The Bristol Beaufort was a British four-seat torpedo bomber used by the RAF during World War II. It performed its first flight in October 1938 and entered service in December 1939. The Beaufort first saw combat action in 1940, carrying out anti-shipping operations over the North Sea. Beauforts equipped six Coastal Command squadrons in the United Kingdom and four in the Middle East, their most famous operations being carried out against the German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau on April 6, 1941, in Brest harbor, France. The Beaufort was also very active while based on Malta, attacking Axis shipping on their way to North Africa.
The Beaufort was a mid-wing monoplane powered by two Bristol Taurus VI radial piston engines, delivering 1,130 horsepower. It had retractable landing gear and a dorsal turret that mounted a 7.7mm machine gun. Only one torpedo could be carried, but the aircraft possessed bombing and mine-laying capability. By the end of 1943, more than 2,000 Beauforts had been built in four main variants: Mk I, Mk II, Mk U, Mk V.
Type: torpedo bomber
country of origin: United Kingdom
Power plant: two 1,130-hp (842,6-kW) Bristol Taurus VI radial piston engines
Maximum speed: 426 km/h (265 mph) at 1829 m (6,000 ft)
Range: 2575 km ( 1,600 miles)
Service ceiling: 5029 m (16,500 ft)
Weapons: two 7.7mm (.303) machine guns in nose and dorsal turret, plus one 728-kg ( 1,605-lb) 457mm ( 18-in) torpedo or 907 kg of bombs
Wing span: 17.62 m (57 ft 10 in)
Wing area: 46.73 m2 (503 sq ft)
Length: 13.49 m (44 ft 3 in)