World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
Great Britain's flag Great Britain's RAF aircraft marking

Great Britain's Bristol Beaufort torpedo-bomber

Photos

  • Bristol Beauforts
  • Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber
  • Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber
  • Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber
  • Bristol Beaufort
  • Bristol Beaufort Mk I
  • Bristol Beaufort Mk I
  • Bristol Beaufort Mk I
  • Bristol Beaufort Mk I
  • Bristol Beaufort Mk I
  • Bristol Beaufort Mk I
  • Bristol Beaufort Mk II
  • Bristol Beaufort Mk II
  • Bristol Beaufort Mk II
  • Bristol Beaufort MkII
  • Bristol Beaufort Mk II
  • Bristol Beaufort
  • Bristol Beaufort

Design

The Air Ministry published specifications for two aircraft in 1935, a torpedo bomber (M.15/35), and a reconnaissance bomber (G.24/35).

The Bristol Beaufort was to be a larger version of the Blenheim. It was designed to be a torpedo bomber in the Far East.

The Beaufort was of an all metal design.

Prototype

The prototype of the Beaufort was first flown on October 15, 1938 / October 1938.

The Beaufort Mk II was first flown in November 1940.

Production

In August 1936 an order for 78 was placed. Production delays caused the Beaufort to not reach operational status for more than a year after the first flight by the prototype.

415 Beauforts were completed by 1943 by Bristol.

Australia produced 700 Beauforts.

  • Beaufort Mk I: 955, 1,014
  • Beaufort Mk II: 166, 415
  • Beaufort Mk V: 50
  • Beaufort Mk VA: 30
  • Beaufort Mk VI: 40
  • Beaufort Mk VII: 60
  • Beaufort Mk VIII: 520
  • Total: 1,121, 2,129
    • Manufacturer: Bristol Aeroplane Co. Ltd.
    • Production: ? - April 1944

Variants

  • Beaufort Mk I: Early versions powered by Bristol Taurus II (1,010 HP) engine. Later versions had the Bristol Taurus VI engine.
  • Beaufort Mk IA: Manufactured in Australia.
  • Beaufort Mk II: Was powered by American Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp radials.
  • Beaufort Mk III: Never produced.
  • Beaufort Mks V - IX: Built in Australia for the Royal Australian Air Force.
  • Beaufort Mk IX "Beaufreighter": Transport with an enlarged cabin.

Usage

The Beaufort was used by Australia, Britain, Canada, and Turkey.

The Bristol Beaufort was the main torpedo bomber of the RAF from 1940 to 1943 until it was replaced by the Beaufighter. The Beaufort was primarily used as a bomber and mine layer.

Engine Problems

The Beauforts were grounded for two months starting in May 1940 due to engine difficulties with the Taurus.

First Use

The No. 22 Squadron was outfitted with the first Beauforts in December 1939. They were used on a mine laying operation on the night of August 15 and 16, 1940.

The first 2,000 lb / 907 kg bomb was dropped on May 7, 1940.

Coastal Command Squadrons

Beauforts were first delivered to the Coastal Command in December 1939.

There were six Coastal Command squadrons outfitted in the United Kingdom and four in the Middle East.

Gneisenau and Scharnhorst

The Beauforts were used to attack the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst in Brest harbor on April 6, 1941. Also during the "Channel Dash" Beauforts were used to attack the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst in February 1942.

Prinz Eugen

Beauforts were used in the North Sea against the Prinz Eugen in May 1942.

Mediterranean

Axis convoys were the main target of the Beaufort in the Mediterranean.

Last Operation

The No. 217 Squadron had the last sortie of the Beaufort from Ceylon in September 1944.

Australian Production

Two factories in Australia assembled Beauforts that used pieced that were produced throughout Australia. These were under the supervision of the Department of Aircraft Production.

The engines were licensed built Twin Wasps by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation.

The Beauforts that were constructed were to be used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

The first Australian built Beaufort was flown in May 1941. The final delivery was in September 1944.

Some of the first Beauforts produced were sent to Singapore after the Japanese attacks.

Ten RAAF squadrons were equipped with the Beaufort.

The RAAF Beauforts were withdrawn from service in 1946.

Specifications

  Bristol Beaufort
Dimensions  
Span 58'
17.7 m
Length 44' 7"
13.6 m
Height 12' 5"
3.78 m
Wing area 503 sq ft
46.7 sq m
  Bristol Beaufort Mk I
Type Mine laying, Torpedo bomber, Reconnaissance
Crew 4
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Taurus
2: Bristol Taurus VI
OR 2: Bristol Taurus XII/XVII
OR 2: Bristol Taurus II
Engine - Late Models 2: Bristol Taurus XII/XVII
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 1,010 each, 1,065 each
OR 1,130 each
Propeller blades 3 each, 3 blade Hydromatic
Dimensions  
Span 57' 10"
17.62 m, 17.63 m
Length 44' 2", 44' 3", 44' 7"
13.49 m
Height 12' 5", 14' 3"
4.34 m
Wing area 503 ft2
46.73 m2
Weight  
Empty 13,100 lb, 13,107 lb
5,942 kg, 5,945 kg
Loaded 21,228 lb
9,629 kg
Performance  
Speed 310 mph
Speed at sea level
with torpedo
225 mph
362 kph
Speed @ 6,000' /
1,830 m
265 mph
426 kph
Cruising speed 160 mph
257 kph
Climb 1,150' per minute
350 m per minute
Service ceiling 16,500'
5,029 m, 5,030 m, 5,032 m
Range 1,600 miles
2,574 km, 2,575 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 0.303" MG
2: 0.303" MG
2: 7.7 mm MG
Rear cockpit 2: MG
2: 7.7 mm MG
Dorsal turret 1: 0.303" MG
1 or 2: 0.303" MG
2: MG
Torpedo 18"
0.457 m, 0.46 m
1,610 lb
OR  
Bombs 1,500 lb, 2,000 lb, 2,200 lb
907 kg, 998 kg
  Bristol Beaufort Mk IA
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC3-G Twin Wasp
  Bristol Beaufort Mk II
Type Torpedo bomber, Reconnaissance
Crew 4
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Taurus
2: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S3C4G Twin Wasp
Cylinders Radial
HP 1,060 each, 1,200 each
Propeller blades Curtiss Electric constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 57' 10"
17.63 m
Length 44' 2", 44' 3"
13.49 m
Height 14' 3"
4.34 m
Weight  
Empty 14,074 lb
6,384 kg
Loaded 22,083 lb
10,017 kg
Performance  
Speed 310 mph
Speed at sea level
with torpedo
230 mph
370 kph
Speed @ 4,000' /
1,219 m
278 mph
447 kph
Cruising speed 155 mph
250 kph
Climb 1,400' per minute
427 m per minute
Service ceiling 21,000', 22,500'
6,400 m, 6,862 m
Range 1,410 miles, 1,450 miles
2,269 km, 2,333 km
Armament  
Nose 2: 0.303" MG
Dorsal turret 1 or 2: 0.303" MG
Torpedo 18"
0.46 m
OR  
Bombs 2,200 lb
998 kg
  Bristol Beaufort Mk III
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
Cylinders Inline
Cooling Water
  Bristol Beaufort Mk V
Type Light bomber
Crew 4
Dimensions  
Span 57' 10"
17.63 m
Length 44' 3"
13.49 m
Height 14' 5"
4.42 m
Performance  
Speed @ 14,500' /
4,420 m
268 mph
431 kph
Climb 1,200'/minute
366 m/minute
Service ceiling 25,000'
7,620 m
Range 1,060 miles
1,706 km
Range with auxiliary fuel 1,450 miles
2,334 km
Armament 4 - 6: 0.303"
OR 4 - 6: 0.5"
Bombs 2,000 lb
907 kg
  Bristol Beaufort Mk VIII
Type Light bomber
Crew 4
Engine (Type) 2: CAC built Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S3C4G Twin Wasp
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling  
HP 1,200 each
Dimensions  
Span 57' 10"
17.63 m
Length 44' 3"
13.49 m
Height 14' 5"
4.42 m
Weight  
Empty 14,070 lb
6,382 kg
Loaded 21,000 lb
9,526 kg
Maximum load 22,500 lb
10,206 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 14,500' /
4,420 m
268 mph
431 kph
Climb 1,200'/minute
366 m/minute
Service ceiling 25,000'
7,620 m
Range 1,060 miles
1,706 km
Range with auxiliary fuel 1,450 miles
2,334 km
Armament 4 - 6: 0.303"
OR 4 - 6: 0.5"
Bombs 2,000 lb
907 kg

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  5. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site