The Bristol Beaufighter Mk. X, often referred to as simply the Beau, is a British long-range heavy fighter derivative of the Bristol Aeroplane Company's earlier Beaufort design. It currently sits at Tier 6 of the British line. The upfront cost of is 100,000 .
The Bristol Company decided to use the existing development and basic structural elements of the Beaufort torpedo bomber in the design of a new long-range fighter, and so the Beaufighter project was born, unique in that it was developed independently from any request by the UK Air Ministry. The designers adopted the wings, undercarriage, and tail design of the Beaufort and created a twin-engine all-metal heavy fighter.
Most of the last mass-produced aircraft in Britain were Beaufighter TF Mk.Xs. This model was a logical continuation and development of the Mk.VIC, had the same Hercules Mk.VI engine, and could carry the standard torpedoes produced in Britain and the United States. The TF letters in the designation stood for «Torpedo Fighter». The aircraft could also carry a bomb load of 1100 kg, and with the help of the Mk.VIII radar installed in the nose, they were the ideal machines for detecting and destroying surface targets.
In March 1945, over a period of 48 hours, they found and destroyed five German submarines.
Of the 5,928 Beaufighters made in the UK, 2,205 (37.2%) were Mk.Xs.
The Beaufighter is a suprisingly versatile aircraft. With four 20mm Hispano MK.II cannons mounted beneath the nose and a total of six 12.7mm machine guns mounted on the wings, the Beaufighter has the most one-second burst mass of a single aircraft in its own tier, and well above. This absurd firepower lends itself well to using the Beaufighter to charge towards a cloud of pre-engaged aircraft and fire continuously at a single target. The Beaufighter is heavily armed, powerfully equipped with two engines and well armored. However, it is a very difficult to manuever aircraft. Because of this, it is unwise to stay in one area for more time than is absolutely necessary, otherwise, fighter-interceptors such as the P-39 Airacobra can pick it out of the sky with relative ease. Staying at a speed fast enough to avoid interceptors while maintaining control of the Beaufighter is essential to its success. Good fun.