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  • Bristol Beaufighter

    First as a nightfighter, then as a fighter bomber and torpedo bomber, the British-made Bristol Beaufighter may not be as well known as the DeHavilland Mosquito, but did its bit to bring victory to the Allies in WW2.

    Its main armament was four forward-firing 20 mm Hispano Mk III cannons mounted in the lower fuselage area. The cannons were supplemented by six .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machineguns in the wings (four starboard, two port).

    Does anyone knows (by reference, or even through an educated guess) why the odd MG setup in the wings? Why not three MG in each wing? Is there a technical or tactical reason for having 4 MG in one wing and only two in the other one?
    Last edited by Capt AFB; 28 May 10, 22:27.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Capt AFB View Post
    First as a nightfighter, then as a fighter bomber and torpedo bomber, the British-made Bristol Beaufighter may not be as well known as the DeHavilland Mosquito, but did its bit to bring victory to the Allies in WW2.

    Its main armament was four forward-firing 20 mm Hispano Mk III cannons mounted in the lower fuselage area. The cannons were supplemented by six .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machineguns in the wings (four starboard, two port).

    Does anyone knows (by reference, or even through an educated guess) why the odd MG setup in the wings? Why not three MG in each wing? Is there a technical or tactical reason for having 4 MG in one wing and only two in the other one?

    From "Beaufighter in Focus" Simon W. Parry - page 7
    "Unlike later aircraft the first fifty aircraft were not fitted with the proposed six machine guns in the wings but had only the four cannon. The original proposal had been for eight Brownings in the wings, but the wing gun installation would slow production still further. Chief Designer (Leslie) Frise also noted that in order to put four guns in the port wing the landing light would have to be re-positioned, thus a compromise was reached of four guns in the starboard and two in (the) port wing."
    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...ingham&f=false

    There are lots of interesting photos in the book(available in part online), including one of a trial aircraft fitted with Griffons and 4 blade props in 1941. It's performance was not as good as the Mosquito, so the trial was abandoned.
    Last edited by At ease; 29 May 10, 00:05.
    "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
    "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

    "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
    Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by At ease View Post
      From "Beaufighter in Focus" Simon W. Parry - page 7
      "Unlike later aircraft the first fifty aircraft were not fitted with the proposed six machine guns in the wings but had only the four cannon. The original proposal had been for eight Brownings in the wings, but the wing gun installation would slow production still further. Chief Designer (Leslie) Frise also noted that in order to put four guns in the port wing the landing light would have to be re-positioned, thus a compromise was reached of four guns in the starboard and two in (the) port wing."
      http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...ingham&f=false

      There are lots of interesting photos in the book(available in part online), including one of a trial aircraft fitted with Griffons and 4 blade props in 1941. It's performance was not as good as the Mosquito, so the trial was abandoned.
      Many thanks. I have been wondering about the MGs for a while. Mystery solved.

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