The Fairey Battle T was the trainer version of the Fairey Battle,
a single-engined light bomber built in the late 1930s by the Fairey
Aviation Company for the Royal Air Force.
The Fairey Battle was brought in to replace the ageing Hawker Hart
and Hind biplanes, however the fast pace of aircraft development during
the second world war meant the Fairey Battle was out-classed almost
before it entered service. The aircraft type suffered heavy losses
due to its poor defensive armament, slow speed, and lack of any armor
for the cockpit or self-sealing fuel tanks.
Yet despite its lack of performance, a Fairey Battle has the distinction
of being the first RAF aircraft to score an aerial victory over an
axis aircraft when rear gunner Sgt. F. Letchard shot down a German
Messerschmitt Bf 109 over France.
Because of the devastating losses being suffered by RAF squadrons
operating the Fairey Battle, often with 50% casualty rates per mission,
the aircraft was pulled back from frontline service by mid-1940, and
instead it was used for coastal patrol missions.
Another role for which the aircraft was suited as a testbed for new
engines, and it also proved to be a valuable trainer aircraft - resulting
in the slightly odd-looking, dual-cockpit, Fairey Battle T, and as
a turret-gunner trainer in the form of the Battle IT.