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Principal types of aircraft operated by R.A.F. during WW2 and crashed in Belgium

Bristol Beaufighter

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Last update: 25/06/23

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The Bristol Type 156 Beaufighter (often referred to simply as the "Beau") is a multi-role aircraft developed during the Second World War by the Bristol Aeroplane Company in the United Kingdom. It was originally conceived as a heavy fighter variant of the Bristol Beaufort bomber. Upon its entry to service, the Beaufighter proved to be well suited to the night fighter role, for which the Royal Air Force (RAF) initially deployed the type during the height of the Battle of Britain, in part due to its large size allowing it to accommodate both heavy armaments and early airborne interception radar without major performance penalties.
As its wartime service continued, the Beaufighter was used in many different roles; receiving the nicknames Rockbeau for its use as a rocket-armed ground attack aircraft, and Torbeau in its role as a torpedo bomber against Axis shipping, in which it came to replace the Beaufort which had preceded it. In later operations, it served mainly as a maritime strike/ground attack aircraft, RAF Coastal Command having operated the largest number of Beaufighters amongst all other commands at one point. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) also made extensive use of the type in the maritime anti-shipping role, such as during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea.
The Beaufighter saw extensive service during the war with the RAF (59 squadrons), Fleet Air Arm (15 squadrons), RAAF (seven squadrons), Royal Canadian Air Force (four squadrons), United States Army Air Forces (four squadrons), Royal New Zealand Air Force (two squadrons), South African Air Force (two squadrons) and Polskie Siły Powietrzne (Free Polish Air Force; one squadron).
In addition, variants of the Beaufighter were also manufactured in Australia by the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP); such aircraft are sometimes referred to by the name DAP Beaufighter.
Source: Wikipedia - Read more here



- Orthographic projection of the Beaufighter TF Mk.X, with inset profiles of Mk.I(F), Mk.II(F) and Mk.V and of "thimble" and "herringbone" radar installations.
- Data from Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II,[52] The Bristol Beaufighter I & II[20]

General characteristics

* Crew: 2: pilot, observer
* Length: 41 ft 4 in (12.6 m)
* Wingspan: 57 ft 10 in (17.65 m)
* Height: 15 ft 10 in (4.84 m)
* Wing area: 503 ft²[53] (46,73 m²)
* Empty weight: 15,592 lb (7,072 kg)
* Max. takeoff weight: 25,400 lb (11,521 kg)
* Powerplant: 2 × Bristol Hercules 14-cylinder radial engines, 1,600 hp (1,200 kW) each


* Maximum speed: 320 mph (280 kn, 515 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
* Range: 1,750 mi (1,520 nmi, 2,816 km)
* Service ceiling: 19,000 ft (5,795 m) without torpedo
* Rate of climb: 1,600 ft/min (8.2 m/s) without torpedo


* 4 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II cannon (240 rpg) in nose
* 1 × manually operated .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning for observer
* Rockets: 8 × RP-3 "60 lb" (27 kg) rockets or
* Bombs: 2× 250 lb bombs or 1× British 18 inch torpedo or Mark 13 torpedo

Source: Wikipedia

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