Wednesday, May 03, 2006

British aircraft in use in May 1941

The Official History discusses the aircraft in use in May 1941 and their strengths and weaknesses:
  1. Hurricane I: equal to the contemporary Italian aircraft and the Me-110, but inferior to the Me-109 above 16,000ft
  2. Hurricane II: not available yet. Some were equipped with cannon for low-level attack
  3. Blenheim IF: still used for low-level attack on airfields and vehicles
  4. Blenheim IV: outclassed and could only operate with escorts
  5. Martin Maryland: maritime reconnaissance only, as its speed and armament limited its ability to operate where there were enemy fighters. Its bomb capacity was too limited and its loaded range was too short
  6. Sunderland flying boat: good for maritime reconnaissance, but not of defended ports
  7. Westland Lysander: obsolescent, and not able to operate with out escorts
  8. Wellington: only able to operate as a night bomber
  9. Curtis Tomahawk: new and unproven, although it was hoped that it would prove useful for both the fighter and low level attack roles

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