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Thread: Bristol Beaufighter Airspeed Indicator

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    Supporting Member Tinkicker's Avatar
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    Bristol Beaufighter Airspeed Indicator

    Having a clearout of stuff I do not really have a use for, including my RAF Coastal Command Beaufighter Torpedo Bomber variant ASI.

    Since I took the pics already, I thought I would post them on here for your entertainment. It has just been an ornament on my mancave windowsill for years.

    It is dated 1943, has obviously been fitted in an aircraft and is very likely to have seen action in WW2. Date in very worn and faded paint on back is May 1953, so I guess this is when it was removed from the aircraft before it was scrapped. The faded TF denotes it is from a Mk 10 multi role strike fighter (TF- X)



    Last edited by Tinkicker; Mar-17-2023 at 13:12.

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    Supporting Member Tinkicker's Avatar
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    Re: Bristol Beaufighter Airspeed Indicator

    A little more info about the unit was provided by a retired, ex RAF test and development engineer specialising in avionics, who came across the pic on another forum.

    The unit was originally given to me in a very dilapidated box with " Beaufighter Torpedo Bomber ASI - ex coastal command" written on it in faded ink.
    It was part of an estate clearance and found on a shelf in a workshop by a friend.
    He remembered looking at it as a small boy and being told it was from a RAF Beaufighter torpedo bomber.
    Not from "a bomber" or a famous aircraft like a "spitfire" or "lancaster", but a lesser known type and a very specific variant of that type.

    However I have been since informed by the expert that:

    The unit itself is not specific to the Beaufighter, it is a generic type that was fitted across a range of wartime aircraft from all three British military services, only the dial and calibration differed to account for differing aircraft performance.
    The speed range and calibration is correct for the Beaufighter TFX.

    Dated 1943 places the unit with the Fleet Air Arm, not Coastal Command as I was told. In 1943 the only British service calibrating their airspeed indicators in knots was the Royal Navy.

    The Fleet Air Arm did indeed operate the Beaufighter TFX variant in 1943. The blue water Navy itself did not.

    The date 1953 would be the date that the unit was removed from an aircraft or from stores if already removed, given a service, part of that service being that the original radium paint was removed from the dial and the dial repainted with non radioactive white paint as part of a 1950s safety standardisation upgrade.
    Original radium paint would have aged into a coffee colour.

    The TF painted on the back would have likely denoted the specific avionics workshop that carried out the service in the 1950s before it was placed into stores.

    There we have it. A lot of evidence that it was from a Beaufighter Topedo Fighter, but not as cut and dried as I thought.
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    Re: Bristol Beaufighter Airspeed Indicator

    Hello Tinkicker

    Thanks for your piece of information.

    We tend to identify the type of gauge which might have been used from the wartime manuals, (date specific) for the aircraft type.

    Then we look for examples which have been preserved.

    The fact this one is calibrated in knots makes it likely it was from a Naval aircraft... unclear what Beaufighter version.

    At this point we will probably stay with what we have.

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