It served in many vital roles in varying climates. Another Mediterranean wreck lies in 34 metres (112 ft) of water near the Greek island of Paros. 32.  Initial RAAF deliveries were directed to No. This inaugural deployment with the squadron proved to be highly successful, leading to the type being retained in that theatre throughout the remainder of the war. The bomb bay of the Beaufort had been entirely omitted, but a small bomb load could be carried externally. 2 x Rolls-Royce Merlin 76 V-12 liquid-cooled inline piston engines developing 1,710 horsepower driving three-bladed propeller units. The final sprue contains the propeller, main gear doors which just like the Revell Mosquito is moulded as one piece and would need to be cut to display when parked.  While the aircraft's size had once caused scepticism, the Beaufighter became the highest performance aircraft capable of carrying the bulky early airborne interception radars used for night fighter operations, without incurring substantial endurance or armament penalties, and was invaluable as a night fighter. In late April 1941, the first two Beaufighter Mk II aircraft, R2277 and R2278, were delivered to 600 and 604 Squadrons; the former squadron being the first to receive the type in quantity in the following month. The concept of the Beaufighter has its origins in 1938.  The Beaufighter was reputedly very effective in the Mediterranean against Axis shipping, aircraft and ground targets; Coastal Command was, at one point, the majority user of the Beaufighter, replacing its inventory of obsolete Beaufort and Blenheim aircraft. Both crew-members had their own hatch in the floor of the aircraft. Your selected aircraft are compared in side-by-side arrangement below.  A night-fighter Beaufighter Mk VIF was supplied to squadrons in March 1942, equipped with AI Mark VIII radar. From late 1944, RAF Beaufighter units were engaged in the Greek Civil War, finally withdrawing in 1946. R2052 was initially operated by Bristol for testing purposes while it was based at Filton Aerodrome. , The Air Ministry produced draft Specification F.11/37 in response to Bristol's suggestion for an "interim" aircraft, pending the proper introduction of the Whirlwind. The high-speed, low-level attacks were very effective, despite often atrocious weather conditions, and makeshift repair and maintenance facilities.  T4800, a Beaufighter Mk 1C of No. This was most apparent in a reduced noise level at the front of the engine. The prospective aircraft had to share the same jigs as the Beaufort so that production could easily be switched from one aircraft to the other. , For the maximum rate of production, sub-contracting of the major components was used wherever possible and two large shadow factories to perform final assembly work on the Beaufighter were established via the Ministry of Aircraft Production; the first, operated by the Fairey Aviation Company, was at Stockport, Greater Manchester and the second shadow, run by Bristol, was at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. During a raid on London on the night of 19/20 May 1941, 24 aircraft were shot down by fighters against two by anti-aircraft ground fire.. The Beaufighter was used in many roles; receiving the nicknames Rockbeau for its use as a rocket-armed ground attack aircraft and Torbeau as a torpedo bomber against Axis shipping, in which it replaced the Beaufort. You can always go back and, Multirole Heavy Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft, Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter / Night-Fighter Aircraft. , Bristol's proposed recoil-operated ammunition feed system was rejected by officials, which led to a new system being devised and tested on the fourth prototype, R2055. My point was that the Beaufighter recorded its first night time kill in November 1940, the Mosquito became available in enough numbers to replace the Beaufighter as RAF frontline night fighter in Autumn 1943 but it still served in many theatres until much later. These tactics were put into practice in mid-1943 and in ten months, 29,762 tons (84,226 m3) of shipping were sunk. NOTES: Shapes below depict aircraft from wingtip-to-wingtip / nose-to-tail assuming aircraft are being viewed from overhead perspective (the nose pointing towards the top of the screen). This was half the total tonnage sunk by all strike wings between 1942 and 1945. The Mosquito was a fast, versatile fighter-bomber capable of low-level hit-and-run raids against ground targets, using bombs or rockets plus a heavy nose armament of 4x20mm cannon. A total of four forward-firing 20 mm Hispano Mk III cannons were mounted in the lower fuselage area. Bristol made proposals of a fixed four cannon version and a turret fighter with twin cannons; the former was preferred by the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff. Bristol Beaufighter; Bristol Blenheim Mk IF; de Havilland Mosquito NF series; Fairey Firefly NF Mk 5; United States. Bridgeman, Leonard, ed. The wings, control surfaces, retractable landing gear and aft section of the fuselage were identical to those of the Beaufort, while the wing centre section was similar apart from certain fittings. , The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was a keen operator of the Beaufighter during the Second World War. Bristol Beaufighter TF Mk.X torpedo fighter (RD253) at the RAF Museum in Hendon (2012) Bristol Beaufighter TF Mk.X torpedo fighter (RD253) at the RAF Museum in Hendon (2012) By 1950 RD253 had been acquired as a ground instructional airframe for the Lisbon Technical Institute. The impressive, powerful and heavily-armed Beaufighter was one of Bristol’s most important aircraft contributions to the Second World War.  Early aircraft were able to be outfitted and perform with either command but later, the roles and equipment diverged, leading to the production of distinct models, distinguished by the suffixes F for Fighter Command and C for Coastal Command were used. These factors had thus sparked considerable interest in the adoption of alternative engines for the type. This page was last edited on 22 December 2020, at 22:01. The Beaufighter was … 31 Squadron in North-West Australia. Malta Triq is-Sajf, SPB2601 Bugibba, Saint Paul’s +356 2750 9592 +356 7707 1419, +48 604 585 389 email@example.com The Beaufighter showed its merits as a night fighter but went on to perform in other capacities. The Bristol Type 156 Beaufighter (often called the Beau) was a multi-role aircraft developed during the Second World War by the Bristol Aeroplane Company in the UK. Bristol Beaufighter Ww2 Aircraft Military Aircraft Bristol Blenheim De Havilland Mosquito Aviation News Ww2 Planes Battle Of Britain Royal Air Force The Bristol Beaufighter was intended as a interim measure long rage heavy fighter until the Westland Whirlwind problems could be overcome. In the South-East Asian Theatre, the Beaufighter Mk VIF operated from India as a night fighter and on operations against Japanese lines of communication in Burma and Thailand.  Due to wartime shortages, some Beaufighters entered operational service without feathering equipment for their propellers. By fighter standards, the Beaufighter Mk.I was rather heavy and slow, with an all-up weight of 16,000 lb (7,000 kg) and a maximum speed of 335 mph (540 km/h) at 16,800 ft (5,000 m). The crew survived uninjured. For the car, see, Its armament was exceeded by the gunship variants of the US, Browne, Anthony Montague, Long Sunset: Memoirs of Winston Churchill's Last Private Secretary London 1995 Chapter 3, National Museum of the United States Air Force, List of aircraft of the United Kingdom in World War II, "Bristol Beaufighter – Variants and Stats", "Individual History: Bristol Beaufighter TF Mk.X RD253/BF-13/7931M.  In October 1938, the project, which received the internal name Type 156, was outlined. To obtain adequate ground clearance, the engines were mounted centrally on the wing, as opposed to the underslung position on the Beaufort. , In the Mediterranean, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) 414th, 415th, 416th and 417th night fighter squadrons received a hundred Beaufighters in the summer of 1943, achieving their first victory in July 1943. Designers expected that maximum re-use of Beaufort components would speed the process but the fuselage required more work than expected and had to be redesigned.  The second prototype, R2053, which was furnished with Hercules I-M engines (similar to Hercules II) and was laden with operational equipment, had attained a slower speed of 309 mph at 15,000 ft. MU based at RAF St Athan during late 1940. The addition of six .303 Browning machine guns made the Beaufighter the most heavily armed fighter aircraft in the world, capable of delivering a theoretical weight of fire of up to 780 lb (350 kg) per minute; the practical rate of fire was much lower due to gun overheating and ammunition capacity.  More advanced radar units were installed in early 1941, which soon allowed the Beaufighter to become an effective counter to the night raids of the Luftwaffe. These production aircraft incorporated aerodynamic improvements, reducing aerodynamic drag from the engine nacelles and tail wheel, the oil coolers were also relocated on the leading edge of the wing. 272 Squadron RAF) was identified about 0.5-mile (0.80 km) off the north coast of Malta.  Due to production of the Griffon being reserved for the Fairey Firefly, the Air Ministry instead opted for the Rolls-Royce Merlin to power the Beaufighter until the manufacturing rate of the Hercules could be raised by a new shadow factory in Accrington. , On 2 April 1940, R2052 was delivered to the RAF; it was followed by R2053 two weeks later. The Beaufighter was the only heavy fighter aircraft available, as the Westland Whirlwind had been cancelled due to production problems with its Rolls-Royce Peregrine engines.  They were soon replaced by a belt-feed system. , In May 2020, the wreck of a Beaufighter TF.X, believed to be JM333 of No. It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. In an emergency, the pilot could operate a lever that remotely released the hatch, grasp two steel overhead tubes and lift himself out of his seat, swing his legs over the open hatchway, then let go to drop through. On 16 November 1938, Bristol received formal authorisation to commence the detailed design phase of the project and to proceed with the construction of four prototypes. By mid-1941, twenty Beaufighters were reserved for test purposes, including engine development, stability and manoeuvrability improvements and other purposes. Bristol Beaufighter Mk XIc – JM135 The Bristol Beaufighter was one of the most versatile aircraft to serve with the Royal Air Force during World War II. Eight transports and four destroyers were sunk for the loss of five aircraft, including one Beaufighter. VIC. As a torpedo bomber and "general reconnaissance" aircraft the Beaufort had moderate performance but for fighter-lik… These powered three-bladed Rotol constant-speed propellers; both fully feathering metal and wooden blades were used. The wing of the Beaufighter used a mid-wing cantilever all-metal monoplane arrangement, also constructed out of three sections. It was used briefly by the Israeli Air Force after some ex-RAF examples were clandestinely purchased in 1948. The areas for the rear gunner and bomb-aimer were removed, leaving only the pilot in a fighter-type cockpit. The Merlin engine installations and nacelles were designed by Rolls-Royce as a complete "power egg"; the design and approach of the Beaufighter's Merlin installation was later incorporated into the design for the much larger Avro Lancaster bomber. The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. If any dimensional values are "NA" in the database then the presented shapes may appear skewed. , Roy Fedden, chief designer of the Bristol engine division, was a keen advocate for the improved Hercules VI for the Beaufighter but it was soon passed over in favour of the rival Griffon engine, as the Hercules VI required extensive development. See more ideas about Bristol beaufighter, Bristol, Ww2 aircraft.  Since the "Beaufort cannon fighter" was a conversion of an existing design, development and production was expected to proceed more quickly than with a new one. Early models of the Mk X carried centimetric-wavelength ASV (air-to-surface vessel) radar with "herringbone" antennae on the nose and outer wings, but this was replaced in late 1943 by the centimetric AI Mark VIII radar housed in a "thimble-nose" radome, enabling all-weather and night attacks.  The DAP Beaufighter was an attack and torpedo bomber known as the "Mark 21". Beaufighter Mk VI The Hercules returned with the next major version in 1942, the Mk VI, which was eventually built to over 1,000 examples. Variants of the Beaufighter were manufactured in Australia by the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP); such aircraft are sometimes referred to by the name DAP Beaufighter. , Bristol began building an initial prototype by taking a partly-built Beaufort out of the production line. Two weeks prior to the prototype's first flight, an initial production contract for 300 aircraft under Specification F.11/37 was issued by the Air Ministry, ordering the type "off the drawing board". It is a twin-engine two-seat long range day and night fighter. It ended up a true fighter bomber, seeing much service in such operations as shipping strikes. "The Bristol 156 Beaufighter.". , Before DAP Beaufighters arrived at RAAF units in the South West Pacific Theatre, the Beaufighter Mk IC was commonly employed in anti-shipping missions. The strike variant of the Torbeau was called the Mk.XIC. Mark X Beaufighters were also flown on long range daylight intruder missions over Burma. It subsequently saw service abroad, particularly in the Middle East.  The fourth prototype, R2055, had its regular armament replaced by a pair of 40 mm guns for attacking ground targets, the two guns being a Vickers S gun mounted on the starboard fuselage and a Rolls-Royce BH gun mounted on the port fuselage; these trials led to the Vickers gun being installed on an anti-tank Hawker Hurricane IID. , The Beaufighter was commonly operated as a night fighter, such as during the Battle of Britain. The design of the cannons and the armament configuration was revised on most aircraft. The prop spinner and hub plate the porcupine exhaust pipes and tail wheel. According to aviation author Philip Moyes, the performance of the second prototype was considered disappointing, particularly as the Hercules III engines of the initial production aircraft would likely provide little improvement, especially in light of additional operational equipment being installed; it was recognised that demand for the Hercules engine to power other aircraft such as the Short Stirling bomber posed a potential risk to the production rate of the Beaufighter. , The Bristol Beaufighter is a fighter derivative of the Beaufort torpedo-bomber. Beaufighter Mk V The Vs had a Boulton Paul turret with four 0.303 machine guns mounted aft of the cockpit supplanting one pair of cannons and the wing-mounted machine guns. By the end of 1942, Mk VICs were being equipped with torpedo-carrying gear for the British 18 in (450 mm) or the US 22.5 in (572 mm) torpedo externally; observers were not happy about carrying the torpedo, as they were unable to use the escape hatch until after the torpedo had been dropped. At least one captured Beaufighter was operated by the Luftwaffe – a photograph exists of the aircraft in flight, with German markings. Coastal Command sank 366 German transport vessels and damaged 134. The Beaufighter was ultimately replaced by the de Havilland Mosquito, which offered bomber support over Europe as well as defence for the British Isles. They are obviously two different aircraft designed for two slightly different purposes, the Beaufighter was a variant of the Beaufort bomber, which gave it a similarity of purpose to the Mosquito, and both served in similar roles.  The Bristol design team, led by Leslie Frise, commenced the development of a cannon-armed fighter derivative as a private venture. Within six months the first F.11/37 prototype, R2052, had been completed. Beaufighter TF Xs could make precision attacks on shipping at wave-top height with torpedoes or RP-3 (60 lb) rockets. Good question, of course you need both the plane and the RADAR. The suggestion coincided with the delays in the development and production of the Westland Whirlwind cannon-armed twin-engine fighter.  The initial fifty production aircraft were approved for completion with a cannon-only armament. , During early development, Bristol had formalised multiple configurations for the prospective aircraft, including variations such as a proposed three-seat bomber outfitted with a dorsal gun turret with a pair of cannons, the Type 157 and what Bristol referred to as a sports model, with a thinner fuselage, the Type 158. The recoil of the cannons and machine guns could reduce the speed of the aircraft by around 25 knots.  In May 1941, the Beaufighter Mk IIs R2274 and R2306, were modified to the Beaufighter Mk III standard; removing the six wing guns and two inboard cannons to install a Boulton-Paul-built four-gun turret behind the pilot, to overcome the effect of recoil and nose-down tendency when firing the usual armament but was found to obstruct the emergency egress of the pilot. The standard Merlin XX-powered aircraft was later called the Beaufighter Mk IIF; the planned slim-fuselage aircraft, alternatively equipped with Hercules IV and Griffon engines, the Beaufighter Mk III and Beaufighter Mk IV respectively, were ultimately left unbuilt. The Beaufighter was a truly formidable aeroplane. Howard. As there was no room to climb around the seat-back, the back collapsed to allow the pilot to climb over and into the seat. A total of 10,663 persons were rescued by the Command, including 5,721 Allied crews, 277 enemy person… Bristol Beaufighter Jump to: Variants : Photos : On Display Home > Aircraft Database > British Aircraft > Bristol Beaufighter Entering service with the Royal Air Force in July 1940 the Beaufighter , Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era, British heavy fighter aircraft of the WWII era, This article is about the aircraft.  This is possibly Beaufighter TF.X LX998 of 603 Squadron, which was shot down after destroying a German Arado Ar 196 during an anti-shipping mission in November 1943. , In April/May 1941, this new variant of the Beaufighter entered squadron service in a detachment from 252 Squadron operating from Malta.  Beaufighters also cooperated with the British Eighth Army during action in the Western Desert Campaign, often in the form of ground strafing.. 30 Squadron flew in at mast height to provide heavy suppressive fire for the waves of attacking bombers. 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