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|Aviation Discuss bristol beaufighter. in the World War II - Aviation forums; the beaufighter was a private venture designed in 1938 as a twin engined long range heavy fighter for the raf.it ...|
the beaufighter was a private venture designed in 1938 as a twin engined long range heavy fighter for the raf.it was developed from the sturdy beaufort torpedo bomber and fitted with more powerful engines.the prototype first flew on 17th of july 1939 and production mk.1s were delivered to the raf in july 1940.some early model mk 2s were powered by rolls royce merlin engines but all other versions used the bristol hercules radial engines.following the battle of britain in 1940 the radar equipped beaufighters began taking a heavy toll of enemy night bombers.raf coastal command began using them for long range defence of its patrol aircraftand the type was soon serving in numerous roles in all theatres of war.australia recieved some 50 beaufighters and additionally undertook production of 365 beaufighter mk 21s,generally similar to the mk 10 for the raaf in the pacific war where japanese forces named it the whispering death due to its quiet low level approach.
already heavily armed with cannons and mgs cc,s anti shipping beaus were further enhanced with the ability to carry torpedos bombs or rockets.no.245 sqn was the first unit to recieve the mark 6c(the c suffix stood for coastal command)early in 1943 and soon other similarly equipped sqns were formed into dedicated anti shipping strike wings.in a typical sortie the gun and rocket armed beaus would precede the "torbeaus" in carefully coordinated mass attacks.though losses were heavy the effects on enemy shipping were devastating.with uprated hercules engines the beau tf mk 10 was similar to the mk 6c.by late war period all production was dedicated to this later version exclusively for coastal command.of the grand total of 5900 beaufighters built 2205 were mk 10s,many of these featured the addition of dorsal fins and thimble nose radomes.post war types continued in service with the raf until 1950and the target tug version ttmk10 until 1960.other users of the beaufighter included were the royal navy usaaf rnzaf rcaf and the saaf along with dominica and portugal.the beaufighter tf10 was powered by 2 1770 hp bristol hercules 17 radial engines giving it a maximum speed of 303mph at 1300 ft.built in armament consisted of 4 20 mm hispano cannons under the nose and 1 .303 in vickers mg in a dorsal turret for rearward defence.external warloads included 1 1650lb or 2127lb torpedo slung under the fuselage or up to 8 60lb rockets.extra armament depending on the type of sortie flown could be 2 500 lb under the wings.other marks also carried 6 ,303 inch browning mgs 4 in the port wing and 2 in the starboard.