Beaufighter Mk 21

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VTOL | Rank 5 USA
AV-8A Harrier Pack
This page is about the British twin-engine fighter Beaufighter Mk 21. For other versions, see Beaufighter (Family).
beaufighter_mk21.png
GarageImage Beaufighter Mk 21.jpg
Beaufighter Mk 21
Research:40 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:150 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The Beaufighter Mk 21 is a rank III British twin-engine fighter with a battle rating of 4.3 (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 cant 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

As mentioned earlier, the flight characteristics of the airplane are very similar to its predecessor, the Beaufighter Mk X. Both fighters carry Bristol Hercules XVII engines, however, Mk X carries variant optimized for low-altitude performance, featuring 1581 hp engines that can carry the plane up to 4575 meters, while the Mk 21 features 1369 hp engines for the maximum altitude of 9382 meters. 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, Upgraded).

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 + -
676 242 440 242 216 ~7 ~4
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 330 < 390 < 410 > 300
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
152 m 3,640 hp N/A
Setting 2
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
2,438 m 3,200 hp N/A

Survivability and armour

Crew2 people
Speed of destruction
Structural676 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
AB1 460 → 1 916 Sl icon.png
RB3 000 → 3 939 Sl icon.png
SB2 600 → 3 413 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications35 000 Rp icon.png
65 200 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 300 Ge icon.png
Crew training43 000 Sl icon.png
Experts150 000 Sl icon.png
Aces700 Ge icon.png
Research Aces390 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
90 / 270 / 290 % Sl icon.png
154 / 154 / 154 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Research:
1 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 600 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
Radiator
Research:
1 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 600 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Research:
2 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
Engine
Research:
2 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 200 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 200 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
bmg50_belt_pack
Research:
1 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 600 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
hispano_belt_pack
Research:
1 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 600 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon torpedo.png
TSC mk.II
Research:
1 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 600 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
bmg50raf_new_gun
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
hispano_mk2_new_gun
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods rocket.png
RSC mk.II
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
bmg303_turret_belt_pack
Research:
2 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods gun camora mod.png
Mk.II year 1942
Research:
2 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods turret gun.png
vikkersK_turret_new_gun
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 200 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods gun camora mod.png
Mk.II year 1943
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 200 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Offensive armament

Weapon 14 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannon
Ammunition1 132 rounds
Fire rate600 shots/min
Weapon 24 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun
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

Number of setups2
List of setups
Setup 11 x 18 inch Mark XII torpedo (1548 lbs)
(ammunition: 0 rounds)
Setup 28 x RP-3 rockets

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

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. In its BR there's barely anything that comes close to the combination of 4 x 20mm cannons and 2 x 12.7 mm machine guns, especially 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. 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 the 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 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.

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:

  • Very heavily armed. Has arguably the heaviest offensive weapons of any British aircraft
  • Fairly rugged aircraft that can survive a fair share of damage
  • Radial engines don't have to worry about liquid coolant
  • Can carry rockets for a potent ground attack
  • Fuselage mounted cannons assist in accuracy
  • Excellent at strafing ground targets
  • Crew is surprisingly well armoured against attacks from behind

Cons:

  • Slow at all altitudes
  • Added weapon mass over predecessor makes turning the worst of all Beaufighters
  • Cannons overheat quickly, even when upgraded
  • Turret is fairly ineffective, given the small weapon calibre of 7.7 mm
  • Torpedoes are notoriously bad for the drop requirements
  • As with most British aircraft, the cockpits 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

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

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
Fighters  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 and twin-engine fighters
Single-engined  Hurricane Mk IV · Tempest Mk V (Vickers P) · ▄Hellcat Mk II
Beaufighter  Beaufighter Mk VIc · Beaufighter Mk X · Beaufighter Mk 21
Naval  Firefly F Mk I · Firefly FR Mk V · Firebrand TF Mk IV
Mosquito  Mosquito FB Mk VI · Mosquito FB Mk XVIII
Whirlwind  Whirlwind Mk I · Whirlwind P.9
Hornet  Hornet Mk.I · Hornet Mk.III