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Bristol Beaufort

United Kingdom (1940)
Picture of Bristol Beaufort Torpedo Bomber Aircraft

The Bristol-brand Beaufort served as the RAFs principle torpedo bomber from 1940-1943, then replaced by the more capable Beaufighter.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Bristol Beaufort Torpedo Bomber Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 9/20/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Bristol Beaufort enjoyed a strong run between the war years of 1940-1943 as the primary British torpedo bomber in service. Designed as the successor to the aged biplane Vildebeest design by Vickers, the Beaufort saw success in the role until being eventually replaced itself by the more capable Bristol-brand Beaufighter. Nevertheless, the Beaufort would be used in good number throughout a number of fronts that would include the Pacific Theater, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

The Bristol Beaufighter featured accommodations for four personnel. The twin engine Mk I design was originally fitted with Bristol-type Taurus VI piston engines with the later Mk II marks featuring American-brand Pratt & Whitney radials. Defensive armament consisted of 7.7mm machine guns: two mounted in the nose position and an additional two in a dorsal gun position. It should be noted, however, that some Beauforts fitted additional 7.7mm machine guns in beam (waist gunner) positions and a rear-firing array under the nose assembly. Bombload capacity was a respectable 2,000lbs of traditional drop bombs. A 1,605lb torpedo could be fitted in place of the bombs. The aircraft was also quite capable of mine laying sorties and produced a plethora of such missions with successful results during its years of service with the RAF.

Design was of a conventional approach. The wings were of monoplane layout and low-mounted on the fuselage. The identifiable dorsal turret was mounted at rear as part of the upper fuselage design, limiting the arc of fire to the rear, above and sides only. The nose assembly was of a greenhouse style design with the cockpit mounted behind the nose area and above.

Beauforts were largely responsible for the disruption of Axis supply lines in the English Channel and the Mediterranean. Australia produced the Beaufort as a local version in the form of the Mk V-IX series for their Royal Australian Air Force. Operations for the RAF were also present in the Middle East under British control. The last models of the Beaufort were produced as trainers with the top turret completely removed. As mentioned earlier, the system as a whole was eventually replaced by the Bristol Beaufighter in the middle years of the war. The Beaufighter is detailed elsewhere on this site.

Any available statistics for the Bristol Beaufort Torpedo Bomber Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (265mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Bristol Beaufort Mk I's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
2080
2080


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United Kingdom
Year: 1940
Type: Torpedo Bomber Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Bristol - UK
Production: 2,080
Global Operators:
Australia; Canada; New Zealand; South Africa; Turkey; United Kingdom
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Bristol Beaufort Mk I model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
4


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
44.26 ft


Meters
13.49 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
57.81 ft


Meters
17.62 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
14.24 ft


Meters
4.34 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
13,100 lb


Kilograms
5,942 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
21,228 lb


Kilograms
9,629 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Bristol Taurus VI radial piston engines developing 1,130 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
265 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
426 kph


Knots
230 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,600 mi


Kilometers
2,575 km


Nautical Miles
1,390 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
16,499 ft


Meters
5,029 m


Miles
3.12 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (4):

STANDARD:
2 x 7.7mm machine guns in nose
2 x 7.7mm machine guns in dorsal turret

OPTIONAL:
Maximum bomb load of up to 2,000 lb.

1 x 1,605 lb 457mm torpedo
1 x 7.7mm rear-firing machine gun under nose
2 x 7.7mm machine guns in beam positions
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Mk I - Initial Production Version; fitted with Bristol Taurus II 1,010hp powerplants; 965 produced.
• Mk II - Fitted with American Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp radial piston engines; 415 produced.
• Trainer - Final production versions completed sans dorsal turret.