INDEX OF NAVAL AIRCRAFT

 

  Bristol Beaufort
 
Bristol Beaufort in RAF markings

History

The Beaufort was designed under specifications G.24/35 and M.15/35. The first prototype flew on 15 October 1938 and the aircraft entered production in 1939. The Beaufort was a  twin-engined torpedo bomber, based on the Blenheim, however it was more heavy, with a  crew of four. The Beaufort entered service with the RAF in 1940. It was the standard torpedo bomber from 1940 until 1943, but was never considered a successful type. A total of 2,080 aircraft were built, including 700 in Australia. The Australian version was built from 1939, with Pratt&Whitney Twin Wasp engines (1,200 hp).
A total of 104 Beaufort IA, IIA and IIA trainers were transferred from the RAF to the Fleet Air Arm. All went to second line squadrons, mainly 798 and 728 squadrons. The FAA Beauforts were delivered mainly to Fayid, Dekheila, Ta kali, Safi, and Coimbatore. they served as trainers in 762 squadron at Dale until as late as 1946.


            Fleet Air Arm history

            Total FAA 1939-1945:        104
            First delivered to RN:          1943. 44MU to 798 sqdn Lee 2.9.43
            First squadron 1939-1945:    7.43 to 781 sqdn at Lee (779 sqdn Gibraltar 8.43 (T3087)
                                                    12.43 to 789 sqdn at Wingfield
            Operational squadron:           None
            Last with RN                      Post war. End 9.45 (trainers in 762 squadron till 1946)

Aircraft Type:
Bristol Beaufort
Mark:
Mk I 
Primary Role:
Torpedo aircraft trainers
First Flight: 
First flight 15.10.1938
Date operating with FAA squadrons:
1943-1946
Manufacturer:
Bristol Aeroplane Company, Weston-super-Mare
works
Engine:
Two 1,130 hp Bristol Taurus VI 14cylinder radial engines 
 Wing Span: Length: Height: Wing Area: 
Wingspan 57.8 ft 17.63 m 
Length 44.16 ft 13.46 m 
Height 14.2 ft  4.34 m 
Wingarea 503 sq ft  46.73 sq m
Empty Weight: Max.Weight:
max:2 1,230 lb 9,630 kg
Speed: 

Ceiling: 

Range:

Speed armed 225 mph
Ceiling:  16,500 ft
Range1,600 mi
Armament: 
four 7.7mm machine gun; one 18in torpedo or up to 907 kg    bombs
Crew:
4
Squadrons:
728,733,762,788,798
Battle honours:
None with FAA
Additional references and notes:

Battle Honours and Operational History

No Battle Honours with the Fleet Air Arm.

The Beaufort saw active service with the RAF and was involved in attacks on the German battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. In the Pacific theatre Austalian Beauforts carried out successful by attacks on Japanese shipping.



Beaufort MW-R in wartime colour


Surviving aircraft and relics

Two known preserved Beauforts, neither FAA examples. One is in the Fighter Collection (UK) Mk JM135/A19-144 and the other Beafort Mk VIII 'DD931' in the RAF Museum (UK).

Associations and reunions
No information
 
FURTHER INFORMATION
 
Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to1945'  Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 0 85130 232 7 
Created 3-4-1999, Modified 3-4-2000

 

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