Bristol Beaufighter

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TFX Specifications

Primary Function:
Wing Span:
Weight Empty:
Max. Weight:
Machine Guns:
Cruise Speed:
Max. Speed:
Climb rate:
First Flight:
Year Deployed:
torpedo bomber
two or three
Hercules XVII radials
2 x 1,700 hp ea.
41 ft. 8 in.
57 ft. 10 in.
15,600 lbs.
25,200 lbs.
4 x .20 mm
7 x 7.7 mm
1 x 18 in.
2 x 500 lbs.
8 x 76.2 mm
250 mph
320 mph
1,500 fpm
15,000 feet
1,470 miles

The Bristol Beaufighter was the most heavily armed British aircraft of World War Two. It was a quicker, longer range variant of the torpedo bomber from which it was derived.

Its wings and tail were unchanged from its predecessor, with the fuselage shortened about three feet, and the cockpit area streamlined to accommodate a single pilot.

Some books describe the Bristol Beaufighter as one of the hardest to fly of all British aircraft. We have found mixed reviews of its flying abilities. The primary complaint appears to be regarding its high engine torque combined with a rearward center of gravity.

During take off, Bristol Beaufighter pilots had to learn to apply reduced power to the starboard engine to keep the aircraft centered in its roll down the runway. Once sufficient speed built up, the ailerons and rudder could be used to compensate for any torque pull.

The Bristol Beaufighter also had a high wing loading that made it drop quickly once power was cut. It was necessary to fly it at all times, and keep the power on when coming in for a landing.

Bristol Beaufighter pilots appreciated the overall power of the aircraft, especially when flying at low altitudes. Its cockpit was well laid out with room for the largest of pilots. The controls and instrumentation were comfortably arranged and easy to use. The forward and downward view from the cockpit was excellent due to the short nose of the aircraft. Engines were very reliable, even in very hot climates. The Bristol Beaufighter was robustly built and able to withstand a great deal of battle damage while bringing its crew home unharmed. Ground crews appreciated its ease of maintenance.

The Bristol Beaufighter served as a night interceptor, strike aircraft, and eventually torpedo bomber. It is credited with the sinking of 117 enemy ships, including five German submarines in a two day period.

A total of 5,298 Bristol Beaufighter aircraft of all types were produced.

Bristol Beaufighter

Bristol Beaufighter

The Bristol Beaufighter built by Keith Mitchell has a wingspan of 173" and a length of 128". Power comes from a pair of 120 cc engines. All up weight is approximately 120 lbs.

HVP Modell has a Bristol Beaufighter. The 35.5" wingspan aircraft is powered by two geared speed 400 motors.

Kit Cutters has a Bristol Beaufighter in a kit. It is from Nexus Plans and has a 39" wingspan.

The Alfa Modell Bristol Beaufighter has a wingspan of 40" and is power by two geared speed 300 motors.

Bristol Beaufighter

Bristol Beaufighter  - Peter Harvey (see comments)