|Preceded by:||Cruizer class|
|Succeeded by:||Racer class|
|Built:||1854 - 1857|
|In commission:||1856 - 1876|
|Tons burthen:||484 68/94 bm|
|Length:||139 ft (42.4 m) (gundeck)
120 ft 6 in (36.7 m) (keel)
|Beam:||27 ft 10 in (8.5 m)|
|Depth of hold:||13 ft 5 in (4.1 m)|
|Installed power:||60 nhp
182–224 ihp (136–167 kW)
2-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine
|Sail plan:||Barque rig|
|Speed:||Approximately 7 knots (13 km/h)|
|Armament:||1 × 32-pdr gun (58cwt) on pivot
8 × 32-pdr (25cwt) carronades
The class were armed with a single 32-pounder gun (58cwt) gun on a pivot mount and eight 32-pounder (25cwt) carronades on the broadside. These guns were all smoothbore muzzle-loading, and were little changed from the standard guns of Nelson's era.
Propulsion was provided by a two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine developing 60 nominal horsepower and an indicated horsepower of between 182 indicated horsepower (136 kW) and 224 indicated horsepower (167 kW). Propulsion was applied through a single screw and at maximum power under steam, top speed was about 7 knots (13 km/h). A barque rig of sails was carried, which meant the ships of the class had three masts with a square rig on the fore and main masts.
The first two ships were ordered on 5 July 1852, Ariel on 2 April 1853 and Lyra on 3 April 1854.
|Name||Ship Builder||Laid down||Launched||Fate|
|Curlew||Deptford Dockyard||19 October 1852||31 May 1854||Sold for breaking on 39 August 1865|
|Swallow||Pembroke Dockyard||30 August 1853||12 June 1854||Became a survey ship in 1861. Sold for breaking in December 1866|
|Ariel||Pembroke Dockyard||November 1853||11 July 1854||Sold for breaking 23 May 1865|
|Lyra||Deptford Dockyard||8 July 1854||26 March 1857||Broken up in 1876|
- Winfield (2004) p.215 - 216
- Winfield, Rif; Lyon, David (2004). The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-032-6. OCLC 52620555.