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Thread: 5 O.T.U. ORB or Beaufort groundings in April 1943

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    Default 5 O.T.U. ORB or Beaufort groundings in April 1943

    I wonder if anyone has access to the ORB for 5 O.T.U. at Long Kesh? I am interested in any mention, possibly in April 1943, of their Beaufort's being grounded due to persistent engine trouble.

    In addition, if anyone has any further details on the grounding of Beaufort's and what, if any, reason was established for the cause of the engine trouble.

    Many thanks,

    Jim
    Jim Corbett

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    Hi Jim

    The Beaufort's engine problems went back to its origins. The Taurus engine was not fully-proven prior to the first deliveries being made in 1939 and it earned a reputation for being unable to aintain height on one engine (not, of course, a problem unique to the Beaufort!). In Aug/Sept 1940 all Beauforts in service were sent to Filton to have their Taurus engines modified (I am not sure exactly what was done) but a change to Twin Wasps had been mooted as early as April 1940; this was held in abeyance to see if the Taurus mods would provide the required reliablity. The OC 42 Sqn is quoted* as endorsing one accident report of April 1941 with words including "...Pilots are beginning to lose confidence in the machines. Strongly recommend re-engining with Twin Wasps". At about this time, production a/c were being fitted with the more powerful Taurus XII, however, in early 1941, it was decided to fit the Twin Wasp albeit this meant a reduction in range. Such were the shipping losses in this period that there were simply not enough Twin Wasps being delivered and production was switched back to the Taurus (improved versions) after the 165th Beaufort II was completed. The last operational Beafort squadrons left the UK in July 1942. My notes of 5(C) OTU, 1 TTU and Turnberry ORBs make no reference to groundings due to engine problems but it would not surprise me if it occured.

    *Bruce Robertson/Beaufort Special (Ian Allan, 1976)
    Keith
    Last edited by Keith Bryers; 10th December 2013 at 20:45. Reason: Reference omitted in error.

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