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Thread: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

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    Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Pending the arrival of the Beaufighter in TFS 4.5 and as a fan of this underrated aircraft I thought I would share this interesting story. I first read about Operation Squabble in the excellent book 'Bristol Beaufighter' by Victor Bingham which is well worth a read.


    Operation ‘Squabble’

    This was a special operation in the Paris area carried out in June 1942 which was intended to create a heartening effect among the Parisians and to expose the occupying Germans to ridicule.

    From information obtained from a reliable source it appeared that the enemy performed a routine parade along the Avenue des Champs Elysee every day between the hours of 1215 and 1245, and it was considered by the Air Ministry that a low flying machine gun and cannon attack launched against this parade would have most valuable results in upholding the moral of the French people.

    As the target was outside the range of Spitfires and all Fighter Command’s Beaufighters were fitted with special equipment, it was decided by the Air Ministry on 30 April 1942 that the operation should be undertaken by a Coastal Command Beaufighter

    Accordingly the A.O.C-in-C was requested to make arrangements for this attack to be delivered at his discretion. This special flight was allocated the name “Operation Squabble” and No. 236 Squadron was chosen to fulfil the task.

    The hazardous nature of this operation called for specific conditions of cloud cover over certain parts of the route which did not materialise until 12 June 1942, after four previous attempts had been made abortive by the lack of cloud cover on crossing the French coast.
    On this day, however, conditions appeared to be more satisfactory, so, Beaufighter C/236 Squadron with F/Lt. A K. Gatward as pilot and Sgt. G F. Fern as navigator, was airborne at 1129 hours from Thorney Island on “Operation Squabble”.

    In conditions of ten tenths cloud at 2,000 feet with heavy precipitation the aircraft set course for the target at 1131 hours. Crossing the French coast a few miles eastward of Fecamp at 1158 hours, the cloud began to thin out and by the time Rouen was reached there was bright sunshine. With visibility at ten to twenty miles and no cloud, the aircraft passed over the suburbs of Paris at a very low altitude and some light flak was encountered for the first time. The Eiffel Tower was easily pinpointed and was circled at 1227 hours.

    There was, unfortunately, no sign of the parade, but to compensate for this development a Tricolour was successfully dropped over the Arc de Triomphe, after which the aircraft flew down between the buildings of the Champs Elysee but there was still no sign of any troops. In accordance with briefing instructions the pilot then proceeded to attack with cannon fire the Ministry of Marine building and released a second Tricolour.

    The pilot reported that there were plenty of people about of both sexes, with most of them in shirt sleeves, many of whom waved. Before opening fire on the Ministry of Marine building, however, the pilot ensured that there were no pedestrians in the line of fire. His point of aim was half-way up the building.

    At 1230 hours the aircraft set course for base and maintained the same track back to the coast as followed on the outward flight. The French coat was crossed for the second time at 1255 hours and the aircraft finally landed at Northolt at 1353 hours.

    The whole sortie had been flown at a height of twenty to thirty feet and although the aircraft flew over Rouen aerodrome at this altitude no enemy opposition was encountered. The light flak encountered over the target was very poor.

    This mission received its full share of publicity and some of the photographs en route were released to the general public. In addition, the pilot of the aircraft, F/Lt. A K. Gatward was awarded the DFC and the navigator Sgt. G F. Fern was granted a commission.


    AIR 41/47

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:O...light_Path.JPG

    A lone Beaufighter all the way to Paris and back!

    Hope you like the story.

    o7
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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Read all of it. Awesome!

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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    ....loved this story, Vamps! Great find....great read! Got any more like that? Salute!

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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Hello Marlow and welcome back.

    Yes I want to post more like this if it is of interest to others mate.

    My intention is to generate curiosity about the 'Beau', so that when we get 4.5, hopefully pilots will give this great aircraft a go.

    o7
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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Please keep them coming!
    You can be sure that there is a lot of interest!

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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Cheers, vamps! And, I for one, will certainly be giving the Beau a go! Can't wait! Salute!

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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Vampire View Post

    My intention is to generate curiosity about the 'Beau', so that when we get 4.5, hopefully pilots will give this great aircraft a go.
    Firstly, Great story Blacktop, er I mean Vamps keep em coming as they say

    Secondly, with regard to your statement above I know nothing about anything twin engined generally and I'm very interested to understand how the Beau matches up to the 110 - not in terms of armament and so on which has been covered elsewhere on the forum but more in terms of what the relative strengths and weaknesses are - ie (in general terms) in a spit v 109 1 on 1 the 109 has better dive speed, better energy retention in the vertical, superior role rate, the spit has a better turn rate, retains energy better in the horizontal, is generally faster (model dependant) at lower rather than higher altitudes and so on..

    so I know when in either plane the general do's and don'ts versus the other (regardless of how well or otherwise I might actually be able to carry them out!) - Would be great to understand in the same general terms the do's and don'ts in a Beau v 110 matchup

    S!

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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Dave View Post
    Firstly, Great story Blacktop, er I mean Vamps keep em coming as they say

    Secondly, with regard to your statement above I know nothing about anything twin engined generally and I'm very interested to understand how the Beau matches up to the 110 - not in terms of armament and so on which has been covered elsewhere on the forum but more in terms of what the relative strengths and weaknesses are - ie (in general terms) in a spit v 109 1 on 1 the 109 has better dive speed, better energy retention in the vertical, superior role rate, the spit has a better turn rate, retains energy better in the horizontal, is generally faster (model dependant) at lower rather than higher altitudes and so on..

    so I know when in either plane the general do's and don'ts versus the other (regardless of how well or otherwise I might actually be able to carry them out!) - Would be great to understand in the same general terms the do's and don'ts in a Beau v 110 matchup

    S!
    Same here Dave. Will be interesting to learn first hand the Beau's strengths and weaknesses.

    Ezzie

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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Beau is heavier but more powerful it's faster low down , turn rate should favour the 110 also dive speed, Bristol state the Beau airframe was "satisfactory" for a 450mph dive but pilots notes stipulate 400mph dive, this was due to the fact you had to trim out of a dive over this speed.

    Climb will depend on weight and altitude with the 110 getting progressively superior as altitude increases. the Beau zoom climbed well as did the 110 so your going to have to do a comparison to work that out.

    I don't think the beau will have a rear gunner so that's a serious handicap, (all coastal command beaus had "scare guns" for ops, anything from a Vickers K to a Browning went in dependant on what was available but removed the wing MG's for extra fuel tankage.)

    The Beau was a very robust aircraft with sensitive elevators (this proved a problem in low level ground attack as pitch response was very good so the tail was modified with a dihedral (angle) to reduce sensitivity from MkVI on and this is a clear indicator of the difference between MkI- MkII and later models, manoeuvrability was good for it's size as noted by many pilots, bizarrely a number of pilots claimed Gloster built aircraft rolled better than Bristol built ones, take off was a nightmare if you were inexperience with a godawful swing if you were not careful on the throttles.

    Firepower wise it's no contest, 4x Hispanos and 6 .303 made the Beau the hardest hitting fighter bomber of the war, the ten gun terror was a nickname without irony, with almost matched ballistics between the MG and cannons and high velocity you should be able to set cannon convergences out quite far and a burst with all 10 at convergence is going to be unpleasant to say the least.

    In combat the Beau (Mk 1-II before the tail mod) has a very good record against the Bf110/Ju88c in the Med and intruder/coastal ops but you really don't want to tangle with a single seat fighter in it, later models, mkVi on, became more and more dedicated strike aircraft with heavier and heavier weaponry and more armour.

    Can't think of anything else off the info I have, not a lot on the 110 in comparison, but the lack of rear protection is going to be a real problem for most players, you can basically just sit behind it shooting with impunity.

    Tactics should be the same, one high speed pass and zoom off, the Bristols should give you the ability to run at high power setting for longer as this was a tactic to evade fighters noted by CC in the med and North sea.

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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    As a matter of interest tests were carried out by the Bristol Aeroplane Co. to meet Air Ministry requirements for airbrakes on the Beaufighter.

    Split trailing-edge type airbrakes were selected and had previously tested on the Beaufort. They were based on the Fairy-Youngman bellows type divebrake and operated on a venturi suction system positioned beneath the wings. The installation dropped the all-out speed by 9 mph. This system was cleared by the A&AEE for the Beaufighter.

    The tests were carried out on a Mk 1F R2057 built at Filton.

    EX4lvl0.png

    "...... take off was a nightmare if you were inexperience with a godawful swing if you were not careful on the throttles."

    A report from the Air Fighting Development Unit at Northolt in September 1940 stated;

    ....The take-off is straightforward, although there is a slight tendency for the aircraft to swing to the starboard; this is easily corrected by use of the rudder. It is necessary to raise the tail quickly and to hold the aircraft down on take-off until the critical speed of 150-160 mph has been attained. ....

    The Beaufighter had two powerful Hercules engines, large props which gave a lot of thrust. This propwash then spiralled behind each engine a gave a large sideload on the fin. Combined with the mass of the radial engines rotating this gives the makings of the swing.

    o7
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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Vampire View Post
    As a matter of interest tests were carried out by the Bristol Aeroplane Co. to meet Air Ministry requirements for airbrakes on the Beaufighter.

    Split trailing-edge type airbrakes were selected and had previously tested on the Beaufort. They were based on the Fairy-Youngman bellows type divebrake and operated on a venturi suction system positioned beneath the wings. The installation dropped the all-out speed by 9 mph. This system was cleared by the A&AEE for the Beaufighter.

    The tests were carried out on a Mk 1F R2057 built at Filton.

    EX4lvl0.png

    "...... take off was a nightmare if you were inexperience with a godawful swing if you were not careful on the throttles."

    A report from the Air Fighting Development Unit at Northolt in September 1940 stated;

    ....The take-off is straightforward, although there is a slight tendency for the aircraft to swing to the starboard; this is easily corrected by use of the rudder. It is necessary to raise the tail quickly and to hold the aircraft down on take-off until the critical speed of 150-160 mph has been attained. ....
    The Beaufighter had two powerful Hercules engines, large props which gave a lot of thrust. This propwash then spiralled behind each engine a gave a large sideload on the fin. Combined with the mass of the radial engines rotating this gives the makings of the swing.

    o7
    Hence why I stated experienced, read the pilots accounts and it's a different picture to the test pilots who developed the aircraft, guys with few hours found the swing on take off a bit of a handful and were advised to open the starboard throttle half an inch in front of the port to counter the effect!
    All well and good when your a test pilot, very different when your a kid who's just been posted to a squadron!

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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Don't doubt it!

    All good stuff Gromit.

    o7
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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    I thought rotating radial engines went out with WWI?
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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    True enough Vinnie.

    Not being an engineer or very 'techie' I can only take the 'rotating mass' as perhaps relating to the sequence and movement of the sleeve valves and pistons within the engine.

    o7
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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Hopefully someone may be able to enlighten me as to the Beaufighter coming in on the update.

    From looking up at the history of this aircraft. The Beaufighter entered service as a night fighter in September 1940, just at the start of the night time Blitz. Very early operations were carried out without radar, relying on ground control, searchlights and luck to find their opponents, a very difficult task. Even so, the Beaufighter achieved its first kill on 25 October 1940, without radar.

    The first radar kill was achieved on 19/20 November 1940, by F.Lt John Cunningham of 604 Squadron and became known as 'Cat's Eyes' Cunningham as airborne radar was still secret so the RAF had to explain his ability to locate and shoot down enemy bombers at night.

    Will the Beaufighter have something to emulate on-board Radar?

    Regards
    Iron_Horse.

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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Hello Iron_Horse.

    Have a look at the thread in the link as I think you will find it interesting.

    https://theairtacticalassaultgroup.c...866#post284866

    Cheers

    o7
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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Hello Vampire, many thanks for the link which I found extremely interesting, definitely will have to learn to fly this even though I have not even got my fingers around the Blennie. That cannon is brilliant, sure made a mess of the bombers. LOL!!

    Regards
    Iron_Horse.

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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Quote Originally Posted by TWC_Iron_Horse View Post
    Hello Vampire, many thanks for the link which I found extremely interesting, definitely will have to learn to fly this even though I have not even got my fingers around the Blennie. That cannon is brilliant, sure made a mess of the bombers. LOL!!

    Regards
    Iron_Horse.
    Glad you found it interesting mate.

    Definitely looking forward to the Beaufighter and those lovely cannon. Should be very useful on the TWC Tactical/Mission servers for 'ground pounding' , trains etc. As well as for killing bombers.

    Try and get a bit of practice in the Blenheim as they are a nice aeroplane and fun to fly.

    Cheers

    o7
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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    In anticipation of 4.5 introduction of the Beaufighter I am about to a purchase a dual throttle. Would like opinions from multiengine SIMers on what's good to purchase. I currently fly Herri and Spit and have no experience with multiengine piloting actual or SIM. I am happy with my CH Pro Throttle (velcro friction mod) for single engine.

    At the moment I'm looking at the CH product and wonder if it is as well received as the single Pro Throttle.

    Ideas on what to set up so it is easy to swap between single and multiengine flying ClOD or Torch.
    Last edited by DOWNEAST; Nov-29-2017 at 11:35.
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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    As far as know your current throttle should be OK for Beaufighter, Blenheim or any of the Blue twin engine types.

    On start up you need to have keys mapped to "Select Engine1", "Select Engine 2" and "All Engines Selected". This means you can set/use your throttle for separate engine starts then for both the engines for taxi/take off/flight etc.

    I am lucky enough to have a Warthog Throttle which has the facility to 'split' and gives me two separate engine throttles. I know the Logitech/Saitek X55,X56 have this as well.

    To be honest using separate throttles takes a little practice to get used to.

    Hope this helps and good luck. The Beaufighter is great you will love it.

    o7
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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Vampire View Post
    As far as know your current throttle should be OK for Beaufighter, Blenheim or any of the Blue twin engine types.

    On start up you need to have keys mapped to "Select Engine1", "Select Engine 2" and "All Engines Selected". This means you can set/use your throttle for separate engine starts then for both the engines for taxi/take off/flight etc.

    I am lucky enough to have a Warthog Throttle which has the facility to 'split' and gives me two separate engine throttles. I know the Logitech/Saitek X55,X56 have this as well.

    To be honest using separate throttles takes a little practice to get used to.

    Hope this helps and good luck. The Beaufighter is great you will love it.

    o7
    Thanks Vamp - Didn't know this This is the info I needed. I will stick with my CH Pro until I get some time with the Beau.
    Last edited by DOWNEAST; Nov-29-2017 at 19:21. Reason: typo
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    Re: Beaufighter 'Bits' No.1 - Operation Squabble

    An old thread but this is a good video about 'Operation Squabble' that I found the other day.



    It must have taken real 'bottle' to fly this op in broad daylight and as a single aircraft.

    The Beaufighter was a very under rated aircraft and I am looking forward to TFS 5.0 and using them in the low level ground attack role.

    07
    "We are still masters of our fate. We are still captain of our souls." - Winston Churchill

    My Rig: CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quard -Core Processor, Motherboard: Asus ROG MAXIMUS VIII HERO ALPHA ATX LGA1151, RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32GB (4x 8GB) DDR4- 3000
    Video Card:MSI GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GAMING X 8G OS: Windows 10

    Joystick: Virpil T50 Base with T50 Mongoose stick Throttle: Virpil T50 VPC HOTAS Monitor: Asus ROG Swift PG348Q Ultawide Rudder Pedals: Slaw Device RF DORA

  34. Likes farley, faf956 liked this post

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