DAP Beaufighter Mk 21

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by Max89, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. Max89

    Max89 Member

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    Would anyone happen to know whether or not the RAAF used the same Hercules engines for all DAP Beaufighter MK 21's? Also, did the MK 21 have any sub-variants, or were all aircraft of this type built to the exact same specifications?
     
  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #2 Wurger, Sep 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
    Bristol Beaufighter Mk.21 Green Ghost, No. 93 Squadron, RAAF, 1945

    History of this particular aircraft
    Date of Manufacture - 04/02/45
    Squadron assigned to - 93 Sqn Kingaroy
    Markings
    Code - SK-N
    On Nose Babs
    On Rudder - large gremlin pistol pakin' gremlin
    Crew Members
    Pilot WOFF L.W. Mutton
    Nav FLTSGT C.G. Curthoys
    Incidents - 09/11/45 forced landing at Neomfoor after starboard engine seized.
    Aircraft Stored - 09/02/46
    Struck Off - 08/08/49

    The RAAF had their own unique variant of the Beaufighter. It was built by the Department of Aircraft Production and was referred to as the DAP Beaufighter or Mk.21. The DAP variant was given a new engines, a tail-plane with dihedral and enhanced armour. These aircraft were used as an attack/torpedo bomber. Australian production ended in 1946 but not before 365 Mk 21s had been built. Because of its quiet engines and heavy firepower the Japanese referred to the Beaufighter as Whispering Death.

    The 93rd Squadron was formed on January 22 1945 without an official name or motto. So unofficially it was known as the Green Ghost Squadron and the unofficial motto was Spookus Sneakinus. Mid 1945 they transferred to an island off Borneo called Labuan. Their task was to disrupt Japanese shipping and airfields. In August 1945 the squadron was tasked with destroying a Japanese oil tanker. The ship was destroyed but turned out to be the 800 ton private yacht of the Rajah of Sarawak. The 93rd Squadron was disbanded on 22 August 1946.

    Specifications for the DAP Beaufighter Mk.21

    Role attack/torpedo bomber
    Entered Service 1944
    Crew (2)

    Performance
    (2) Bristol Hercules 14-cylinder radial engines, 1,600 hp (1,200 kW) each
    Speed 320 mph (515 km/h)
    Service Ceiling 19,000 (5,791 m)
    Endurance Maximum range 1,470 miles (2,365 km)

    Dimensions
    Length 41.67 ft (12.7 m)
    Wing Span 57.84 ft (17.63 m)
    Height 15.9 ft (4.84 m)

    Weight
    Empty 15,600 lb (7,076 kg)

    Armament
    4 x 20-mm cannons in the nose
    4 x .5-in machine-guns in the wings
    Able to carry ( 8 ) 5 inch HVAR rockets
    (2) 250 lb (110 kg) bombs
    (2) 500 lb (230 kg) bombs
    (1) Mk.13 torpedo


    Also look here :

    DAP Beaufighter detail photos
     

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  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice work Wojtek !
    And here's the DAP Beau under restoration to flying condition, the photo being taken at Duxford, UK, two weeks ago.
     

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  4. Max89

    Max89 Member

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    Those detail photos of the Beaufighter are certainly useful, but what I'm trying to figure out is whether or not every MK 21 was built to the exact same specifications pointed out in Wurger's post.
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    As far as I am aware, apart from the short run of Australian-built Beaus fitted with the Wright Cyclone engines, all Mk21's were built to the same spec, with supercharged Britol Hercules XVIII engines, and four .50 cal wing mounted Brownings replacing the .303 mg's., with the standard four 20mm cannons in the belly. The Sperry autopilot was fitted as standard, and, as you probably know, this was the bulged fairing in front of the windscreen. The internal and cockpit fit was different to the 'British' Beaus, as was the armour plating.
     
  6. Max89

    Max89 Member

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    #6 Max89, Sep 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
    Yes, the Sperry bulge makes the MK 21's very easy to distinguish. Was it the only Beaufighter variant to mount the autopilot system as standard?
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I'd need to check, but I think it was the first to mount the Sperry unit as standard. Later, various Marks had this equipment fitted, and, of course, many aircraft were retro-fitted. Certainly some MkVI Beaus in the MTO used this equipment.
     
  8. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    A Couple of pages from 'Whispering Death' by Neville Parnell. Background info on the Aussie Beau XXI - but interesting comment on the auto pilot.

    Cheers

    Peter
     

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  9. Max89

    Max89 Member

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    #9 Max89, Sep 14, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
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