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Bristol Beaufighter - British Fighter Plane

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Bristol Beaufighter - British WWII fighter plane

Bristol Beaufighter

The Bristol Beaufighter was intended as a interim measure long rage heavy fighter until the Westland Whirlwind problems could be overcome. With the speed of a Hawker Hurricane, the Beaufighter entered service in the fall of 1940 as a disappointing day fighter. But it’s potential as a heavily armed night fighter was recognized even before airborne radar was available. With the advent of the first airborne radar, the Beaufighter became Britain’s foremost night fighter until displaced by the de Havilland Mosquito in the Fall of 1942. The long range, heavy armament and relatively high speed quickly caught the attention of Coastal Command as a convoy escort.

Eventually offensive Beaufighter teams of fighters to drive off the escort aircraft, rocket equipped planes to attack the flack ships, and torpedo equipped planes to attack the freighters, took a heavy toll of Axis shipping in both the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. In the Far East the Beaufighter was used for long range low level attacks in Burma. It was widely reported in Allied newspapers that the Japanese named the plane whispering death because the Bristol Hercules engines were much quieter than other comparable aircraft engines. 5,928 Bristol Beaufighters were built.



* Bristol Beaufighter facts

Category Heavy fighter
Manufacturer Bristol Aeroplane Company
Introduced July 1939
Used in WW II by

Royal Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
Produced 1940 – 1946
Number built 5,928
Cruising speed 250 mph
Max. speed 320 mph
Altitude 19,000 feet service ceiling
Range 1,750 miles
* Numbers are approximate