DAP Beaufort A9-141

Beaufort - The Story

The Story of the Beaufort

There were four marks of Beaufort built in Australia

Mk.V (A9-1 to A9-50)

This was the basic "British" Beaufort, license-built in Australia for the Royal Air Force (RAF) - their Serial Numbers began with "T" (i.e. T9540). They were assigned Australian Serial Numbers when transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force. They used Australian built Pratt and Whitney 2-stage engines and Curtiss-Electric propellers. In RAF parlance they were Bristol Beaufort Mk.IIs, but had the larger Mk.I Beaufort turret fitted (Bristol Mk.VE). 50 of this model were built.

Mk.VI (A9-51 to A9-90)

Due to a shortage of Australian-built engines, single-stage Pratt and Whitney-S1C3 Twin Wasp radial piston engines with Curtiss Electric propellers were imported from the USA. 40 of this model were built.

Mk.VII (A9-91 to A9-150)

Mk.VII's had the imported Pratt and Whitney single-stage engines (SC1-3G) and, due to an Australian shortage, Hamilton-Standard "bracket" propellers. These have counterweights for setting blade pitch rather than the hydraulic "Hydromatic" system. This mark was the first to have the 15% larger fin incorporated to improve directional stability. Many (including A9-141) were fitted with ASV aerials. A new turret - Bristol Mk.V. (Blenheim Mk.IV) - was fitted but was more cramped as ammunition bins were mounted on the frame and the turret had a smaller diameter glass dome. 60 of this model were built.

Mk.Va (A9-151 to A9-180)

Covering the last 30 of the initial order these were fitted with the larger fin and some used up the stock of Hamilton-Standard propellers. 30 of this model were built.

Mk.VIII (A9-181 to A9-700)

This was basically a Mk.VII with slight differences. The Australian-built 2-stage engines and Curtiss propellers, ASV Radar and aerials, and 250lb bomb-carriers under the wing. Late examples - from approx A9-550 - had a modified turret with a bulge in front to accommodate twin-50cal guns but these were never fitted. During the run the two wing guns (outboard of the oil coolers) were changed from Browning 303's to .50cals. This mark also had universal fittings for carrying either British or American torpedoes, bombs and mines. Many had a window with a machine gun ball-mount added to the centre-section roof - this was a field-fitted modification. 520 of this model were built.

Total Production = 700 Beaufort aircraft

Mk.IX (A9-701 to A9-746)

These were transport aircraft converted from existing airframes at the Essendon Repair and Modification Centre. 46 Beauforts of various marks were converted into light transport aircraft for the RAAF and used Pratt & Whitney S3C4-G with Curtiss Electric propellers.
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