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World sales and combat

History shows that the Air Ministry placed an order for 150 aircraft in the summer of 1935, and a second order for 434 more followed in July of 1937. The Type 142M, or Blenheim I, as it was now called, had a bomb aimer's station in the nose, an internal bomb bay, this was achieved by raising the wings from a low wing position to the mid point of the fuselage and giving room under the main spar. A dorsal machine gun turret was fitted for self-defence. There was also a single machine gun in the port wing. The Blenheim was of all-metal construction, with the nose of the plane barely extending beyond the engines. It was equipped with two Bristol Mercury engines and when first revealed to the public, the Blenheims speed attracted great notice and led to the belief that Britain was armed with the best bomber in the world. In the dark days of the late thirties this was not necessarily a bad thing and allowed the government of the day and the likes of Winston Churchill to push through much needed war footing legislation and prepare the country for the conflict to come.

This myth of the aircrafts ability became self-perpetuating and soon two new production lines had to be set up as orders for still more aircraft were placed. A total of 1,552 Blenheim 1's were built and equipped 26 RAF squadrons at home and in British possessions in Iraq and India; Great Britain in the process gained many new skilled aircraft engineers and a workforce who knew not only how to build aircraft but repair them, certainly at the ever expanding Bristol factory.

Such was the reputation of the Bristol factory for its well-built aircraft and reliable engines, sales of the Blenheim to foreign governments flourished prior to the outbreak of war. Sales to Finland, Romania, Portugal, Yugoslavia, South Africa and Egypt and of course the many Blenheims made under licence in Canada

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This is page 2 of The Bristol Blenheim Type 142M.
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Type 142M K7034 and early prototype

Type 142M K7034 and early prototype
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The Mercury VIII of 840 hp installation in a Blenheim Mk I

The Mercury VIII of 840 hp installation in a Blenheim Mk I
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Aircraft ready for despatch to Pakistan

Aircraft ready for despatch to Pakistan
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