Beaufighter found on the beach


One has to wonder what fumes the engineers were sniffing when they came up with the rotary aircraft engine concept.
Castor Oil fumes I'd guess

Weight and simplicity. The whole thing is one big flyweight.
Read any Biggles WWI story where he flies Camels and mention is frequently made of the 'lightning fast right hand turns' and 'turning in it's own length'.
Castor Oil fumes I'd guess

Read any Biggles WWI story where he flies Camels and mention is frequently made of the 'lightning fast right hand turns' and 'turning in it's own length'.
A combination of a large rotary engine at the front end, short fuselage and tiny rudder surface at the back end.
Castor Oil fumes I'd guess
Makes a great laxative, and propelled Lord Wakefield to fame and fortune. Cheers!
Incredibly tough aircraft. 272 Sqn in the desert used them for very long range, very low level interdiction against the Axis MSRs, esp the Via Balbia. A four ship would head for a road junction, then split into two two-ship sections, each going down the road in opposite directions, strafing anything they found. A major risk was telegraph poles - something like three or four successfully limped back home with two to three feet of wing missing, with one observer getting the DFM for adding his weight to the joystick for a couple of hours to keep the aircraft vaguely level. Apparently the Maintenance Unit in Alexandria was horrified when one of 272's Beaus was flown in for repairs with two and a half feet missing from both wings - having lost a chunk off one, the squadron hacked off an equal amount from the other wing to balance her. Allowed her to fly on a fairly even keel but her stalling speed was horrendously fast, which made for an extremely sporty landing.

Arguably the most heavily armed Allied fighter of the war - yes, Hurricanes IID and IVs carried two 40mm, the Tsetse had a 6pdr, and some of the American attack bombers had 75mm guns or a dozen to eighteen 0.5"s, but in terms of sustained weight of fire per second, four Hispanos plus six Brownings (0.5" ones on the Aussie aircraft) was pretty impressive. And a salvo of eight rockets matched in HE weight a salvo from a light cruiser.

EDIT - whilst Top Trumps stats suggest the Beaus were relatively slow, down on the deck, with suitably tuned Hercules engines, they were as fast as a Spitfire Vc. In the Far East, 27 Sqn in Burma and the RAAF in the SW Pacific could sometimes simply out-run single-engined fighters at sea level. At medium altitude, they would have been easily caught, but at wave top or tree top, they were in their element. That and their toughness is why they lasted till the end of the war in the coastal and long range interdiction roles despite being replaced by the Mosquito in the night fighter role.
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