The RAAF did not have any serious fighter aircraft that suited our needs when the war came to Australia. The RAAF needed to react very quickly to the impending movement towards our mainland from the Japanese. We performed a deal with England because their Beaufighter suited our needs and they said they were able to supply us reasonably quickly. From an initial order in 1939 it blew out to 1942 before we took posession of our first English built Beaufighter.
Beaufighters that were supplied from England had serial prefix number designations of A19.
Australian built Beaufighters did not start production until early 1943 and their serial prefix numbers were A8.
There were approximately 373 Australian Beaufighters manufactured in total. 365 of them were fully completed and the remaining 8 were partially made but rejected by the RAAF probably due to the war being over. There are currently 3 Beaufighters in Australia.
BEAU’ AT MOORABBIN AIR MUSEUM
There is one above at Moorabbin National Air Museum,
The second Beaufighter is at Narellan, NSW, in a private collection
The third one (A8-384) is currently under restoration at the H.A.R.S Society at Albion Park, NSW
Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS)
It is believed that this Beaufighter once completed, will be able to be flown.
The images below have been supplied courtesy of private individuals from 31 Sqn, and from the Australian War Museum. We thank them for their generous support of this Website
Please scroll down for more images of Beaufighters.
FOR THE TECHNICALLY MINDED
Below is a link to the Beaufighter MK 21 Manual produced by the RAAF, in 1945. It is a great insight into all the technical aspects of the Australian produced Beaufighter. (unfortunately it was too late for the service crews to use during the war, as the Beaufighters were scrapped a few years after the war.)