BULLFIGHTERS

FILIPE SILVA TELLS HOW PORTUGAL’S LAST TWO BEAUFIGHTERS TWICE ESCAPED THE SCRAPMAN’S AXE AND RETURNED TO BRITAIN.

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Thimble-nosed Beaufighter TF.X RD862 was delivered to Portugal in April 1946 as a replacement for BF7. TOMAZ C SILVA

Talking with my uncle, Tomaz Silva, Portuguese Air Force Chief of Staff in the 1980s, about the conventional gun firepower of our nation’s military aircraft he surprised me. He ruled out the Republic F-84 Thunderjet, the North American F-86 Sabre, the Fiat G.91R ‘Gina’, the LTV A-7 Corsair II and even the present stateof- the-art General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. Tomaz said that he’d choose the Bristol Beaufighter.

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