.

Bristol Blenheim (Bisley & Bollingbroke)

.
.

                  .

Development

Entwicklung

 

The Bristol Blenheim was a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company that was used extensively in the first two years of the Second World War. It was adapted as an interim long-range and night fighter, pending the availability of the Beaufighter. It was one of the first British aircraft to have all-metal stressed-skin construction, retractable landing gear, flaps, a powered gun turret and variable-pitch propellers.

A Canadian-built variant named the Bolingbroke was used as an anti-submarine and trainer. The Blenheim Mk I outran most biplane fighters in the late 1930s but stood little chance against the German Messerschmitt Bf 109 during daylight operations, though it proved successful as a night fighter. The Mark IV variant was equally unsuccessful in its daylight bombing role, suffering many losses in the early stages of the war.
  Die Bristol Blenheim war ein  leichter britischer Bomber von der Bristol Aeroplane Company entworfen und gebaut wurde und in den ersten zwei Jahren des Zweiten Weltkrieg verwendet wurde. Sie wurde als Interimslangstrecken und Nachtjäger verwendet, bis die Beaufighter verfügbar war. Es war eines der ersten britischen Flugzeugen, in Ganzmetall-Schalenbauweise und mit Einziehfahrwerk, Landeklappen, einem angetriebenen Geschützturm und Verstell-propellern.
Eine kanadische gebaute Variante genannt Bolingbroke wurde als Anti-U-Boot-Jäger und Trainer verwendet. Die Blenheim Mk I überholte die meisten Doppeldecker-Jäger in den späten 1930er Jahren, hatte aber kaum eine Chance gegen die deutsche Messerschmitt Bf 109 während Tagesoperationen, erwies sich jedoch als erfolgreicher Nachtjäger. Die Mark IV Variante war in den Tagesoperationen ebenso erfolglos, und erlitt viele Verluste in der frühen Phase des Krieges. 
                  .

Variants

Versionen

  Blenheim
Mk I
Three-seat twin-engined light bomber, powered by two 840 hp Bristol Mercury VIII radial piston engines, armed with a 7.7 mm machine gun in the port wing, plus a 7.7 mm gun in the dorsal turret, maximum bombload 450 kg. 1,552 built.  
  Blenheim
Mk IF 
Night fighter version, equipped with an AI Mk III or Mk IV airborne interceptor radar, armed with four 7.7 mm machine guns in a special gun pack under the fuselage. About 200 Blenheim Mk Is were converted into Mk IF night fighters  
  Blenheim
Mk II
Long-range reconnaissance version with extra fuel tankage. Only one Blenheim Mk II was built.  
  Blenheim
Mk III
   
  Blenheim
Mk IV 
Improved version, fitted with protective armour, powered by two 905 hp Bristol Mercury XV radial piston engines, armed with a 7.7 mm machine gun in the port wing, plus two 7.7 mm machine-guns in a dorsal turret, and two remotely controlled rearward-firing 7.7 mm machine gun mounted beneath the nose, maximum bombload 600 kg, 3,307 built.  
  Blenheim
Mk IVF
Long-range fighter version, armed with four 7.7 mm machine guns in special gun pack under the fuselage. About 60 Blenheim Mk IVs were converted into Mk IVF fighters.  
  Bisley Mk I
Blenheim Mk V
High-altitude bomber version, powered by two Bristol Mercury XV or XXV radial piston engines.  
  Bolingbroke
Mk I
Twin-engine maritime patrol bomber aircraft, powered by two Bristol Mercury VIII radial piston engines, with British equipment. 18 built.  
  Bolingbroke
Mk II
Conversion of fifth Mk I with US equipment - prototype of Mk IV.  
  Bolingbroke
Mk III
Floatplane conversion of sixteenth Bolingbroke Mk I, with two floats.  
  Bolingbroke
Mk IV
Twin-engine maritime patrol bomber aircraft, equipped with anti-icing boots and a dinghy, also fitted with American and Canadian instruments and equipment, powered by two Bristol Mercury XV radial piston engines, 134 built.  
  Bolingbroke
Mk IVW
Sub-version of Mk IV powered by two 825 hp Pratt & Whitney SB4G Twin Wasp Junior radial piston engines. only 15 aircraft were built.  
  Bolingbroke
Mk IVC
Version of Mk IV with 900 hp Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines. One built.  
  Bolingbroke
Mk IVT
Multi-purpose trainer aircraft. A total of 350 built powered by Mercury XV engines, followed by a further 107 powered by the low-octane fuel Mercury XX engine, giving a total of 457 built, with a further 51 cancelled.  
..

Royal Air Force  
.. .. ..

..

Prototype Blenheim Mk.I 1936

Prototype Bisley Mk.I 1941

 
..
13 OTU 1942 13 OTU 1942 30 Sqn. 1940
34 Sqn. 1941

40 Sqn. 1940

40 Sqn. 1940

. ..

45 Sqn. 1940

54 OTU 1941

59 Sqn. 1940
60 Sqn. 1939 60 Sqn. 1941 60 Sqn. 1942
60 Sqn. 1942

61 Sqn. 1938

62 Sqn. 1941
68 Sqn. 1941 84 Sqn. 1939

84 Sqn. 1940

84 Sqn. 1941

90 Sqn. 1938

90 Sqn. 1938
101 Sqn. 1941

108 Sqn. (1937 - 1940)

114 Sqn. 1937

139 Sqn.  1938

145 Sqn. 1939 211 Sqn. 1940
219 Sqn. 1940

222 Sqn. 1940

229 Sqn. 1940

 

248 Sqn. 1940

248 Sqn. 1940

 
 
Blenheim in the RAF

Squadron

Type

Base

Codes

Period

    6 Sqn

Mk. IV

RAF Helwan Egypt

JV

Nov. 1941 - Jan. 1942

    8 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV
Mk.V

RAF Khormaksar

HV

Apr. 1939 - Apr. 1942
Aug. 1941 - Apr. 1943
Sep. 1942 - Jan 1944

  11 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

RAF Tengah Singapore
Larissa Greece

YH

Jul. 1939 - Jan. 1941
Jan. 1941 - Sep. 1943

  13 Sqn

Mk.IV
Mk.V

RAF Odiham
Bilda (Africa)

OO *

Jul.1941 - Sep. 1942
Sep.1942 - Dec. 1943

  14 Sqn

Mk.IV

Port Sudan & Heliopolis Egypt

LY

Sep. 1940 - Aug. 1942

  15 Sqn

Mk.IV

RAF Wyton

LS

Dec. 1939 - Oct. 1940

  17 Sqn

 

 

UV

 

  18 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV
Mk.V

RAF Upper Heyford
RAF Watton
RAF West Raynham

WV

May 1939 - May 1940
Mar. 1940 - Sep. 1942
Sep. 1942 - Apr. 1943

  20 Sqn

Mk.I

RAF Secunderabad India

PM *

 Jun. 1941 - Dec. 1941

  21 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

RAF Watton

JP & JH

Aug. 1938 - Sep. 1939
Sep. 1939 - Mar. 1942

  23 Sqn

Mk.IF

RAF Wittering

YP

Dec. 1938 - Apr. 1941

  25 Sqn

Mk.IF
Mk.IVF

RAF Northolt
RAF North Weald

RX & ZK

Dec. 1938 - Jan. 1941

  27 Sqn

Mk.IF

RAF Risalpur India

PT *

Nov. 1940 - Feb. 1942

  29 Sqn

Mk.IF

RAF Debden

YB

Dec. 1938 - Feb. 1941

  30 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IF

RAF Ismailia Egypt
Eleusis Greece

VT

Jan. 1938 - Mar. 1941
Jun. 1940 - May 1941

  34 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

Mk.V

RAF Tengah, Singapore
Palembang NEI
RAF Allahabad India
RAF Silchar India

LB & EG

Jul. 1938 - Nov. 1941
Jun. 1941 - Feb. 1942,
Apr. 1942 - Jan. 1943
Dec. 1942 - Jul. 1943

  35 Sqn

Mk.IV

RAF Bassingbourn

--

Nov  1939 - Apr. 1940

  39 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

RAF Tengah, Singapore
Lahore, Pakistan

XZ

Jun. 1939 - Jan. 1941
Dec. 1940 - Jan. 1941

  40 Sqn

Mk.IV

RAF Wyton

BL

Dec. 1939 - Nov.1940

  42 Sqn

Mk.V

RAF Palel India

AW *

Feb. 1943 - Oct. 194

  44 Sqn

Mk.I

RAF Waddington

JW *

Dec. 1937 - Feb. 1939

  45 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV
Mk.IVF

RAF Helwan
RAF Fuka
Aqir & RAF Helwan

OB

Jun. 1939 - Feb. 1941
Feb.1941 - Jan.1942
May 1941 - Jan. 1942

  52 Sqn

Mk.IV

Mosul Iraq

--

Oct. 1942 - Feb. 1943

  53 Sqn

Mk.IV

RAF Andover

TE & PZ

Jan. 1939 - Aug. 1941

  55 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

RAF Ismailia Egypt
RAF Heliopolis Egypt

GM *

Mar. 1939 - Dec. 1940
Dec. 1940 - Mar. 1942

  57 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

RAF Upper Heyford
RAF Wyton

EQ *

Mar. 1938 - May 1940
Mar. 1940 - Nov. 1940

  59 Sqn

Mk.V

RAF Andover & RAF Manston

TR

May 1939 - Sep. 1941

  60 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV
RAF Ambala India
RAF Lahore India
AD & MU Mar. 1939 - Feb. 1942
Mar. 1942 - Aug. 1943

  61 Sqn

Mk.I RAF Hemswell -- Jan. 1938 - Mar. 1939

  62 Sqn

Mk.I RAF Tengah Singapore JO & PT Feb. 1938 - Feb. 1942

  64 Sqn

Mk.IF RAF Church Fenton XQ* - SH * Dec. 1938 - Apr. 1940

  68 Sqn

Mk.IF RAF Catterick WM Jan. 1941 - May 1941

  82 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV
RAF Andover
RAF Watton
OZ* & UX Mar. 1938 - Sep. 1939
Aug. 1939 - Mar. 1942

  84 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

Heliopolis, Egypt
Haraklion, Greece

VA

Feb. 1939 - Apr. 1941
Mar. 1941 - Mar. 1942

  86 Sqn

Mk.IV

RAF Gosport

BX *

Dec. 1940 - Jun. 1941

  88 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

RAF Sydenham
RAF Swanton Morley

RH

Feb 1941 - Jul 1941
Jul 1941 - Feb 1942

  90 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

RAF Watton

TW

May 1937 - Apr 1940

  92 Sqn

Mk.IF

RAF Tangmere

GR

Oct. 1939 - Mar. 1940

101 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

RAF Bicester
RAF West Raynham

LU* & SR

Jun. 1938 - Apr. 1939
Apr 1939 - Jul 194
1

104 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

RAF Bassingbourn
RAF Bicester

PO & EP

May 1938 - Apr 1940
Nov 1939 - Nov 1940

105 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Honington, RAF Watton GB Jun 1940 - Dec 1941

107 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

RAF Wattisham

OM

Aug 1938 - Jun 1939
May 1939 - Feb 1942

108 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV

RAF Bassingbourn
RAF Bicester

MF* & LD*

Jun 1938 - Apr 1940
Jun 1938 - Apr 1940

110 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV
RAF Wattisham AY & VE Jan 1938 - Sep 1939
Jun 1939 - Jun 1942

113 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV
Mk.V
RAF Heliopolis Egypt

RAF Asansol, India
VA & AD Jun 1939 - Apr 1940
Mar 1940 - Dec 1942
Oct 1942 - Aug 1943

114 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV
Mk.V
RAF Wattisham

Comiso Italy
FD & RT Mar 1937 - May 1939
May 1939 - Sep 1942
Sep 1942 - Apr 1943

139 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV
Mk.V
RAF Wyton

RAF Horsham St. Faith
SY & XD Jul 1937 - Sep 1939
Jul 1939 - Dec 1941
Jun 1942 - Nov 1942

140 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Benson ZW Sep 1941 - Aug 1943

141 Sqn

Mk.I RAF Turnhouse UD

Nov 1939 - May 1940

143 Sqn

Mk.IVF RAF Aldergrove HO Dec 1941 - Sep 1942

144 Sqn

Mk.I RAF Hemswell NV Aug 1937 - Apr 1939

145 Sqn

Mk.IF RAF Croydon SO Oct 1939 - May 1940

162 Sqn

Mk.IV
Mk.V
RAF Idku Egypt -- Feb 1942 - Jul 1942
Jul 1942 - Jan 1944

173 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Heliopolis -- Jul 1942 - Sep 1943

203 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IVF
Mk.V
RAF Aden
RAF Khormaksar
LG.227/Gianaclis Egypt;
NT Mar 1940 - May 1940
May 1940 - Nov 1942
Oct 1942 - Nov 1942

211 Sqn

Mk. I

RAF Ismailia Egypt

LJ & UQ

Apr 1939 - Nov 1941

212 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Heston -- Feb 1940 - Jun 1940

218 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Oakington HA Jul 1940 - Nov 1940

219 Sqn

Mk.IF RAF Catterick

FK

Oct 1939 - Feb 1941

222 Sqn

Mk. IF

RAF Duxford

ZD

Okt. 1939 - Mar. 1940

223 Sqn

Mk. I Wadi Gazouza Egypt -- Jun 1941 - Jan 1942

226 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Sydenham MQ * May 1941 - Dec 1941

229 Sqn

Mk.IF

RAF Digby

RE

Okt. 1939 - Mar. 1940

233 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Leuchars ZS Oct 1939 - Jan 1940

234 Sqn

Mk.IF RAF Church Fenton AZ Nov 1939 - Mar 1940

235 Sqn

Mk.IF
Mk.IVF
RAF North Coates LA Feb 1940 - May 1940
Feb 1940 - Dec 1941

236 Sqn

Mk.IF
Mk.IVF
RAF Stradishall
RAF Thorney Island
FA Nov 1939 - Jul 1940
Jul 1940 - Feb 1942

242 Sqn

Mk.IF RAF Church Fenton -- Dec 1939 - Dec 1939
244 Sqn Mk.IV
Mk.V
Shaibah Iraq -- Apr 1942 - Dec 1942
Oct 1942 - Apr 1944
245 Sqn Mk.IF RAF Leconfield -- Nov 1939 - Mar 1940

248 Sqn

Mk.IF
Mk.IVF
RAF Hendon
RAF North Coates

WR

Dec 1939 - May 1940
Mar 1940 - Jul 1941

252 Sqn

Mk.IF
Mk.IVF
RAF Chivenor

PN

Dec 1940 - Apr 1941
Dec 1940 - Apr 1941

254 Sqn

Mk.IF
Mk.IVF
RAF Sutton Bridge
RAF Hatston
QY Nov 1939 - Apr 1940
Jan 1940 - Aug 1942

267 Sqn

Mk.I RAF Heliopolis Egypt -- Aug 1941 - Apr 1942

272 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Aldergrove XK Nov 1940 - Apr 1941

285 Sqn

Mk.I RAF Wrexham VG Dec 1941 - Feb 1942

287 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Croydon KZ Nov 1941 - Jan 1942

288 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Digby RP Nov 1941 - Feb 1942

289 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Kirknewton YE Nov 1941 - Jan 1942

404 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Thorney Island

EE

Apr 1941 - Jan 1943

406 Sqn

Mk.IF
Mk.IVF
RAF Acklington HU May 1941 - Jun 1941
May 1941 - Jun 1941

407 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Thorney Island RR May 1941 - Jul 1941

500 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Bircham Newton MK Apr 1941 - Nov 1941

516 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Dundonald -- Apr 1943 - Dec 1944

521 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Bircham Newton 5O Jul 1942 - Mar 1943

526 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Inverness MD Jun 1943 - May 1945

527 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Castle Camps WN Jun 1943 - May 1945

528 Sqn

Mk.IV RAF Filton -- Jun 1943 - Sep 1944

600 Sqn

Mk.IF
Mk.IVF
RAF Hendon
RAF Northolt
BQ Jan 1939 - Oct 1941
Nov 1939 - Jan 1940

601 Sqn

Mk.IF RAF Biggin Hill UF Jan 1939 - Feb 1940

604 Sqn

Mk.IF RAF Hendon NG Jan 1939 - Jan 1941

608 Sqn

Mk.I
Mk.IV
RAF Thornaby UL Feb 1941 - Aug 1941
Mar 1941 - Sep 1941

614 Sqn

Mk.IV
Mk.V
RAF Macmerry
RAF Odiham
LJ Jul 1941 - Aug 1942
Aug 1942 - Jan 1944

* Codes not carried

..

Fleet Air Arm  
..    

771 NAS

   
..

Other Armed Forces  
   

 

Canada  

A

13 OTU RCAF 404 Sqn. RCAF

404 Sqn. RCAF

   
404 Sqn. RCAF 406 Sqn. RCAF 407 Sqn. RCAF
.
   

 

Croatia  

A handful of surviving Yougoslav Blenheims was briefly incorporated into the Croatioan Air Force.

 
     
.

Finland  

In 1936, the Finnish Air Force ordered 18 Blenheim Mk Is from Britain and two years later, they obtained a manufacturing license for the aircraft. Before any aircraft could be manufactured at the Valtion lentokonetehdas (State Aeroplane Factory) in Finland, the Winter War broke out, forcing the Finns to order more aircraft from the UK. A further 24 British-manufactured Blenheims were ordered during the Winter War. After the Winter War, 55 Blenheims were constructed in Finland, bringing the total number to 97 aircraft (75 Mk Is and 22 Mk IVs)
The Finns also received 20 half-completed ex-Yugoslavian Mk IV Blenheims captured by Germany, together with manufacturing tools and production equipment, as well as a huge variety of spare parts. Yugoslavia had ceased production of the Mk I and commenced a production run of Mk IVs just prior to the April 1941 invasion.

The Finnish Blenheims flew 423 missions during the Winter War, and close to 3,000 missions during the Continuation War and Lapland War. Blenheim machine-gunners also shot down eight Soviet aircraft. Thirty-seven Blenheims were lost in combat during the wars.

After the war, Finland was prohibited from flying bomber aircraft by the Paris Peace Treaty, with Finland's Blenheims being placed into storage in 1948. However, in 1951, five Blenheims were re-activated for use as target tugs, with the last flight of a Finnish Blenheim taking place on 20 May 1958.

PLeLv 41

PLeLv 41

PLeLv 42

.

France  

 

..

..

..

..

..

..

     
.

Germany  

At least one Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV was captured by the Germans in 1940 in France. It was enlisted in the Luftwaffe and used for research purposes in 1940-1942. It wore the codes 5 + 5.

   
     
.

Greccce  

 

..

..

..

..

..

..

     
.

Indonesia  

One Blenheim Mk. IV captured by the Japanese in 1941 was taken over by Indonsesian rebels after the war and was refurbished and modified for the survey role. After beng fitted with Japanese 950 hp Nakajima Sake engine, the plane crashed on its first flight in 1946.

   
     
.
 
Specifications Blenheim Mk IV

Wingspan

Spannweite

17.17 m

Length

Länge

12.98 m

Height

Höhe

3.0 m

Wing area Flügelfläche

43.6 m²

Engine

Motor

 2 × Bristol Mercury XV radial engine, 920 hp each

Maximum speed

Höchstgeschwindigkeit

428 km/h

Empty weight

Leergewicht

4,450 kg

Loaded weight

Startgewicht

6,545 kg

Climb Rate

Steigrate

7.6 m/s

Service ceiling

Gipfelhöhe

8,310 m

Range

Reichweite

2,351 km

Armament

Bewaffnung

1 × 7.7 mm machine gun in port wing,  1 or 2 × 7.7 mm guns in rear-firing under-nose blister, 2 × 7.7 mm guns in dorsal turret, up to 54o Kg of Bombs


-

last update 27. November 2015

written 18. November 2015

-

-
- Corrections, additions and remarks please send to the Webmaster Michael E. Fader -
- If information from this site is used as source material please credit www.wings-aviation.ch  -
- If this page does not have a navigational frame on the left, click HERE to see the rest of the website. -