FlyPast scrutinises the origin and history of the Bristol Beaufort
Despite being somewhat overshadowed by its ‘stablemates’ – the Blenheim and the Beaufighter – Bristol’s Beaufort was built in large numbers and served in several different theatres during World War Two. A twin-engined torpedo bomber, its design was influenced by that of the earlier Blenheim. The experience gained from building the latter meant that the development of the Beaufort was less protracted and produced fewer ‘teething’ troubles.
Nearly 2,000 of the distinctive machines were built, including around 700 manufactured in Australia. Beauforts served with Coastal Command and the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm from 1940, and were extensively used in the Mediterranean, flying from Malta and Egypt.