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British WWII's fighters

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Bristol Beaufighter

The Beaufighter was designed as a long-range heavy fighter, with many components in common with the Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber. It saw service as a night fighter, a torpedo bomber, a ground attack fighter and an anti-shipping aircraft. In addition to operations in Europe, it also served in the Middle East and Far East. By September 1945 a total of 5 564 had been built in a variety of models and many continued in front-line service into the end of 1950s.

The Beaufighter was the first effective radar-equipped night fighter. In early versions of the aircraft, the radar operator, in addition to his normal duties, was also responsible for the four 20-mm cannon with ammunition. Resupply could be difficult, especially when an aircraft was manoeuvring in pursuit of a target and the ammunition drums weighed about 18 kg (40 lbs) each.

Detailed history of Beaufighter

General characteristics
Primary function Long-range heavy attack/fighter, night fighter, torpedo bomber
Power plant Two Bristol Hercules XVII radial engines
Thrust 2x 1,770 HP 2x 1,320 kW
Wingspan 57 ft 10 in 17.63 m
Length 41 ft 8 in 12.6 m
Height 15 ft 10 in 4.84 m
Weight empty 15,650 lb 7,100 kg
max. 25,420 lb 11,530 kg
Speed cruis. 205 mph 330 km/h
max. 328 mph 528 km/h
Initial climb rate 1,850 ft/min 564 m/min
Ceiling 26,500 ft 8,077 m
Range 1,500 mi 2,400 km
Armament 4x 20mm Hispano cannon, 1x 7.7mm machine gun (fighters - 4x cannon, 6x machine gun); 728 kg torpedo or 2x 454 kg bomb or 8x rockets
Crew Two
First flight Prototype 17.7.1939
Date deployed July 1940
Number built 5,928 (incl. 364 built in Australia)

Jirka Wagner


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