Boulton Paul Defiant

1st Flight 1937

The Boulton Paul Defiant is a British interceptor aircraft that served with the Royal Air Force during World War II.

The Defiant was designed as a turret fighter, without any forward firing guns, also found in the Blackburn Roc of the Royal Navy.

In combat, the Defiant was found to be reasonably effective at destroying bombers but was vulnerable to the Luftwaffe’s Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters.

The lack of forward-firing armament proved to be a great weakness in daylight combat and its potential was realized only when it was converted to night fighting.

The Defiant found use in gunnery training, target towing, electronic countermeasures and air-sea rescue. Among RAF pilots it had the nickname “Daffy”.

Specifications

Crew

two

Length

35 ft 4 in (10.77 m)

Wingspan

39 ft 4 in (11.99 m)

Height

11 ft 4 in (3.45 m)

Wing area

250 sq ft (23 m2)

Empty weight

6,078 lb (2,757 kg

Gross weight

8,318 lb (3,773 kg)

Max take-off weight

8,600 lb (3,901 kg)

Power plant

1 × Rolls-Royce Merlin III liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,030 hp (770 kW)

Performance

Maximum speed

304 mph (489 km/h, 264 kn) at 17,000 ft (5,200 m)

Cruise speed

175 mph (282 km/h, 152 kn) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)

Range

465 mi (748 km, 404 nmi)

Endurance

1.78 hr

Service ceiling

31,000 ft (9,400 m) 

Time to altitude

8.5 min to 15,000 ft (4,600 m)

Armament

Guns

4 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in hydraulically powered dorsal turret (600 rpm).

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