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The Canadian Bolingbroke

During the early stages of development the Bristol Company designed a derivative of the Blenheim, the Type 149, in response to an Air Ministry request for a coastal reconnaissance and light bomber aircraft to replace the Avro Anson. The Type 149 was a Blenheim with greater fuel capacity and a lengthened nose for an observer and his gear. The Air Ministry then began to worry that this new aircraft would interfere with the production of the Blenheim I already underway. Instead, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) ordered production in Canada as the Bolingbroke Mk I, and the prototype was shipped to Canada to help start the production lines at Fairchild Aircraft Ltd. The Type 149 would enter production in the UK as the Blenheim Mk IV. By 1939, most Blenheim 1's had been replaced in Britain by the new Mk IV. The Mk 1's continued to serve as trainers and a number were converted into night fighters

The night fighter version, the Blenheim IF, was equipped with a special under-fuselage pack that housed four machineguns, and airborne interception radar, the AI radar had been developed by another Bristolian Sir Bernard Lovell (Later of Jodrell Bank fame). It was a Blenheim IF that made the first radar-assisted kill of the war in July of 1940. The Blenheim would also become the first aircraft to make reconnaissance and bombing raids into Germany during the opening stages of the war in the west. The Blenheim Mk IV would equip 70 squadrons at its height of popularity, and continue to serve in the Middle and Far East until the last years of the war. A Blenheim Mk V was also built, with extra armour and weapons, but the same engines. This meant it was an extremely slow aircraft and after serious losses in Italy, it was withdrawn from service.

Today a example of the Blenheim IVT, actually a RCAF Bolingbroke, remains airworthy. It is owned and operated by the Aircraft Restoration Company at Duxford, UK, and has been flying since May 1993.

This is page 3 of The Bristol Blenheim Type 142M.
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Bristol Blenheim in flight

Bristol Blenheim in flight
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Rear defence armament for Blenheim V

Rear defence armament for Blenheim V
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Bristol Blenheim Mk IV

Bristol Blenheim Mk IV
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