Author Topic: Bristol Beaufighter  (Read 107808 times)

Offline FTJR

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2009, 03:31:03 AM »
I would think the Mark 21 would have a better survival chance and use in the LW arenas than earlier versions.  Speaking of which, wasn't the Mark VIC the torpedo carrying version?  I would have thought the Mark III (w/Hercules engines) or the Mark IV (with Merlin engines) would have been a more representative model in all theaters.  Though, with the VIC variant the Beaufighter could be an effective anti-maritime platform. 


ack-ack

Ack-Ack,
The Mk I  had a production of around 900, the Mk II (merlins) 450. The Mk VI was the next major variant with 1800+ made, The final major production model was the TF Mk X, 2000 + produced.

The VIC is listed as carrying torps, but it was more of a proof of concept idea, I believe only 34 where delivered that could carry the torpedo. Once the concept was proven, they called it the TF Mk X.

So I think the Mk VIC and Mk X would be pretty representative.  Basically what Dan said :)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 03:36:01 AM by FTJR »
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Offline Greebo

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2009, 04:05:08 AM »
The Mk X and Mk 21 are close enough they could be the same AH model with different three different armament options in the loadout screen; just 20mms, 20mms and 303s, 20mms and 0.5ins.

Offline Rich46yo

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #47 on: January 23, 2009, 04:20:03 PM »
Maritime strike? In Aces High?
Maritime strike in Aces high is some dweeb upping Lancs to 2,000', surviving the ack long enough to fling a bunch of 1,000 lb bombs at a CV, and then upping another 10 times to get the job done. Even if your talking torpedoes, a job the Beau would do well with, 99% of the people will look at the single torp in the single Beau, then look at the 2 x 3 in the useonceandthrowaway JUs, and which one do you think they will take up? These are the same characters who will upp, fire 4 and tower, PT boats 30 times in a row until they finally get to ruin everyone elses fight and sink the CV.

Even the legitimate attacks on game CVs are done with heavy bombers dropping big eggs from a safe height. Or versatile Jabos dropping much more TnT then the Beau can/did/will. There are no submarines in the game or large, unescorted Japanese convoys. Two things the Beau sparkled at.

Yes there are the little supply barges but how many times have you heard someone ask, "can we sink those"? And whos going to up a Beau to sink them anyways? Lets face it. There really is no maritime strike mission in the game. Certainly one not handled already by far more able airplanes, usually associated with uncouth dweebery.

Oh I'll find a use for the Beau. Its to good an airplane to be useless and to good an airplane to leave out of the game. I say  :aok And while they are at it we need a Brit CV launched attack plane like the Firefly. Britain was a monster of a sea power at the time, a monster of a Carrier power, and we just plain dont have enough Brit on our CVs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
The only roll the Beaufighter had that really isn't associated with the game was as a night fighter.  The other rolls it was tasked with (anti-maritime, fighter/bomber) are all found in the MA.

Question is, which of the Beaufighters we'll get.  Would it be a regular Mark series or the Australian DAP version or maybe both?  In either case, the Beaufighter is a welcome addition to the EW and MW plane set and will see some life in the LW arenas as well.

ack-ack

« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 04:23:18 PM by Rich46yo »
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Offline lyric1

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #48 on: January 23, 2009, 06:22:38 PM »
Maritime strike? In Aces High?
Maritime strike in Aces high is some dweeb upping Lancs to 2,000', surviving the ack long enough to fling a bunch of 1,000 lb bombs at a CV, and then upping another 10 times to get the job done. Even if your talking torpedoes, a job the Beau would do well with, 99% of the people will look at the single torp in the single Beau, then look at the 2 x 3 in the useonceandthrowaway JUs, and which one do you think they will take up? These are the same characters who will upp, fire 4 and tower, PT boats 30 times in a row until they finally get to ruin everyone elses fight and sink the CV.

Even the legitimate attacks on game CVs are done with heavy bombers dropping big eggs from a safe height. Or versatile Jabos dropping much more TnT then the Beau can/did/will. There are no submarines in the game or large, unescorted Japanese convoys. Two things the Beau sparkled at.

Yes there are the little supply barges but how many times have you heard someone ask, "can we sink those"? And whos going to up a Beau to sink them anyways? Lets face it. There really is no maritime strike mission in the game. Certainly one not handled already by far more able airplanes, usually associated with uncouth dweebery.

Oh I'll find a use for the Beau. Its to good an airplane to be useless and to good an airplane to leave out of the game. I say  :aok And while they are at it we need a Brit CV launched attack plane like the Firefly. Britain was a monster of a sea power at the time, a monster of a Carrier power, and we just plain dont have enough Brit on our CVs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
I agree with what you have wrote here. In actuality with the fire power of US fleets & the game modeling such fire power it is virtually impossible to get any effective torpedo run with out it being a suicide run.  Just remember this plane was an effective fighter with many Ace's it will have many other uses within the game.

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Offline lyric1

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #49 on: January 23, 2009, 06:54:08 PM »
The Mk-X and Mk-21 are close enough they could be the same AH model with different three different armament options in the loadout screen; just 20mms, 20mms and 303s, 20mms and 0.5ins.
Could you use the template of both in light of the Mk-21 having the bulges under the cockpit for the auto pilot the nose has a completely differant look to the MK-10. Also they had differant engines if I am not mistaken.

   

Offline Guppy35

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2009, 08:59:47 PM »
Could you use the template of both in light of the Mk-21 having the bulges under the cockpit for the auto pilot the nose has a completely differant look to the MK-10. Also they had differant engines if I am not mistaken.

I think the best way to look at it is the 21 would be icing on the cake.  The RAAF flew British built versions from 42 until the end.  The 21 was essentially their license built version of the Mk X.  The bulge was for the autopilot that wasn't fitted operationally.

If HTC modeled the Beau and was only going to do two versions like they did with the 25, then I'd suggest the VI and TFX.  And as Greebo said the 21 is close enough to the X that an armament option would work if they wanted to go that way like they did with the 25C and 25C Strafer versions.  Allow for leaving out the wing guns as was done, or skipping rockets or extra fuel and going with the 6 303s of the VI or X or 4 50s of the 21.

I'd be back for the Beau.  I'd move into it in fact.
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Offline Greebo

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2009, 04:17:59 AM »
I think the engines are the only possible problem to sharing the Mk X and Mk 21 onto one shape. Were the Mk 21 engines significantly different to the Mk X engines, i.e. different power or supercharger settings? Or was it more of a paperwork thing, i.e. built in a different factory or different propeller fitting?

Offline lyric1

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2009, 04:33:13 AM »
I think the engines are the only possible problem to sharing the Mk X and Mk 21 onto one shape. Were the Mk 21 engines significantly different to the Mk X engines, i.e. different power or supercharger settings? Or was it more of a paperwork thing, i.e. built in a different factory or different propeller fitting?
Not much on engine specs but this might answer it.
http://airforce.gov.au/raafmuseum/research/aircraft/series2/A8.htm

Offline moot

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #53 on: January 24, 2009, 04:40:54 AM »
I think the best way to look at it is the 21 would be icing on the cake.  The RAAF flew British built versions from 42 until the end.  The 21 was essentially their license built version of the Mk X.  The bulge was for the autopilot that wasn't fitted operationally.

If HTC modeled the Beau and was only going to do two versions like they did with the 25, then I'd suggest the VI and TFX.  And as Greebo said the 21 is close enough to the X that an armament option would work if they wanted to go that way like they did with the 25C and 25C Strafer versions.  Allow for leaving out the wing guns as was done, or skipping rockets or extra fuel and going with the 6 303s of the VI or X or 4 50s of the 21.

I'd be back for the Beau.  I'd move into it in fact.
Would it be that capable a dogfighter?  Would be a shame to come back after going cold turkey, only to burn right back out.
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Offline Hajo

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #54 on: January 24, 2009, 09:42:13 AM »
MkXXI was tested in early 1945.  It saw about 8 months of action.

I'm betting we will see the MkX.  MkXXI was made under license in Australia.
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Offline Guppy35

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #55 on: January 25, 2009, 12:05:02 AM »
Would it be that capable a dogfighter?  Would be a shame to come back after going cold turkey, only to burn right back out.

It wasn't a dogfighter, but it could defend itself.  Reading about the Aussies flying it alongside the 5th AF folks in the PTO has been interesting.  They had their own version of the Thach weave with the Beau's.  They were always down low and relied on their speed to get in and out.  That being said they did mix it up if they had to.

For me it would be an excuse to dive into the history too.  I already have for the last few months, reading everything I can find on the Beau.  I'd really only connected it to the night fighter versions, as I'd read Rawnsleys book on flying as John Cunningham's navigator on night fighter Beaus, and Bob Brahm's book on the same stuff.  There were other bits I'd read on the MTO attack Beaufighters but I didn't know much about the PTO or CBI use.  Absolutely fascinating stuff.

I think it would be a fun one to test the limits of and obviously the scenario use is off the charts.  I could probably find a few guys who'd fly low level intruders with Beaus too :) 

Dan/CorkyJr
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Offline FTJR

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #56 on: January 25, 2009, 02:42:57 AM »
It wasn't a dogfighter, but it could defend itself.  Reading about the Aussies flying it alongside the 5th AF folks in the PTO has been interesting.  They had their own version of the Thach weave with the Beau's.  They were always down low and relied on their speed to get in and out.  That being said they did mix it up if they had to.


Dan, what book is that in ?
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Offline Guppy35

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #57 on: January 25, 2009, 03:49:11 AM »
Dan, what book is that in ?

William Mann, who was CO of 31 Squadron in 43 talks about the tactics for covering each other and clearing Japanese fighters in his book "Search and Destroy"

There are a number of combat reports quoted in Neville Parnell's book "Beaufighters in the Pacific" from 30 and 31 squadrons talking about combat with "Zekes' at Rabaul in the fall of 43.

An example.

Date 12/10/43
P/O J.M. McRobbie  30 Squadron

"When over Rapopo strip at a height of 300 feet, a large number of Zekes and one Nate were seen.  The majority of the Zekes were in threes and appeared to be all around our formation.  I was forced of Rapopo strip by 3 Zekes attacking from 11 O'clock.  Fired a burst at Nate from 6 o'clock but observed no results.   I then pulled up and fired a burst at a Zeke, stall turning on to leader.  He fell off in opposite direction--observer in leading aircraft says he was smoking.  Was attacked from 3 o'clock by a Zeke.  Turned into him and made for home.  Later attacked again from 3 o'clock.  Took some evasive action.  2 Zekes chased off our tail by rear gun. Flew down coast under 3 Zekes who did not see me.  Proceeded home Low on trees.  Method of breaking off engagement--turning into attacks, using full power low on water and getting over trees for use of camouflage.

I Zeke claimed as possibly destroyed.  Last seen diving towards ground smoking."


300 feet up in a swarm of Zekes and living to tell the story.  Amazing stuff.

Another interesting comment in the 177 Squadron history.  They flew VIs and TFX's.  Most pilots preferred the VI as it was faster then the TFX which had rocket rails and torpedo carrying gear.

Got another book in the mail today called "The Armed Rovers-Beaufighters and Beauforts over the Mediterranean" by Roy Nesbit.  Some great stuff on MTO Beaus.  It looks like the Malta Beaufighters were lugging 250 pound bombs in mid summer 42.  Also an interesting note that the VI had belt fed cannons while the earlier I and II had drum fed with 60 rounds per drum.  The Navigator was stuck with changing the drums out during combat.  Not an easy thing to do. 

I'm all for the VI and TFX now, with the VI being the attack bird with the 6 303s, 4 20s and provisions for 250 pounders, while the TFX is the heavy lifter with rocket rails, torp gear and more fuel but only the 4 20mms as it appears that was the common thing to do by leaving the wing guns out.  It appears the rear gun was often left off the VI which had more of a makeshift canopy, but the observer's canopy was modified for the rear gun in the TFX.

A few of the pilot and nav accounts say it was really left up to the crew whether they took the rear gun or not.  The 39 Squadron Nav in his book said he thought it was better to be able to direct the pilot if attacked from the rear and they left the gun off. 

Also interesting to note that the early Beau's with the straight tail plane for more maneuverable but less stable.  The dihedral tail plane gave the Beau more stability which was considered more important at the low alt that Beau ops were flown.

Gotta admit it's been great fun hunting Beau stuff :)
Dan/CorkyJr
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Offline Greebo

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #58 on: January 25, 2009, 04:52:18 AM »
I had a discussion with a Beaufighter pilot at an airshow about 10-15 years ago, can't recall his name now but he flew maritime strike ops over the North Sea. One thing he said stuck in my mind, he reckoned the later Beaus were a bit nose heavy and this had to be trimmed out. Rear ballast was not fitted since the increased weight would have reduced the fuel or ord that could be carried.

Trouble was there was a lot of freezing fog over the North Sea and this could cause ice to form on the leading edges of the wings making it even more nose heavy. With the plane already trimmed to pull the nose up there was insufficient trim authority left to cope with the ice and the plane would just lose height until it hit the sea. His squadron lost a few planes this way until somebody figured out what was happening.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 04:56:35 AM by Greebo »

Offline moot

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Re: Bristol Beaufighter
« Reply #59 on: January 25, 2009, 06:52:03 AM »
Nose heavy can't really be bad in a dogfight..
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