From: Chapel Hill, NC, USA
ORIGINAL: Commander Stormwolf
The blenheim, beaufort and beaufighter and hudson were part of the series of "cannon fodder" category planes built by the RAF
(fairey fulmar fits this category too)
RAF was not going to allow any production lines to close during wartime, so long as they had jigs and the engines
(those small radials were not used by anything important), they built a lot of planes that were not very good but
just to fill the ranks
so ask the questions: is it better to have some beaufighters, or to have nothing?
personally i think it was stupid (US is sending aluminum to support the RAF air industry, running the gauntlet of
german submarines), but a lot more effective than the italian way
I think there are some misconceptions here. The Blenheim, Beaufort, and Hudson were all discontinued during the war as they were replaced by better options. Also, the Hudson was not a British aircraft, though it was used by the RAF, FAA, and RAAF. It was a US aircraft, built by Lockheed.
Most of the Beauforts and Beaufighters used in the Pacific were Australian built. They were the most sophisticated aircraft Australia was capable of building during the war.
The Beaufort and Beaufighter did not use "small radials". The Australian built Beauforts used the P&W R1830, the same engine used in the F4F and B-24. Beaufighters used the Bristol Hercules, which similar to the Wright R2600 (both were two row 14 cylinder radials capable of around 1,600 - 1,700 hp) and was also used by the Halifax and Wellington bombers. For a time, when heavy bombers had priority on the Hercules, Beaufighters were built with Merlin engines, though those version were only used in Europe.
The Beaufighter was one of the best maritime strike aircraft of the war. Using it as an air superiority fighter is pointless; it's not designed to take on fighters. But it was very effective in low altitude attacks on shipping. Operating from England and the Mediterranean, it was a very good torpedo bomber, though I don't think the RAAF used that capability much.
Aw, msieving1, you're not gonna let a little thing like facts get in the way of a good argument, now are you?
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