This aircraft was the first production version and also the first true prototype of the FULMAR. It made its initial flight in January 1940 (the first FULMAR to fly) before going to A&AEE Boscombe Down for flight trials (along with two other early FULMAR aircraft N1855 & N1858). It also took part in deck landing trials on board HMS Illustrious in 1940.
After the war it was retained by the Fairey Aviation Company for use as a communications and transport aircraft and registered G-AIBE on the civil register.
In 1972 it returned to its former code N1854 and was presented to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton where it remains on display as the last surviving example of the 600 Fairey Fulmars built.
The Fairey Fulmar was named after the Fulmar, a gull-like sea bird related to the Albatrosses. It is known for its graceful gliding flight over the sea.