Bristol Beaufighter

Bristol’s pugnacious Type 156 Beaufighter was a heavy two-seater, long-range fighter that proved a formidable night interceptor and anti-shipping aircraft. A hastily improvised concept combining the
flying surfaces and rear fuselage of the Beaufort torpedo bomber with a new front fuselage and higher-powered engines, the
Beaufighter progressed from design to prototype in just six months.
The Mk 1F nightfighter entered service in August 1940,  just in time for the start of the Luftwaffe’s Blitz raids on British cities.  Using
airborne interception ( AI) radar, the Beaufighter destroyed numerous German night raiders with its four 20mm canon. From December 1940 Beaufighter Mark ICs became RAF Coastal Command’s standard long-range fighters. The most widely used Beaufighter variant, the TF. Mark X, carried out devastating attacks against enemy shipping after entering service in June I943. It could
be armed with bombs, rockets, or torpedoes, or a combination of all three.
Beaufighters also made effective ground-attack aircraft, operating in this role in the Western Desert and the Far East. Of the 5,564 Beaufighters delivered to the RAF, 2,205 were Mark Xs. Some 364 Beauflghters were built in Australia and operated by the
Royal Australian Air Force against .Japanese shipping around New Guinea.

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