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Tactical Bomber



Bristol Type 163 Buckingham - British medium bomber during WWII, RAF. Buckingham was seen as one of the highest priority projects for the Bomber Command, capable of replacing Blenheim, Boston and Mitchell bombers. It was already planned to release 400 vehicles with a delivery rate of up to 60 bombers per month by 1944, but the actual plans for the use of Buckingham were quickly reduced, as the planned roles of a day high-speed bomber, torpedo bomber and dive bomber went to the Mosquito. By the end of 1941, production was limited to 400 aircraft. At the same time, it was required to further increase the flight range, which is why the take-off weight increased to 15436 kg, and then also to 16344 kg. The crew was already supposed to consist of four people.

On March 16, 1942, the task was revised again: the new Buckingham I / P1 was supposed to reach a speed of 571 km / h at an altitude of 6100 m, have a flight range of 2574 km with a bomb load of 900 kg. The armament in the bow was reinforced to four 7.7-mm machine guns in the Bristol B.14 mount, controlled by the bombardier from the ventral gondola, which also had two machine guns in the rear. The bow installation had angles of deflection of 25 ° to the sides and 60 ° downward. But the installation of B.14 could not be completed and the offensive armament had to be replaced with four stationary machine guns, aimed by the pilot. At the same time, four more machine guns were placed in the upper tower and two in the gondola under the fuselage.

The first flight of an experimental, still unarmed vehicle took place on February 4, 1943 in Filton (eng. Filton). The first prototype, like the third and fourth, was equipped with Bristol Centaurus IV engines with a capacity of 2400 hp. s, but the first serial Buckingham, which took to the skies on February 12, 1944, received Centaurus VII and XI engines of the same power, but with a significantly reduced altitude. The assembly of serial aircraft was established in Filton using components and assemblies supplied by subcontractors. This was supposed to speed up the development of production, but almost immediately it was stopped - the Bomber Command no longer saw a special need for bombers for use in Europe, although plans for its use in the Far East were still preserved.

Buckingham B Mk I
Crew 4
Length, m 14.27
Height, m 5.33
Wing span, m 21.89
Wing area, m² 65.77
Weight, kg:
Empty 10905
Loaded weight 16,799
Gross weight 17,259
2 × PE Bristol Centaurus VII (XI) radial, h.p. 2 × 2520 (2555)
Maximum speed, km/h 531
Cruising speed, km/h 459
Service ceiling, m 7,625
Ferry range, km 5,118
Service range, km 3,585
10 × 7.7 mm Browning machine guns, bombs, kg 1814

Buckingham B Mk.I did not show any advantages over the already in service Mosquito. True, the first had defensive armament, but it was weaker than that of the Mitchell III, which was already used as a day bomber. Accordingly, the order for Buckingham was reduced to 300 aircraft, but only 119 aircraft were actually built, of which less than half were delivered in the bomber version, and the rest as a transport aircraft. Several bombers were later also converted into transport aircraft, but even in this role they were not used much - most of the aircraft were scrapped after several hours of flying or short storage.

Photo Description
Drawing Buckingham Mk I

Drawing Buckingham Mk I

Buckingham Mk I DX255

Buckingham Mk I DX255


  • Encyclopedia of Military Equipment / Aerospace Publising /
  • British military aircraft of the Second World War / ed. Daniel March /