Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA2315 Bristol Beaufighter Mk.IC T3317/XK-?, No.272 Sqn., Malta 1941

1941 saw the arrival of the latest variant of the Bristol Beaufighter, the Mk. IC. The Mk. IC entered active service on Malta in May 1941 with the No. 252 Squadron. They proved extremely effective destroying Axis shipping, aircraft and ground strafing in the Mediterranean region. Because the Mk. IC could be adapted to carry 250 or 500 pounds bombs along with its stellar performance, Coastal Command replaced their aging Beauforts and Blenheims with the Beaufighter. The Mk. IC was used by Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Early in July 1941 RAF No. 272 Squadron transferred 8 Bristol Beaufighters from Edku, Egypt to Malta. During July 1941, Sqn. Ldr A.W. Fletcher CO, a Canadian, flew Beaufighter Mk. IC T3317/XK-? on a strafing attack on Sicilian airfields destroying four SM.79s and two CR.42s. Two days later Fletcher destroyed three more SM.79s just before the squadron was sent back to Egypt in early August 1941. Because of his rank Sqn. Ldr A.W. Fletcher CO was able to wear the ?.

Specifications for the Bristol Beaufighter Mk. IC
Role – Anti-shipping Strike Fighter
Crew – 2
Production – 397
Dimensions
Length – 41 ft 4 in (12.6 m) Wingspan – 57 ft 10 in (17.63 m) Height – 15 ft 10 in (4.83 m)
Weight
Empty – 14,069 lb (6,382 kg) Loaded – 21,100 lb (9,571 kg)
Performance
Powerplant – 2 x Bristol Hercules III (1,400 hp each) or Bristol Hercules XI (1,590 hp) radial engines, 3-bladed propellers Speed @ 15,000 ft (4,572 m) – 323 mph (520 km/h) Initial Climb Rate – 1,850 ft/min (564 m/min) Time To 10,000 ft (3,050 m) – 5.8 minutes Service Ceiling – 28,900 ft (8,808 m) Range – 1,170 miles (1,883 km) Armament
Nose – 1 x 4.20 mm cannon Wings – 6 x .303 machine guns