Bristol Beaufort

The Bristol Beaufort was a British twin-engined torpedo bomber designed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, and developed from experience gained designing and building the earlier Blenheim light bomber. Beauforts first saw service with the Royal Air Force's Coastal Command and then the Fleet Air Arm from 1940, until they were withdrawn from operational service in the European theatre in 1942. RAF Beauforts flying from Britain operated as torpedo bombers, conventional bombers and mine layers and were then used as training aircraft until being declared obsolete in 1945.

Beauforts also saw considerable action in the Mediterranean theatre; Beaufort squadrons based in Egypt and on Malta helped put an end to Axis shipping supplying Rommel's Deutsches Afrikakorps in North Africa. Beauforts were most widely used, until the end of the Second World War, by the Royal Australian Air Force in the Pacific theatre. All but six of the RAAF's Beauforts were manufactured under licence in Australia.

Although designed as a torpedo-bomber, the Beaufort more often flew as a level-bomber. The Beaufort also flew more hours in training than on operational missions and more were lost through accidents and mechanical failures than were lost to enemy fire. However, the Beaufort did spawn a long-range heavy fighter variant called the Beaufighter, which proved to be very successful and many Beaufort units eventually converted to the Beaufighter.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 4
  • Length: 44 ft 2 in (13.46 m)
  • Wingspan: 57 ft 10 in (17.63 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 3 in (4.34 m)
  • Wing area: 503 ft² (46.73 m²)
  • Empty weight: 13,107 lb (5,945 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 21,230 lb (9,629 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2× Bristol Taurus 14-Cylinder sleeve valve radial engine, 1,130 hp (843 kW) each

  • Maximum speed: 271.5 mph (236 kn, 420 km/h) at 6,500 ft (1,981 m).[N 12]
  • Cruise speed: 255 mph at 6,500 ft (221 kn, 410 km/h) at 6,500 ft (1,981 m)[N 13]
  • Range: 1,600 mi (1,400 nmi, 2,600 km)
  • Service ceiling: 16,500 ft (5,030 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,200 ft/min (6.096 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 42.2 lb/ft² (206 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.106 hp/lb (0.175 kW/kg)

  • 3× .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers GO machine guns
  • 6x .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers GO
  • 1× 1,605 lb (728 kg) 18 in (457 mm) Mk XII torpedo or
  • 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs or mines.
** Bristol Beaufort - Warbird Fare

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