The Bristol Beaufort was designed as a successor to the Blenheim in the maritime bomber role and became one of the RAF's best known torpedo bombers well into the war years despite the fact that the grand majority of its missions involved conventional bombing and mine-laying. With decent performance figures, Coastal Command Beauforts were quite active around the UK and in the Mediterranean up to 1943 where Malta-based Beauforts proved quite deadly to Axis shipping while Australian Beauforts were also used heavily over New Guinea and the Solomons in 1942-43. One of the Beaufort's most memorable attacks was a raid against Brest harbor where they scored hits against the feared German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Besides British production, around one-third of all Beauforts were built in Australia (notably with a larger fin) where they were used additionally for transport and training duties. Other users included Canada and Turkey.
The Bristol Type 152 was first flown on 15 October 1938 entering service in December of the following year as the Mk. I. This variant, the most widely produced, was equipped with Taurus II and later Taurus VI engines while the subsequent Mk. II featured US-built Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engines. Mk. Vs to VIIIs were built in Australia (the latter which was the most widely produced in that country). Another Australian version was the Mk. IX light transport conversion which was known as the "Beaufreighter". Roughly one-third of all Beauforts were built in Australia.
Succeeded by:Beaufighter (1940)
|Beaufort Mk. I
|2 x Taurus VI
|5 x .303-inBrowning Mk. II