Beaufighter found on the beach

In Guy Gibson’s book Enemy Coast Ahead he talks about the high loss rate of Beaufighter crews on training sorties and in landing incidents caused by some of its handling quirks.

He follows this up with a fantastic anecdote - while pacing the apron with a colleague waiting for impenetrable fog to clear, he hears the unmistakable sound of a Beaufighter approaching. After hearing it make a couple of invisible passes, the hear it come back for a third try and brace themselves for the inevitable impact. Instead the pair of them are amazed to hear it land, and when it taxis up to where they’re standing they wait to congratulate the pilot on his display of airmanship. Imagine their surprise when a cheerful young woman from the ATA hops out and asks them where she needs to book in.
The Beaufighter was an extremely good night fighter and interdictor , particularly when it lurked around the end of Luftwaffe night fighter bases, awaiting the return of German night fighters returning to refuel/rearm after attacking waves of bombers on their way to bomb cities.
 
I'm surprised that Twin Wasps didn't appear on Beaufighters - given the shortage of Hercules engines, and the problem with Merlins. The Aussies used them on their CAC-built Beauforts and had more success with them than we did with Taurus donks.
 
I'm surprised that Twin Wasps didn't appear on Beaufighters - given the shortage of Hercules engines, and the problem with Merlins. The Aussies used them on their CAC-built Beauforts and had more success with them than we did with Taurus donks.
We did try the Twin Wasp in the MKll, but the CAC built Beaufighter from the MKV on did use Twin Wasps, I didn’t know ether!
So what’s stopping the Duxford MKX being fitted with P+W Twin Wasps? Pretty well available in the US.
 
These engines you mention are in Australia, their owned by the group restoring a Beaufighter. They were obtained from NZ, which I believe were part of the spares stock for the Bristol Frieghters operated by the RNZAF.
The Australian Beaufighter is being restored by HARS at Albion Park. It’s a marriage of bits of several aircraft. The engines weren’t obtained from New Zealand; they have been built from early Hercules parts sourced within Australia.

The issue was spares both to build spare engines and to maintain them. HARS obtained 16 tons of Hercules spares from New Zealand which are for the later models fitted to the Bristol Freighter. Most of these are compatible, but the blocks aren’t.

HARS is well worth a visit. They fly some great aeroplanes.
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
We did try the Twin Wasp in the MKll, but the CAC built Beaufighter from the MKV on did use Twin Wasps, I didn’t know ether!
So what’s stopping the Duxford MKX being fitted with P+W Twin Wasps? Pretty well available in the US.
I think you'll find the Twin Wasps were in CAC Beauforts, rather than Beaufighters. As far as I know, CAC Beaufighter Mk.21s used Hercules XVII engines.
 
I googled that as well, not wickithingie oh well!
The UK was rather busy elsewhere when Australia realized that it needed to produce modern aircraft in order to defend against Japan. Uncle Sam came through with P&W, and the engine was compatible with the Beaufort, which was an aircraft of sufficient simplicity for the CAC to be able to build. There's a very good book on the state of the RAAF immediately pre-war, the title of which escapes me at the moment, which I'll dig out once home this evening. Well worth a read on the way the Australian and British governments interacted regarding aircraft procurement (and not in a good way).
 

tiv

LE
I think you'll find the Twin Wasps were in CAC Beauforts, rather than Beaufighters. As far as I know, CAC Beaufighter Mk.21s used Hercules XVII engines.
The Australians put a pair of Double Cyclones in one Beaufighter but the idea was not proceded with.

Beaufighter Dbl Cyclones.jpg


They could always put a pair of Merlins in as used on the Mk II though that was apparently less directionally stable on takeoff than the Hercules versions.

1591859617360.jpeg
 
A few years back we were puzzling over how you get fuel into the cylinders on a rotary engine. As the RAF museum was nearby we asked there and although we couldn't work it out from a cut away instructional engine they took my address and a few weeks later a bundle of photocopied articles arrived. Which was nice of them.

The petrol vapour is sent into the crankcase and thence to the cylinders. Another reason for using castor oil is it doesn't react with the petrol.

'Castrol' oil derives its name from the addition of castor oil to their product.
One has to wonder what fumes the engineers were sniffing when they came up with the rotary aircraft engine concept.
 

Tyk

LE
One has to wonder what fumes the engineers were sniffing when they came up with the rotary aircraft engine concept.
WW1 and earlier approach, when internal combustion engines had bugger all power and weight was a real issue. A rotary is not only air cooled, but can be fairly resistant to having a pot or two shot through and keep working compared to an inline water cooled one.
The torque steer thing caused by having a lump of machinery spinning quite fast in one direction (think gyro stabiliser at an awkward angle) would kill off the unwary jockeys of course.
By WW2 rotaries had been in development for quite a while and the power to weight advantage was far from trivial.
 
WW1 and earlier approach, when internal combustion engines had bugger all power and weight was a real issue. A rotary is not only air cooled, but can be fairly resistant to having a pot or two shot through and keep working compared to an inline water cooled one.
The torque steer thing caused by having a lump of machinery spinning quite fast in one direction (think gyro stabiliser at an awkward angle) would kill off the unwary jockeys of course.
By WW2 rotaries had been in development for quite a while and the power to weight advantage was far from trivial.
I think by WWII, you're dealing with radials rather than rotaries.
 

Tyk

LE
I think by WWII, you're dealing with radials rather than rotaries.
Both wasn't it? At least in part I thought, will have to do some googling. Radials still have lower power to weight of course, but are a good deal shorter which is really handy in aircraft.
 
Both wasn't it? At least in part I thought, will have to do some googling. Radials still have lower power to weight of course, but are a good deal shorter which is really handy in aircraft.
From Wiki, as the quickest source.
'By the time the war ended, the rotary engine had become obsolete, and it disappeared from use quite quickly. The British Royal Air Force probably used rotary engines for longer than most other operators. The RAF's standard post-war fighter, the Sopwith Snipe, used the Bentley BR2 rotary as the most powerful (at some 230 hp (170 kW)) rotary engine ever built by the Allies of World War I. The standard RAF training aircraft of the early post-war years, the 1914-origin Avro 504K, had a universal mounting to allow the use of several different types of low powered rotary, of which there was a large surplus supply. Similarly, the Swedish FVM Ö1 Tummelisa advanced training aircraft, fitted with a Le-Rhone-Thulin 90 hp (67 kW) rotary engine, served until the mid thirties.'

'The last Snipes were retired by that service in 1926.'
 

Tyk

LE
From Wiki, as the quickest source.
'By the time the war ended, the rotary engine had become obsolete, and it disappeared from use quite quickly. The British Royal Air Force probably used rotary engines for longer than most other operators. The RAF's standard post-war fighter, the Sopwith Snipe, used the Bentley BR2 rotary as the most powerful (at some 230 hp (170 kW)) rotary engine ever built by the Allies of World War I. The standard RAF training aircraft of the early post-war years, the 1914-origin Avro 504K, had a universal mounting to allow the use of several different types of low powered rotary, of which there was a large surplus supply. Similarly, the Swedish FVM Ö1 Tummelisa advanced training aircraft, fitted with a Le-Rhone-Thulin 90 hp (67 kW) rotary engine, served until the mid thirties.'

'The last Snipes were retired by that service in 1926.'
Fair do's that saved me checking, cheers for that.
You're entirely right I thought there were a few on the other side using rotaries, but it was radials, I admit to brainfarting.
 
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