Boulton Paul Defiant Mk II Night Fighter – 151 Sqn, RAF Wittering, England, 1941Add to compare
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IXO Models 1/72 scale DDIJ018: Boulton Paul Defiant Mk II Nightfighter of 151 Sqn, RAF Wittering, England, 1941
Length 5.75 inches Wingspan 6.5 inches
The Boulton Paul Defiant was a British fighter aircraft and bomber interceptor used early in the Second World War. The Defiant was designed and built by Boulton Paul Aircraft as a “turret fighter” and served with the Royal Air Force (RAF). Contemporary with the Royal Navy’s Blackburn Roc, the concept of a turret fighter was somewhat similar to the World War I-era Bristol Fighter. In practice, the Defiant was found to be vulnerable to the Luftwaffe’s more agile, single-seat Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters; crucially, the Defiant did not have any forward-firing guns. It was later used successfully in the night fighter role, before it was phased out of combat service in favour of the Bristol Beaufighter and de Havilland Mosquito. The Defiant finally found use in gunnery training, target towing, ECM and air sea rescue. Among RAF pilots, it had the irreverent nickname “Daffy.”
Designed to meet a British Air Ministry requirement for a two-seat fighter with power-operated gun turret, the P.82 Defiant was first flown August 11th, 1937. At the time, it was thought that turret-equipped fighters would be necessary to engage large bomber formations, enabling the pilot to maneuver into the target’s blind spot while the gunner pressed home the attack. Unfortunately though, it was soon discovered that the additional weight and drag of the turret inhibited the Defiant’s ability to out-maneuver enemy fighter escorts and the design was re-tasked with night-fighter and air-sea-rescue roles.