Appendix VIII: Principal Operational Aircraft of the Royal Air Force, 1944–1945
|Aircraft Name and Mark||Maximum Speed||Service Ceiling||Range and Associated Bomb Load||Armament|
|m.p.h. feet||feet||miles lb.|
|Halifax III||280 at 13,500||20,000||1,985—7,000 or 1,030—13,000||9 x .303”|
|Halifax VI||290 at 10,500||20,000||2,160—7,400 or 1,260—13,000||9 x .303”|
|Halifax VII||280 at 13,500||20,000||2,215—5.250 or 985—13,000||9 x .303”|
|Lancaster* I, III and X||280/287 at 11,000/ 11,500||20,000||2.250—10,000 or 1,660—14,000 or 1,040—22,000†||8 x .303”|
|Liberator VI||270 at 20,000||27,000||2,290—4,000 or 990—12.800||10 x .50”|
|Stirling III||270 at 14,500||17,000||2,010—3,500 or 590—14,000||8 x .303”|
|Wellington X||255 at 14,500||18,250||1,885—1,500 or 1.325—4.500||6 x .303”|
|Mosquito XVI‡||408/415 at 26,000/28,000||36,000/39,000||1,795—2,000 or 1.370—5,000||Nil|
|Mosquito XX||380 at 14,000||33,000||1,870—2,000 or 1.620—3.000||Nil|
|Baltimore V||300 at 13,000||19,000||1,000—2,000||8 x .50” 4 x .30”|
|Boston IV||320 at 11,000||24,500||1,570—2,000 or 710—4.000||5 x .50”|
|Marauder III||305 at 15,000||28,000||1,200—4,000||11 x .50”|
* Lancaster I, III and X. The slight variations in speed and height are occasioned by the alternative Marks of power unit installed.
† The carrying by the Lancaster of the 22,000-lb. bomb necessitated the removal of the mid-upper turret (2 x .303”).
‡ The variations in speed at height and service ceiling of the Mosquito XVI are occasioned by the alternative Marks of power unit installed.
Fighter and Fighter/Bomber*
|Aircraft Name and Mark||Maximum Speed||Service Ceiling||Climb—Time to Height||Armament†|
|m.p.h. feet||feet||minutes feet|
|Meteor I||445 at 30,000||42,000||15 to 30,000||4 x 20-mm.|
|Meteor III||476 at 30,000||44,000||14 to 30,000||4 x 20-mm.|
|Mosquito XIII (N/F)||370 at 14,000||33,500||6.75 to 15,000||4 x 20-mm.|
|Mosquito XXX‡ (N/F)||400/407 at 26,000/28,000||37,000/38,000||7.5 to 15,000||4 x 20-mm.|
|Mustang III‡||442/450 at 24,500/28,000||41,500||10.5 to 20,000||4 x .50” (2 x 500-lb. bombs)|
|Spitfire IX (H/F)||416 at 27,500||44,000||6.4 to 20,000||2 x 20-mm. and 4 x .303” or 2 x 20-mm. and 2 x .50” (1 x 500-lb. and 2 x 250-lb. bombs)|
|Spitfire IX (L/F)||404 at 21,000||41,500||6.4 to 20,000||2 x 20-mm. and 4 x .303” or 2 x 20-mm. and 2x .50” (1 x 500-lb. and 2 x 250-lb. bombs)|
|Spitfire XIV||448 at 26,000||43,500||7 to 20,000||2 x 20-mm. and 4 x .303” or 2 x 20-mm. and 2x .50” (1 x 500-lb. and 2 x 250-lb. bombs)|
|Spitfire XVI (L/F)||405 at 22,500||41,500||6.4 to 20,000||2 x 20-mm. and 4 x .303” or 2 x 20-mm. and 2 x .50” (1 x 500-lb. and 2 x2 50-lb. bombs)|
|Spitfire XXI and XXII||454 at 26,000||43,000||8 to 20,000||4 x 20-mm. (1 x 500-lb. and 2 x 250-lb. bombs)|
|Tempest V||435 at 19,000||36,000||7.5 to 20,000||4 x 20-mm.|
|Thunderbolt I||420 at 26,000||35,000||10.5 to 20,000||8 x .50” (2 x 1,000-lb. bombs)|
|Typhoon IB||405 at 18,000||33,000||6.2 to 15,000||4 x 20-mm. (2 x 1,000-lb. bombs or 8 x 60-lb. R.P.s)|
* Performance figures are for aircraft operating as fighters without drop tanks and were reduced when bombs, rocket projectiles or drop tanks were carried.
† The bomb weights shown are those which could be carried when operating in fighter/bomber role.
‡ Variations in speed at height of the Mosquito XXX and Mustang III are occasioned by the alternative Marks of power unit installed.
|Aircraft Name and Mark||Cruising Speed and Endurance||Associated Bomb (or Depth Charge) Load||Armament|
|Catalina IV||106—15½||1,500||2 x .50” 2 x .30”|
|Liberator III and V (V.L.R.)||150—161||2,000||3 x .50”|
|Liberator VI||138—10½||3,500||6 x .50”|
|or 12½||2,000||4 x .303”|
|Liberator VIII||138—10½||3,500||6 x . 50” 4 x .303”|
|Sunderland III and V||110—13½||2,000||7 x . 303”|
|Warwick V||164—11||2,000||3 x .50” 4 x .303”|
|Wellington XIV||140—10||1,500||7 x .303”|
Fighter and Strike Aircraft (Coastal Command)
|Aircraft Name and Mark||Cruising Speed and Endurance||Associated Bomb (or r.p.) Load||Armament|
|Beaufighter X (T/B)||180—4½||1 torpedo||4 x 20-mm.|
|Beaufighter X (R/P)||180—4¼||8 x 25-lb. or 8 x 60-lb. R.P.s||4 x 20-mm.|
|Beaufighter X (F/B)||180—4||1 x 2,000-lb. or 2 x 500-lb. and 2 x 250-lb.||4 x 20-mm.|
|Mosquito VI (F/B)||210—3¼||4 x 250-lb.||4 x 20-mm. 4 x .303”|
|Mosquito VI (F/RP)||210—5||8 x 25-lb. or 8 x 60-lb. R.P.s||4 x 20-mm. 4 x .303”|
|Halifax III||145—10||5,500-lb.||9 x .303”|
|Wellington XIV||140—9½||1,700-lb.||7 x .303”|
(i) Maximum Speed was only possible for an extremely limited period. Apart from tactical manoeuvring, bomber and fighter aircraft in the main flew at speeds between ‘most economical cruising’ and ‘maximum continuous cruising’. Varying with the different aircraft, these speeds were respectively between 55-80 per cent. and 80-90 per cent. of the maximum speed.
(ii) Service ceiling. The height at which the rate of climb has a certain defined low value (in British practice 100 feet per minute) . Ceilings quoted are for aircraft with full load.
(iii) Range and Associated Bomb Load. The main purpose of this table is to give some idea of the relative performances of the various aircraft. The figures quoted relate to aircraft flying at ‘most economical cruising’ speed at the specified height (i.e. the speed and height at which the greatest range could be obtained) . Allowance is made for take-off but not for landing, the range quoted being the maximum distance the aircraft could cover in still air ‘flying to dry tanks’. Furthermore in the planning of operations a reduction of range of about 25 per cent. had to be made for navigational errors, tactical manoeuvring, weather conditions and other factors.
(iv) Endurance. The time an aircraft can continue flying under given conditions without refuelling. This being a vital factor of Coastal Command operations an economical cruising speed, consistent with maximum safe endurance as determined under normal operational conditions, is quoted.
(v) Abbreviations. (F/B) Fighter Bomber; (F/RP) Fighter/Rocket Projectile; (H/F) High Flying; (L/F) Low Flying; (N/F) Night Fighter; (R/P) Rocket Projectile; (T/B) Torpedo Bomber; (V.L.R.) Very Long Range.