The Bristol Beaufighter was part of the RAF as soon as September,1940. Given its good speed, long range, and great firepower, the British pilotsloved her immediately, even though the plane was somewhat tricky to handle inlow-speed flight. It was used as a night fighter and, equipped with a torpoedo, as an anti-shipping/submarine fighter. Eventually ,this military aircraft fought on all fronts. Planes based in Australia, for instance,were used to attack Japanese shipping.
The Bristol Beaufighter was the first radar equipped nightfighter. One of the most famous missions was accomplished by a Beaufighter during day time, when Paris was under German occupatuion. The plane flew over the Champs-Élysées avenue at low level,dropped a French flag, and then lauched its rocketson the Gestapo main building.
About 5900 units were built. The Bristol Beaufigter remained in service until 1959.
|Engine:||2 Bristol Hercules XVII each dev. 1 770 hp|
|Max speed:||514 km/h @ 3 048 m|
|Ceiling:||5 791 m|
|Range:||2 366 km|
|Weight (empty):||7 072 kg|
|Weight (loaded):||11 521 kg|
|Armament:||Four Hispano 20 mm cannons, six Browning .303 (7,7 mm) machine guns, one 2127 lb torpedo or two ou 250 lb bombs.|