The Bristol Beaufighter was a British heavy fighter, whose first prototype flew in July 1939. The first Beaufighter variants – the Mk.IF and Cs – were high performance fighters and long-range fighters, respectively, while the former Mark also became an efficient night-fighter, employing the then novel AI radar.
The Beaufighter was a two-seat, twin engine, all-metal mid-wing cantilever monoplane, fitted with a retractable undercarriage. It was powered by two Hercules radial engines and the armament consisted of four cannons in the nose, four guns in the starboard wing and another two guns in the port wing. The Beaufighter Mk.VIF, introduced in 1942, was fitted with more powerful engines and its wing mounted guns could be replaced by additional fuel tanks to extend the aircraft’s range.
Like its predecessors, the Mk.VIF was produced for Fighter Command and the Mk.VIC for Coastal Command. Some 1,840 Mk.VI aircraft were produced and this type remained in service until the summer of 1944. Late series aircraft were fitted with a dihedral tailplane with increased span and longer carburettor air scoops above the engine cowlings. From late 1943, a new AI Mk.VIII radar was installed in a “thimble-nose” radome, enabling all-weather and night attacks. The Beaufighter had a long career and served in almost all theatres of war during the WWII, at first as a night fighter, then as a fighter-bomber and eventually being used as a torpedo-bomber.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIC, JL447, Red G, No.248 Sq., RAF, Talbenny airfield, December 1942
2) Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIF, ND211, Red WM-K, No.68 Sq., RAF, Fairwood Common airfield, May 1944
3) Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIF, KV912 ‘Fluff’, 416th Night Fighter Squadron, 12th Air Force, USAAF, Grottaglie airfield, Italy, November 1943
4) Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIC, A19-106 (ex-EL510), White T, No.30 Sq., RAAF, Vivigani airfield, Goodenough Island, Papua New Guinea, August 1943