Big for a fighter, relatively unwieldy and possessing of few qualities to balance its drawbacks, the Blenheim Mk IF was largely unfit for fighter-vs-fighter combat and proved very vulnerable to light and medium FlaK AA guns too. It was moderately successful in the reconnaissance and interdiction role as long as enemy fighters did not show up, however, after suffering unbearable losses in daylight action it was rapidly withdrawn from combat and subsequently relegated to night fighter duties.
It is difficult to find a really useful role for the Blenheim Mk.
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IF because it is so dramatically disadvantaged in all critical aspects. When setting out to do combat in the Mk IF you have to be very clear on the nature of your mission, and to what extent you can rely on passive or active support from friendly forces. Because the Mk IF is such a challenged airframe only the very best, the most audacious or the most unknowledgeable pilots tend to go aloft in her. For the consummate fighter pilot the Blenheim Mk IF represents the ugly duckling that may, by the grace of his masterful piloting, turn into a beautiful swan.
For there is nothing quite so rewarding as going out in the most pitiful aircraft ever designed and return victoriously intact. Beginners however should stay well clear of the Mk IF, unless invited by an expert to serve as their air gunner in the dorsal turret — which by the way is an excellent way of earning rank and experience at the same time. In the fighter-bomber role, the Mk IF is somewhat effective if it can be brought to action before enemy AA defences have been properly established — or if friendly fighters are at hand to help draw their attention.
A single 40 lb bomb accurately placed will take out any gun or truck, and the four belly-pack guns are quite suitable for strafing. By operating in concert with friendly fighters or other Blenheims, the Mk IF does have the ability to shut down an enemy spawn point for a limited time — that is, until ammunition is expended or enemy air assets arrive. If the Mk IF is brought to an area where air superiority is uncertain and enemy AA presence significant, it is best employed for quick surprise attacks from either very low or from medium altitude — get in, get out, and do not linger to watch the effects of your attack.
Prolonged stays in enemy-infested airspace is not recommended in the Mk IF. Because its highly visible profile draws fighters like flies to honey and because of its low speed and uninspiring manoeuvrability, it is cripplingly disadvantaged in fighter vs fighter combat. Its one and only chance lies in surprise attacks from superior position and altitude. If you have the patience to bring it up to such altitude, and to manoeuvre with cunning and foresight, you may execute a single high-speed attack before having to disengage completely.
When you intend to use the Mk IF in the air superiority role, be sure to salvo your bombs early in the sortie as they add up to a lot of unwanted drag and weight.
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In a desperate fight, which is all but unavoidable in this aircraft, the Mk IF can be somewhat effective against the Bf as long as the latter commits to a horizontal turning fight near stall speed. The Mk IF can turn inside the Bf but not match it in speed, climb or rate of roll. It is much the same against the Bf E: if the bandit can be kept close and slow the Mk IF has some chance of producing an overshoot that is not so fast as to allow the bandit to draw out of guns range before the Mk IF pilot can bring his guns to bear.
Because of its low thrust to weight ratio, the Mk IF must trade altitude for speed often in a close quarters fight, i. The astute pilot avoids radical vertical manoeuvres going up as the Mk IF does not handle very well in the purely vertical and easily stalls when coming around in the inverted state, such as in a looping or at the apex of a zoom climb pushed to the limit.
The Blenheim's speed attracted great notice and led to the belief that Britain was armed with the best bomber in the world. This myth became self-perpetuating and soon two new production lines had to be set up as orders for more aircraft followed in The snub-nosed Mk I was subsequently followed by versions Mk II, III and the most produced Mk IV, featuring a lengthened nose now with ample room for the bombardier, improved tankage giving twice the operational range, protective armour, self-sealing tanks and more powerful engines.
Some 4, aircraft of all variants were produced. The Blenheim served well if not heroically in the Battle of France, becoming the first aircraft to make reconnaissance and bombing raids into Germany.
Although its performance and capacity for destruction fell far short of requirements it was nevertheless the primary tactical bomber in the RAF inventory and would have to bear the brunt of the fighting until other designs became available. The Blenheim suffered grievously by its general vulnerability, slow turn of speed and insufficient defensive armament, and lost heavily in encounters with enemy fighters and accurate FlaK AA fire.
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Following the retreat from France, Blenheims were engaged in low level strikes against German airfields in Occupied Europe, often incurring prohibitive losses out of all proportion to the bombing results. You can go to cart and save for later there.
Blenheim Squadrons of World War 2. Average rating: 0 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews Write a review. Combat Aircraft - Fighters. Reduced Price. Tell us if something is incorrect. Only 1 left! Add to Cart. Arrives by Wednesday, Oct 2. Pickup not available. Return policy. Product Highlights Over , games in stock! Fast shipping! Your satisfaction is guaranteed! Built in large numbers in the years leading up to World War 2, Bristol's Blenheim saw use as both a fighter and bomber thanks to its high speed in relation to the biplane types it was then replacing. Obsolete in Europe by the end of , the Belnheim continued to serve as a frontline bomber in North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Far East well into About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information.
Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. Built in large numbers in the years leading up to World War II , Bristol's Blenheim saw use as both a fighter and bomber thanks to its high speed in relation to the biplane types it was then replacing.
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