Stirling B Mk I

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This page is about the British bomber Stirling B Mk I. For the other version, see Stirling B Mk III.
GarageImage Stirling B Mk I.jpg
Stirling B Mk I
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Purchase:110 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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The Stirling B Mk I is a rank III British bomber with a battle rating of 4.0 (AB/RB) and 5.0 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.55 "Royal Armour".

The Stirling B Mk I plays as a standard long range bomber. Climbing to high altitudes and using alternative routes or flying at tree-top level to bomb targets to prevent engagement is recommended as the Stirling B Mk I likely won't survive any due to poor armour and strength. It is not well defended at all with low calibre machine guns, which are not very effective at its battle rating. It is extremely flammable and fragile when engaged with cannons, although it may survive some small-calibre machine gun fire.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 4 268 m396 km/h
Turn time50 s
Max altitude6 098 m
Engine4 х Bristol Hercules XI
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight32 t

The general flight performance of this aircraft is lacking. The Stirling has a very poor climb rate - especially when stock. The turn time is sluggish, as well as acceleration and top speed.

Without performance upgrades, this aircraft will struggle to climb at all carrying a payload.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 4,268 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 373 359 6098 51.9 53.8 5.3 5.3 1,170
Upgraded 422 396 48.3 50.0 11.4 7.9


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
498 258 338 323 245 ~4 ~2
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 350 < 350 < 350 > 302

Survivability and armour

Crew7 people
Speed of destruction
Structural498 km/h
Gear258 km/h
  • 8 mm Steel plate in the left pilot's seat.
  • 9 mm Steel plate in front of engine cooling systems.

The survivability of the Stirling B Mk I is very poor. Any encounter with a fighter or bomber hunter will end badly. The entire structure is relatively weak, and it wont take many cannon rounds to tear off the tail or a wing. The fuel tanks are vulnerable and catch fire easily too. For armour, there is a 9 mm plate in front of the cooling systems of each engine, and an 8 mm plate protecting the pilot from rounds coming from the rear of the aircraft.

Due to the engines being radial, you do not have to worry so much about cooling as there is no liquid cooling system. Oil leaks and high temperature are still a concern though.

If a player does decide to sit on your rear, you do have six 7.7 mm machine guns that can shoot in that direction. Good preparation and a few well placed shots will quickly shred them, if they have not destroyed you first.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB1 100 → 1 376 Sl icon.png
RB2 500 → 3 127 Sl icon.png
SB3 730 → 4 666 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications25 200 Rp icon.png
59 700 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 100 Ge icon.png
Crew training32 000 Sl icon.png
Experts110 000 Sl icon.png
Aces500 Ge icon.png
Research Aces320 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
70 / 210 / 480 % Sl icon.png
142 / 142 / 142 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
1 700 Rp icon.png
4 000 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
1 700 Rp icon.png
4 000 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
1 900 Rp icon.png
4 500 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
2 100 Rp icon.png
5 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
2 100 Rp icon.png
5 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
2 700 Rp icon.png
6 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
1 900 Rp icon.png
4 500 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
2 700 Rp icon.png
6 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
1 700 Rp icon.png
4 000 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods ammo.png
1 900 Rp icon.png
4 500 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
2 100 Rp icon.png
5 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods turret gun.png
2 700 Rp icon.png
6 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png


Suspended armament

List of setups (3)
Setup 127 x G.P. 250 lb Mk.IV bomb
Setup 227 x G.P. 500 lb Mk.IV bomb
Setup 39 x 1000 lb M.C. Mk.I bomb

The Stirling B Mk I can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 27 x 250 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (6,750 lb total)
  • 27 x 500 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (13,500 lb total)
  • 9 x 1,000 lb M.C. 1,000 lb Mk.I bombs (9,000 lb total)

Defensive armament

Turret2 x 7.7 mm Browning machine gun
Ammunition2000 rounds
Fire rate1000 shots/min
Turret2 x 7.7 mm Browning machine gun
Ammunition1000 rounds
Fire rate1000 shots/min
Turret4 x 7.7 mm Browning machine gun
Ammunition4000 rounds
Fire rate1000 shots/min
Turret7.7 mm Browning machine gun
Ammunition1000 rounds
Fire rate1000 shots/min
Main article: Browning (7.7 mm)

The Stirling B Mk I is defended by:

  • 2 x 7.7 mm Browning machine guns, nose turret (1,000 rpg = 2,000 total)
  • 2 x 7.7 mm Browning machine guns, dorsal turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
  • 1 x 7.7 mm Browning machine gun, ventral turret (1,000 rpg)
  • 4 x 7.7 mm Browning machine guns, tail turret (1,000 rpg = 4,000 total)

Usage in battles


The Stirling B Mk I is very large and very heavy. However, it has the ability to carry the heaviest bombload for its rank with the 9 x 1,000 lb preset, allowing it to take out all three bases in a single flyout.


The defensive complement of eight 7.7 mm machine guns in total is generally insufficient against common aggressors. The turrets do not have 360° coverage, notably the majority of the underside of the aircraft is completely undefended. Try to keep any opponents above and behind you, allowing both the dorsal and tail turrets to target them together, maximising your potential firepower. However, the low-calibre machine guns are rather underpowered, so cannot be relied upon barring some lucky hits into their pilot or engine.


The Stirling B Mk I has 4 engines with enormous wing surface area, giving it a reasonable climb rate though it can struggle when equipped with the heavier bombloads. Fortunately, the control surfaces are extremely large as well, which helps a lot with controlling the plane.


The Stirling has a huge payload but delivering it may be challenging, as it lacks the defensive armament, survivability, or flight performance of its contemporaries. Avoid enemy aircraft at all costs. Going straight to bomb an enemy base as soon as you spawn can sometimes net some quick RP, but don't expect to survive for long. Instead, side-climbing and utilising cloud cover is often the better option to stay hidden all the way to the bases. If forced down, try to fly at tree-top level to make yourself a more difficult target to hit, as well as preventing any enemy aircraft from sneaking around under your unprotected belly.

Specific enemies worth noting

Any fighter is very dangerous for the Stirling, particularly any aircraft equipped with cannons (though large-calibre machine guns are still a threat). Common opponents can include Bf 109s, Fw 190s, G.55s, Do 335s, La-7s, and A6Ms, as well as any heavily-armed heavy fighters climbing specifically to prey on easy bombers such as the Stirling. If any heavy fighter or bomber hunter reaches you, you can expect to be sent back to the hangar immediately.


Tactics are not required to down a Stirling B Mk I. However, to maximise efficiency, it is recommended to aim for the wings, increasing the chances of an engine or fuel fire, or simply breaking the wing itself, while the large, empty fuselage can sometimes soak up rounds. The defensive machine guns aren't too much to worry about, as long as you keep moving to avoid allowing multiple shots into critical components such as your pilot or engine, but you should attack from below if possible, as turret coverage is severely limited below the aircraft.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Not controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Separate Controllable
2 gears
Not controllable

Pros and cons


  • Rear gunner and top fuselage gunner can fire in unison (If the rear gunner gets knocked-out, The top gunner will still be able to defend)
  • Best payload at rank III, enough to destroy 3 bases


  • Very large target
  • Cannot take many hits
  • Flammable
  • Mediocre LMG defence
  • Almost no armour
  • Vulnerable fuel tanks
  • Very bad climb rate with full payload
  • Sways very heavily in RB when trying to climb
  • Huge glass cockpit means near-certain death from head-on attacks


Designed in the late 1930s by the Short Brothers, the design of what would be the Stirling met the demands of the British Air Ministry, which in 1936 called for the need of a long range, high speed, four engine bomber as described by Specification B.12/36, which would go from design to manufacturing in a short period of time.

A prototype, designated S31, was delivered by 1938 and on September 19, 1939 had its maiden flight. While the maiden flight was impressive, an accident during takeoff as the result of imposed modifications marked the end of the airframe, and was subsequently scrapped. An earlier built prototype, the S29, took its place and was therefor ordered into production as an "off the drawing board" design. This prototype had its maiden flight on May 14, 1939, and a second later prototype airframe was redesigned with adequate modifications and soon took its maiden flight on December 3, 1939. This aircraft, during its first sortie, lost an engine but was soon able to return to base safely.

With the Luftwaffe's strength as well as the risk of war growing, it prompted the initial order of 200 aircraft to skyrocket to 1,500. The first few of these, the Mk.Is, were powered by four Bristol Hercules XI radial engines, but later production aircraft were fitted with higher 1,500 HP variants of the same motors, giving it a comfortable speed of 255 mph. Later Mk.III variants were fitted with even greater output engines, pushing out 1,635 HP with its Hercules VI engines which featured improvements over last variations, and gave the aircraft a top speed of 277 mph. Capable of a bomb-load of 14,000 lbs, it was the double that any of which was produced by the British manufacturer, and also featured a seven man crew with a 4000-mile range which, was equally impressive with a 2300-mile range with 10,000 lbs of ordnance.

On May 7, 1940, the first production Stirling had its first flight, but introduction into service was hindered by relentless Luftwaffe bombings, and pushed back to August that same year before No.7 Squadron based at RAF Leeming received their first aircraft. Although it had a rocky start, the Stirling had a great number of deployments by June of 1942, which by May 1943 the aircraft had flown hundreds of bombing missions over Europe. Including the invasion of Normandy, Operation Market Garden, and Operation Glimmer, the aircraft was used extensively and heavily throughout the war to hammer back Axis powers. By the end of the Stirling's service, the aircraft had flown a total of 14,500 sorties and dropped 27,000 lbs of ordnance, with 582 aircraft shot down and 119 further lost to simple write-offs.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

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


Short Brothers plc
Bombers  Stirling B Mk I · Stirling B Mk III · Sunderland Mk IIIa · Sunderland Mk V

Britain bombers
Torpedo  Swordfish Mk I · Swordfish Mk II · ▄Avenger Mk II
Dive  V-156-B1
Hydroplanes  ▄Catalina Mk IIIa · Sunderland Mk IIIa · Sunderland Mk V
Light  Blenheim Mk IV · Beaufort Mk VIII · ▄Hudson Mk V · Brigand B 1
Based on A20  ▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄DB-7
Hampden  Hampden Mk I · Hampden TB Mk I
Wellington  Wellington Mk Ic · Wellington Mk Ic/L · Wellington Mk III · Wellington Mk X
Halifax  Halifax B Mk IIIa
Stirling  Stirling B Mk I · Stirling B Mk III
Lancaster  Lancaster B Mk I · Lancaster B Mk III
Lincoln  Lincoln B Mk II
Shackleton  Shackleton MR.Mk.2