Gallery No: 4 - Boulton Paul Defiant

Aircraft - 4 Images

My thanks to Roger Dunn and the MOD for supplying these images.Wikipedia for text.

The Boulton Paul Defiant was respondiing to Air Ministry issued specification (F.9/35). It was an elegant low-wing cantilever monoplane two-seater fighter of all-metal construction, with retractable landing gear, looking not unlike the Hurricane.
It was also powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Boulton Paul had already a competitive edge, possessing an effective four-gun gun powered turret of their own design which was used in the Defiant. The first Defiant prototype flew on 11 August,1937. The first production Defiant was flown on 30 July, 1939 and deliveries to the first operational RAF unit, 264 squadron, began in December, 1939.

As the the weight of the gun turret detoriated performance, after the initial operational success heavy losses followed; it was then used as a night fighter for some time and later as a target tug. The total number built 1064.
P.82 Defiant : prototype
Defiant F.Mk I : first production version
Defiant NF. Mk IA : night-fighter version, Al radar installed
Defiant Mk II : Merlin XX engine
Defiant TT.Mk I : target tug
Defiant TT.Mk III : Mk IIIs converted to target tugs

The total number of the two marks of Defiant, Defiant TT.I and TT.III in the FAA was 295. The FAA aircraft were primarily conversions from Mk I and II and transferred atr various times from the RAF. The first Definat to be delivered to the RN was in January 1943 to the RNDA (eg N1559). However, the aircraft was not distributed for a year, and the first second-line squadron to receive a Defiant was in January 1944 to 792 squadron at St Merryn (eg L1631)

Most of the Defiants were equipped to 791and 792 squadrons; earlier examples going to 776 and 794 squadrons, the latter at Charlton Horethorne. The single operational squadron to be equiped with Defiant TT.I was 1830 squadron from March to April 1944, in the Eastern Fleet. During that month 1830 squadron took part in attacks in the Bay of Bengal with its Corsair.

The last Defiants in FAA service included DS147 with 778 squadron in December 1944 with detachments in Pomigliano, and DS121 of 733 squadron in Trincomalee in April 1946.

Some aircraft may appear identical but there are differences which will not be discernible from the image.

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141 Squadron
151 Squadron
264 Squadron
3 angle view



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