View Full Version : Beaufighter Mk X - the “Torbeau”

India Four Two
31st Oct 2017, 09:32
During my last visit to England in April, I met my brother at the Victory Services Club in London and he suggested I should look at an aeroplane picture in the lobby. It was a closeup of a twin-engined aircraft with a torpedo underneath and a strange “wing” behind the torpedo and a very odd-looking square box on the nose. I thought initially that it could be a Beaufort, but the nose was all wrong

I couldn’t immediately identify the aircraft (sorry Uncle Roger) and meant to take a picture of it, but I forgot. The other day, my brother sent me a photo that he had taken on a recent visit to the club and as soon as I looked at it, I saw the tailplane dihedral and realized it had to be a Beaufighter. I don’t know how I missed that first time around!

I soon discovered that nearly half of the Beaufighters produced were Mk X “Torbeaus”!

Having discovered what it was and found some pictures, I have two questions. What is the box on the nose and what was the “torpedo stabilizer” for?

31st Oct 2017, 13:44
In their attack on Pearl Harbor the Japanese fitted wooden fins which broke away on water entry, these being fitted due to the shallow water. Perhaps a similar reason? Other photos of Beaus with torps don't have the stabiliser fitted.

Edited to add "Mark XV torpedo being loaded onto a Bristol Beaufighter. This torpedo is fitted with a Mark IV Monoplane Air Tail (MAT) which used a gyroscope to stabilize the torpedo in flight. The MAT broke off upon water entry."


31st Oct 2017, 14:54
Such a formidable and versatile aircraft. I'm sure there would be a 'role' for them in today's RAF.

India Four Two
1st Nov 2017, 00:40
Thanks Megan. I presume this was used to prevent the heading gyro toppling during the drop.

I’ve found the answer to my first question. It’s the strike camera, which was moved to a blister behind the cockpit, when centimetric AI radar was fitted in the nose.