was in 1920.
The first examples for the RNAS and Portugal were equipped with a Rolls Royce Eagle, but later this was replaced with the more powerful Napier Lion.
The carrier aircraft were in general three seat floatplanes with fold-able wings.
The aircraft had a wooden fuselage covered with linen and a wooden two blade propeller.
207 Examples were built.
The ultimate most produced version was the Fairey IIIF, which was redesigned to meet the new Air Ministry Specification 19/24 for a three seat reconnaissance aircraft for the Fleet Air Arm and for a two seat aircraft for the Royal Air Force.
The Fairey IIIF made its maiden flight in April 1926.
It had aerodynamic improvements; initially a fuselage and wings of mixed construction. Later also aircraft with a metal fuselage were built. Over 350 examples were built.
- Fairey IIIA:
- Two seat scout.
- Fairey IIIB:
- Three seat scout/bomber on floats
- Fairey IIIC:
- Two seat scout/bomber on floats with 375 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle, 36 examples built.
- Fairey IIID:
- Two seat carrier aircraft on floats with a 375 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle or a 450 hp Napier Lion motor.
- Fairey IIIE:
- Designation for three aircraft with a Fairey Ferret radial engine.
- Fairey IIIF:
- Two seat aircraft for general purposes or three seat scout with a Napier Lion engine.
- Fairey IIIF I: First production version; three seat scout of mixed construction, 55 built.
- Fairey IIIF II: Idem with a Napier Lion XIA motor, 33 built.
- Fairey IIIF III: three seat scout with Napier Lion XIA engine, metal fuselage covered with linen. 291 built.
- Fairey IIIF IV: Two seat aircraft for RAF; built in both metal as mixed construction'; equipped with a Napier Lion XIA engine; 243 built.
|Length:||11,28 m||Wingspan:||14,05 m|
|Height:||3,45 m||Wing area:||45 m2|
|Empty weight:||1473 kg||Max. start weight:||2282 kg|
|Max. speed:||162 km/hr||Rate of climb:||- m/min|
|Cruising speed:||132 km/hr|
|Range:||853 km||Service ceiling:||5182 m|
|Engine type:||One Rolls Royce Eagle VIII rated 345 hp .|