Bristol Beaufort Torpedo Bomber
US Naval Aviation Training Division
Original aeroplane recognition poster (1942)
63 x 47 cm
A particularly unusual style of aeroplane identification poster, owing to the very arty images. Most such posters rely on very plain silhouettes, this series – and we have several in this series; view them here – have a much more arty approach to the task with shading and an interesting angle view.
The Bristol Beaufort (manufacturer designation Type 152) was a British twin-engined torpedo bomber designed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, and developed from experience gained designing and building the earlier Blenheim light bomber. At least 1,180 Beauforts were built by Bristol and other British manufacturers.
The Australian government”s Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) also manufactured variants of the Beaufort. These are often known collectively as the DAP Beaufort. More than 700 Australian-built Beauforts saw service with the Royal Australian Air Force in the South West Pacific theatre, where they were used until the end of the war.
Beauforts first saw service with Royal Air Force Coastal Command and then the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm from 1940. They were used as torpedo bombers, conventional bombers and mine-layers until 1942, when they were removed from active service and were then used as trainer aircraft until being declared obsolete in 1945. Beauforts also saw considerable action in the Mediterranean; Beaufort squadrons based in Egypt and on Malta helped interdict Axis shipping supplying Rommel’s Deutsches Afrikakorps in North Africa.
Although it was designed as a torpedo-bomber, the Beaufort was more often used as a medium day bomber. The Beaufort also flew more hours in training than on operational missions and more were lost through accidents and mechanical failures than were lost to enemy fire. The Beaufort was adapted as a long-range heavy fighter variant called the Beaufighter, which proved to be very successful and many Beaufort units eventually converted to the Beaufighter.
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