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Bristol Beaufighter Mk.IC A19-5, "F" of No. 30 Sqn., RAAF Port Moresby, March 1943
General Background
The Bristol Beaufighter was developed in about 8 months by using sections from the earlier designed Bristol Beaufort. It was given more powerful engines and a variety of modifications making the aircraft capable of many tasks. It was a night fighter, fighter bomber and torpedo bomber performing anti-shipping duty as well as ground attack and long range interdiction. The different variants, 14 in all, were capable of carrying bombs, torpedoes, rockets, canons and machine guns. The Beaufighter was operated by 11 countries.
The Aircraft
Beaufighter Mk.IC msn T4924 was built by the Fairey Aviation Co. in Stockton, UK and delivered to the RAAF on April 20, 1942. It was assigned A19-5 and arrived at 30 Squadron on June 15, 1942 with the code F. 30 Squadron was established as a long-range fighter squadron attacking Japanese shipping and coastal bases. In March 1943, 30 Squadron took part in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea where heavy losses were inflicted on the Japanese. After incurring various types of damage and repairs over two years the aircraft came to a tragic end on December 13, 1944.
Specifications :
Crew: 2 X (1) pilot (1) radio/radar operator
Engines: 2 X Bristol Hercules XI engines / 1,500 hp
Fuel: 100 octane
Capacity 550 Imp gallons / (660 US gallons) / (2,500 liters)
Maximum speed: 321 mph at 15,800 feet / (520 km/h at 4,572 m)
ICR: 1,850 ft/min at sea level / (564 m/min at sea level)
Climb to 20,000 ft: 214 minutes 6 seconds / (6,095 m in 14 min 6 seconds)
Ceiling: 26,500 ft / (8077 m)
Range: 1,170 miles at 5,000ft at 182 mph / (1,883 km at 1.524 km at 292.9 km/h)
Length: 41ft 8in / (12.6 m)
Wingspan: 57ft 10in / (17.63 m)
Height: 15 ft 10 in / (4.83 m)
Wing area: 503 sq. ft. / (46.73 m2)
Empty weight: 14,069 lb / (6,382 kg)
Operational: 21,100 lb / (9,571 kg)
Armament: 4 X 20mm cannon under nose 240 rounds per gun
6 X .303 machine guns in wings 1000 rounds per gun.