The Boulton Paul Defiant was a British interceptor aircraft that served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) early in the Second World War. The Defiant was designed and built by Boulton Paul Aircraft as a "turret fighter", without any forward-firing guns. It was a contemporary of the Royal Navy's Blackburn Roc. The concept of a turret fighter related directly to the successful First World War-era Bristol F.2 Fighter.
In practice, the Defiant was found to be vulnerable to the Luftwaffe's more agile, single-seat Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters. Lack of forward armament proved to be a major weakness in daylight combat and its potential was only realized when it switched to night combat. It was supplanted in the night fighter role by the Bristol Beaufighter and de Havilland Mosquito. The Defiant found use in gunnery training, target towing, electronic countermeasures (ECM) and air-sea rescue. Among RAF pilots, it had the nickname "Daffy", probably a diminutive of the word "Defiant".
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... General characteristics Crew 2 pilot, gunner Length 35 ft 4 in (10.77 m) Wingspan 39 ft 4 in (11.99 m) Height 11 ft 4 in (3.46 m) Wing area 250 ft² (23.2 m²) Empty weight 6,078 lb (2,763 kg) Loaded weight 8,318 lb (3,781 kg) Max ... takeoff weight 8,600 lb (3,909 kg) Powerplant 1 × Rolls-Royce Merlin III liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,030 hp (768 kW) Performance Maximum speed 304 mph (264 knots, 489 km/h) at 17,000 ft (5,180 m) Cruise speed 175 mph (152 knots, 282 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,570 m) Range 465 mi (404 nmi, 749 km) Endurance 1.78 hr Service ceiling 31,000 ft (9,250 m) Wing loading 33.27 lb/ft² Power/mass 0.124 hp/lb (204 W/kg) Climb to 15,000 ft (4,600 m) 8.5 min Armament Guns 4 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in hydraulically-powered dorsal turret (600 rpg) ...
255 Squadron RAF Boulton Paul Defiant Hawker Hurricane I I 1940 No. 264 Squadron RAF Boulton Paul Defiant I 1943 No. 307 (Polish) RAF Boulton Paul Defiant I Formed September 1940 1941–1942 No ...
... For the British, the most disappointing fighter was the Boulton-Paul Defiant ... the extra weight and drag imposed by the four gun turret and second crew member, the Defiant lacked any directly forward-firing armament ... After the strong intervention of Dowding, who realised the Defiant was designed to an unworkable concept, there were only two units equipped with this aircraft, 141 and 264 squadrons ...
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