Beaufighter Mk 21

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This page is about the British strike aircraft Beaufighter Mk 21. For other versions, see Beaufighter (Family).
beaufighter_mk21.png
GarageImage Beaufighter Mk 21.jpg
Beaufighter Mk 21
Research:6 900 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:32 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The Beaufighter Mk 21 is a rank II British strike aircraft with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB), 3.7 (RB), and 4.0 (SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. This variant of the Beaufighter represents a version which was manufactured in Australia by the Australian government's Department of Aircraft Production (DAP).

The Beaufighter Mk 21 plays very similarly to its predecessor, the Mk X. However the Mk 21 features heavily improved weapons, boosting its ground attack abilities significantly. As before, you are still able to fulfil the roles of a heavy fighter, torpedo bomber, and an attacker. Once again though, added weapon mass will make you slower, and less manoeuvrable, so remember that you can't turn like the Mk 6c. In the ground attack role, the available rockets, combined with the cannons make it very good at defeating convoys. This option also has the benefit of allowing you to largely sidestep the Mk 21's issues of poor top speed and a bad climb rate. When used for bomber hunting as a heavy fighter, you will quickly find the replacement of the Mk X's 7.7 mm machine guns with 12.7 mm machine guns to be of great benefit. The climb rate works heavily against you however, so only medium and low altitude bombers should be targeted. The torpedo bomber role, however, should still be avoided. The torpedo drop requirements are still very bad, making any run against an enemy ship a very risky move. Long story short, stick to medium and low altitude and attack any bombers or ground targets you get the chance to. You should also equip your ammo belts accordingly, to ensure maximum effectiveness. Lastly, try to get fighter cover. More than any other version of the Beaufighter, the Mk 21 will struggle with lighter, more nimble opponents. Stick to what this aircraft is good at, and you can greatly improve your teams chance at victory.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 5 000 m520 km/h
Turn time42 s
Max altitude9 382 m
Engine2 х Bristol Hercules XVII
TypeRadial
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight11 t

The flight characteristics of the airplane are very similar to its predecessor, the Beaufighter Mk X but the added weapon mass makes flight performance worse. Both fighters carry Bristol Hercules XVII engines, however, Mk X carries variant optimized for low-altitude performance, featuring 1,581 hp engines that can carry the plane up to 4,575 m, while the Mk 21 features 1,369 hp engines for the maximum altitude of 9,382 m. This, combined with the upgraded armament makes it far more suitable to engage enemy bombers, even though the climb rate is still rather unimpressive 14.6 m/s (AB).

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 5,000 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 498 480 9382 43.3 44.2 6.6 6.6 478
Upgraded 545 520 41.0 42.2 14.6 10.1

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
676 242 354 242 216 ~7 ~4
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 330 < 390 < 410 > 300

Survivability and armour

Crew2 people
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear242 km/h
  • 38 mm Bulletproof glass - Armoured windscreen
  • 25 mm Steel - Armoured plate in the nose
  • 25 mm Steel - Armoured plate in front of gunner (note that the gunner is facing backwards)
  • 1 mm Steel - Armoured plates behind the engine
  • Self-sealing fuel tanks (2 in each wing)

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB684 → 964 Sl icon.png
RB1 019 → 1 436 Sl icon.png
SB2 306 → 3 251 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications13 820 Rp icon.png
20 050 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost860 Ge icon.png
Crew training9 200 Sl icon.png
Experts32 000 Sl icon.png
Aces320 Ge icon.png
Research Aces250 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
50 / 90 / 190 % Sl icon.png
130 / 130 / 130 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Research:
550 Rp icon.png
Cost:
790 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
Radiator
Research:
550 Rp icon.png
Cost:
790 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Research:
520 Rp icon.png
Cost:
750 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
520 Rp icon.png
Cost:
750 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Research:
690 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 000 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
Engine
Research:
690 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 000 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
750 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 100 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Research:
750 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 100 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods engine extinguisher.png
EFS
Research:
750 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 100 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
bmg50_belt_pack
Research:
550 Rp icon.png
Cost:
790 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
hispano_belt_pack
Research:
550 Rp icon.png
Cost:
790 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon torpedo.png
TSC mk.II
Research:
550 Rp icon.png
Cost:
790 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
bmg50raf_new_gun
Research:
520 Rp icon.png
Cost:
750 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
hispano_mk2_new_gun
Research:
520 Rp icon.png
Cost:
750 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
250 LB
Research:
520 Rp icon.png
Cost:
750 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods rocket.png
RSC mk.II
Research:
520 Rp icon.png
Cost:
750 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
bmg303_turret_belt_pack
Research:
690 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 000 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods gun camora mod.png
Mk.II year 1942
Research:
690 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 000 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
500 LB
Research:
690 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 000 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods turret gun.png
vikkersK_turret_new_gun
Research:
750 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 100 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods gun camora mod.png
Mk.II year 1943
Research:
750 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 100 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
1000 LB
Research:
750 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 100 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Offensive armament

Ammunition1 132 rounds
Fire rate600 shots/min
Ammunition2 400 rounds
Fire rate750 shots/min

The Beaufighter Mk 21 is armed with:

  • 4 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons, belly-mounted (283 rpg = 1,132 total)
  • 4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (600 rpg = 2,400 total)

Suspended armament

List of setups (6)
Setup 11 x 18 inch Mark XII torpedo (1548 lbs)
Setup 28 x RP-3 rockets
Setup 34 x M.C. 250 lb Mk.I bomb
Setup 44 x M.C. 500 lb Mk.I bomb
Setup 52 x M.C. 250 lb Mk.I bomb
2 x M.C. 500 lb Mk.I bomb
Setup 62 x M.C. 1000 lb Mk.I bomb

The Beaufighter Mk 21 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 1 x 450 mm 18 inch Mark XII torpedo
  • 8 x RP-3 rockets
  • 4 x 250 lb M.C. Mk.I bombs (1,000 lb total)
  • 4 x 500 lb M.C. Mk.I bombs (2,000 lb total)
  • 2 x 500 lb M.C. Mk.I bombs + 2 x 250 lb M.C. Mk.I bombs (1,500 lb total)
  • 2 x 1,000 lb M.C. Mk.I bombs (2,000 lb total)

Defensive armament

Turret7.7 mm Vickers K machine gun
Ammunition1000 rounds
Fire rate950 shots/min
Main article: Vickers K (7.7 mm)

The Beaufighter Mk 21 is defended by:

  • 1 x 7.7 mm Vickers K machine gun, dorsal turret (1,000 rpg)

Usage in battles

The final Beaufighter in the research tree can be characterized primarily by its main armament. At its BR in air battles there's barely anything that comes close to the firepower 4 x 20mm cannons and 4 x 12.7 mm machine guns provide; this is especially notable considering the superior layout of the cannons, with all four clustered right under the cockpit, making precise aiming far easier. If there's anything to be desired - it's the Minengeschoß of the German counterpart for the 20 mm cannons. This Beaufighter can swiftly tear apart enemy fighters and bombers alike, typically in a single sweep if aimed accurately. This makes it a potent fighter in a number of circumstances and giving it a fighting chance even if its an underdog in the encounter.

In Arcade Battles, the most favorable encounters are against unsuspecting targets, and ideally, only such should be picked, preferably diving in and out of the main battle, or picking off strugglers nearby. Good survivability, combined with outstanding firepower allows it to quickly take the enemies down before they manage to react. What should be avoided at all costs are turn fights or prolonged chases. Mk 21 neither has speed nor a turning rate to stand a chance against anything but bombers or other heavy fighters. Similarly fighting against high-altitude fighters (such as the Fw 190 A-4) might be extremely problematic due to their superior climb rate, which will give them the energy advantage, and through that - an opportunity to easily outfly you at any given time.

Similar to the earlier Beaufighter Mk X, the Beaufighter Mk 21 can serve in a close air support role in ground battles, utilizing the same loadouts as its predecessor. These include both bombs and rockets, with four 250 or 500 pound bombs or two 1000 pounders being the typical bomb loadouts. While the 1000 pound bombs are certainly the most effective at taking out heavy enemy armour, in most cases the four 500 pound bombs will have a greater impact on the battle, as this will provide pilots more opportunities to execute successful runs on enemy targets. The RP-3 rockets can also be used, but their small warheads in combination but the low accuracy caused by the large wingspan makes them less ideal for this role. They can be useful to pilots who are familiar with the ballistics in dispatching enemy anti-aircraft, since most are open and vulnerable to even the splash of the smaller warheads. The engines having access to fire extinguishers also helps in this case, as it provides extra survivability to pilots attacking these dangerous targets.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Not controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Controllable
Not auto controlled
Combined Controllable
2 gears
Not controllable

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Powerful offensive armament
  • Fairly rugged aircraft that can survive a fair share of damage
  • Radial engines don't overheat easily
  • Can carry rockets and bombs for the ground attack role
  • Fuselage-mounted cannons assist in accuracy
  • Crew is well protected against attacks from behind

Cons:

  • Slow at all altitudes
  • Poor energy retention and climb rate, handles like a heavy bomber
  • Large control surfaces are torn off easily by enemy fire
  • Cannons overheat quickly, even when upgraded
  • The turret is very ineffective, given the small weapon calibre of 7.7 mm and the tail-gunner dead-zone
  • Torpedoes have notoriously bad drop requirements
  • The cockpit's frontal armoured glass is thin, at only 38 mm
  • All M2 Brownings are placed centre-wing away from the fuselage, requires setting close convergence of guns to be effective

History


Archive of the in-game description

A design rapidly born from the wings and tail of the earlier Beaufort, the Beaufighter was a two seat, twin engine heavy fighter designed for long range, ground strike and night fighter duties. Equipped with an early AI radar, the Beaufighter was one of the world's first successful night fighters.

In 1944, after Australia's aircraft manufacturing contract expired, the Australian Department of Aircraft Production was commissioned to build 500 aircraft based on the Beaufighter Mk X. The Australian version of the aircraft was named the Beaufighter Mk 21 and differed from its predecessor in its armament; the nose mounted 0.303 inch Browning machine guns were replaced with Browning M2 50 calibre guns now fitted in the wings, and the Hercules XVII engines were replaced with Hercules CVIIs. Only 365 of these aircraft were built, since the war ended before completion of the first order and the rest of the torpedo bombers' production was cancelled.


Media

Skins
Videos

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


Bristol Aeroplane Company
Strike Aircraft  Beaufighter Mk I (40-mm) · Beaufighter Mk VIc · Beaufighter Mk X · Beaufighter Mk 21*
Bombers  Blenheim Mk IV · Beaufort Mk VIII* · Brigand B 1
  * License-produced in Australia by Department of Aircraft Production.

Britain strike aircraft
Blackburn  Firebrand TF Mk IV · Firecrest
Bristol  Beaufighter Mk I (40-mm) · Beaufighter Mk VIc · Beaufighter Mk X · Beaufighter Mk 21
CAC  ▄Wirraway
Fairey  Firefly F Mk I · Firefly FR Mk V
de Havilland  Mosquito FB Mk VI · Mosquito FB Mk XVIII
Hawker  Hurricane Mk IV · Tempest Mk V (Vickers P)
Westland  Wyvern S4