Bristol 156 Beaufighter
1939
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Bristol 156 Beaufighter

The first prototype flew on July 17, 1939. Entered production in 1941. A total of 5864 aircraft were built, including 364 built in Australia.

Bristol 156 Beaufighter


Specification 
 MODELBristol "Beaufighter" TF. Mk X
 CREW2
 ENGINE2 x Bristol Hercules XVII, 1320kW
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight11431 kg25201 lb
    Empty weight7076 kg15600 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan17.63 m58 ft 10 in
    Length12.7 m42 ft 8 in
    Height4.83 m16 ft 10 in
    Wing area46.73 m2503.00 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed488 km/h303 mph
    Cruise speed401 km/h249 mph
    Ceiling4570 m15000 ft
    Range2366 km1470 miles
 ARMAMENT2 x 20mm cannons, 7 x 7.7mm machine-guns, 1 torpedo and 2 x 113kg bombs

3-View 
Bristol 156 BeaufighterA three-view drawing (800 x 623)

Comments
Hereward Dundas-Taylor, 22.01.2015

Hi John Gemmell, did you ever get your plans for a RC Beaufighter. If not let me know.
Cheers,

Hereward Dundas-Taylor
Committee Member
30 SQN RAAF Beaufighter Association

Redherringz, 27.01.2014

I read an interesting book about the Beaufighter Night fighter version. The two man crew was closing on a German aircraft and fired a short burst of cannon fire, then banked away so as not to overshoot and come around for another pass.
During this short time, the radar operator had to get out of his seat remove the expended ammunition drum and replace it with a 60lb full drum ready for the next aquisition. The drum was heavy and awkward, the Beaufighter banking hard, small wonder operators lost fingers to the heavy magazine.

anoble wood, 26.12.2013

My father completed a tour on Lancasters then wanted to convert to the Beaufighter. It was called "whispering death" by the Japanese and was one of the most feared aircraft. It was tough and fairly quiet and often evaded the giant listening ears the Japanese used for early warning. The sleeve valve engines created the low noise because there was not sudden opening and closing of exhaust valves. These types of valve were however more costly to maintain and engine life was shorter. As a night fighter in Europe it excelled and the speed issues of the earlier aircraft was solved by using nitrous oxide injection.

Klaatu83, 13.12.2012

A particularly memorable Beaufighter mission: On 12 June 1942 Wing Commander Ken Gatwood and Flt. Sgt. George Fern flew a Beaufighter at tree-top height though the City of Paris to drop a French flag on the top of the Arc de Triomphe, and then proceeded to strafe the Gestapo Headquarters in Paris before returning safely back to the U.K.

Maur Toulson, 06.02.2012

Ain't she a beauty?

Harold Soderlund, 04.11.2011

On the night of August 30, 1944 a Junker 52 flew across the moon path that coinciced with my course in the Sea of Crete. I turned in pursit and fired the canons and then broke to port. My Beaufighter nearly collicec with what I believe was a second Junkers 53 flying in the opposite direction to the first. I made the mistke of continuing the turn to pursue the second Junkers 52. Fire from his rear gun disabled the port engine of my Beaufighter. Full power on the starboard engine did not maintain altitude and the plane slid onto the sea. Fortnately a one man dinghy floated out of the plane. At the end of the second day a German patol boat made I and my navigator prisoners of war. I think if we had had some training on attacking enemy planes at night the outcome might have been different

Barry, 11.01.2011

There was a gaping hole for a night fighter and the numpties in the Air Ministry were thinking about an aeroplane fitted with a turret to house 4 x 20mm cannon. Pity the poor man who had to operate that! You would have thought that by then they would have learnt from the Defiant and the Roc that the day of the turret fighter was over not that it ever existed anyway.
So the Bristol designer Leslie Frise and the brilliant Roy Feddon took matters in to their own hands and by blending the wings, tail, landing system, and most importantly the jigs of the Beaufort with two Bristol Hercules engines within six months they had the Beaufighter. It was quickly ordered into production and it would be fair to say that the early models equipped with AI MkIV radar that were operated notably by 25 and 29 squadrons had a dramatic effect at curtailing the Blitz.
Sure it had it's vices and even re-engineing the MkII with Merlins didn't stop it from swinging on take off but there again it did remain in service with some airforces untill 1960.

Jackie, 08.08.2010

The Bristol Beaufighter was an aircraft inspired from the Bristol Beaufort. The idea was to have a fighter version of the Beaufort. The Beaufighter was a successful multi-purpose aircraft.It can be used as a fighter, bomber, torpedo bomber, ground attack aircraft and recon plane. It does not mix well with true fighters but because of its deadly arnament it can hold its own in a dogfight. Almost 6000 Beaufighters were produced.

Darryl Johnston, 21.03.2010

Served with distinction in many roles from photo recce to anti-sub with 16 Squadron SAAF (South African Air Force) through the desert war then Sicily and Italy and then seconded to Balkan Air Force serving in Albania, Yugoslavia and the southern part of the Russian Front until the end of the war. My late dad's aircraft was "F for Freddie".

John Beavin, 17.03.2010

A rugged, aggressive looking machine, with a fine war record, served on all fronts with distinction. What more could you ask of any aircraft?

Roy Butler, 03.02.2010

I flew this aircraft in the Middle East from 1942 to 1944, with #46 Night Fighter Sqdn.during WW2.I shot down 5 German aircraft and was awarded the DFC. It was a wonderful plane and would take a lot of damage. It was easy to fly on one engine and the only problem was it would yaw to the right on takeoff.

leo rudnicki, 04.04.2009

If the Hercules came with handed props, it might have toned down the adverse torque yaw better than dihedral tailplanes and dorsal fillets. If it had a blended into the wingroot air intake instead of the brick-shaped scoop, If it had rear exitting exhaust like the post-war commercial engine,If it had suitable wings 5 or 6 inches thinner (to Spitfire scale but without the elliptical planform),If it had BIG box magazine for the 20 mikemikes,If you could leave the plane in flight (emergency egress) it coulda binna contender, but it would still have the landing light taking the place of 2 MGs on the port wing causing adverse yaw when firing. Could a Sea Hornet carry a torpedo?

George E. Sutton, 16.08.2008

As a Sergeamt Pilot in the RCAF, 19 years old, I was assigned to Charter Hall for Operational Training. After flying the Blenhiem and the Bisley, a pilot took me around the field standing behind him, the got out and told me to take it up. Up was fine, down was not. It took five approaches to get the attitude right then a tire blew. It was a fight, but it stayed on the runway. I insisted that I should be reassigned to some other aircraft, but SL Maxwell threatened bodily harm if I did not fly it! Soon I found it to be a great aircraft!

John Gemmell, 04.07.2008

I was named after an uncle who flew this aircraft as an RCAF pilot attatched to the R.A.F. during the battle of Malta. Sadly, he was he lost his life performing that duty - I believe in 1943. I have recently started the hobby of radio control (R/C) model aircraft flying. As a sort of memorial to my uncle, I would like to construct a scale R/C flyable model of the Bristol Beaufighter to the best scale accuaracy available but I have not been able to come up with plans and would greatly appreciate any that can be obtained. Any assistance much appreciated.

EMBER, 18.12.2007

FAA STANDARDS WANTED THE Beaufighter TO HAVE A MAX SPEED OF AROUND 328MPH. HAVING FALLEN SHORT OF THIS THE FAA MOVED IT TO SHIP-KILLING, NIGHTFIGHTING, & GENERAL TRANSPORT. NOW TO GO RAMMBLE-ON ABOUT SOME OTHER AIRCRAFT...

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