The Bristol Beaufighter’s two turbocharged, Bristol Hercules 4-cylinder, air-cooled radial engines gave delivered over 1600hp each giving the aircraft a top speed of 320 mph but in an emergency, the British fighter/bomber was capable of limping home on just one operational engine.
Anything could happen to a Beaufighter’s engines during a mission.
Hits from anti-aircraft flack or enemy fighter attack could result in fire, loss of fuel, coolant or oil stopping a Hercules engine dead in its tracks - endangering the entire aircraft and crew.
It did not even have to be the result of enemy action - many Beaufighter engines failed through overheating, component failure or any number of maintenance issues especially in the harsh tropical and desert environments they operated from.
To assist with this, both engines were equiped with an independent fire suppression system that could be triggered from the cockpit should a fire break out in an engine bay.
Once triggered, the failed engine could be effectively turned off with the remaining engine taking the load, and although the Beaufighter’s speed would start draining off and with it, a loss of height, many aircraft still returned home on a single engine.
Whilst the first priority was to quickly extinguish an engine/s fire - closing its fuel lines whilst increasing RPM on the remaining engine to compensate for its loss, another critical task was to decrease the drag on the aircraft from its now, stationary propeller.
Ordinarily, a Beaufighter's two propellers faced forward at right angles to drive air backwards producing thrust but with an engine stopped, that ‘open’ propeller position suddenly created enormous drag on the airframe.
To compensate for this, the Beaufighter was equiped with two Engine Propeller Feathering Switches mounted on the immediate left of the pilots seat just behind the aircraft’s Throttle Controls.
When pressed, a stationary propeller would be automatically rotated to turn edge-first into the airstream reducing drag and perhaps ensuring the Beaufighter gained those extra precious miles it needed to reach home safely.
Some Beaufighters lost both engines, forcing the pilot to push the nose down to maintain flight speed and hoping to glide as far as he could to enable the crew to safely bail out or to find an open field or clear stretch of water for a controlled crash landing
This original Series No 2062 Propeller Feathering Switch is a rare and significant artefact of one of the Allies most iconic fighter/bombers - the Bristol Beaufighter
The Feathering Switch is fully functional and depresses in on its spring as designed.
What a special gift for the aviation enthusiast in your life! - An original, WWII Bristol Beaufighter Propeller Feathering Switch mounted in its 100yr old Mango Wood Display Stand with engraved plaque, printed and laminated Fact Sheet plus a highly detailed, custom built Scale Model of this iconic British Fighter/Bomber, perched atop its magnetic display arm.
This Bristol Beaufighter Instrument comes complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
* Note that this Beaufighter Instrument is pictured with a 1/48 scale model rather than the standard detailed, but smaller 1/72 scale. Click on the 'Model Upgrade' option at the top of this page for the larger 1/48 scale.
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Your Bristol Beaufighter Propeller Feathering Switch, Original Recovery Curios Warbird Collectable includes:
- Original Warbird instrument
- Highly detailed hand-built and airbrushed 1/72 plastic scale model of the aircraft*
- Hand-crafted and beautifully finished 100yr, Far North Queensland Mango Wood display stand
- Detailed, 2-sided, printed and laminated Instrument Fact Sheet detailing aircraft and instrument
- Removable Magnetic Display Arm
*An upgrade to the larger and more detailed 1/48 scale model is also available in the hand-built and airbrushed plastic version for an additional $35 (Click on the 1/48 scale option)
Both the 1/72 & 1/48 scale hand-built and airbrushed plastic models are available with 'wheels & flaps up or down' and 'canopy open or closed' options with a choice of two Squadron markings and camouflage.
Upon order placement you will receive an email asking for your preferred configuration.
Your complete Recovery Curios Original Instrument Collectable is securely packed and delivery normally takes between 3 - 4 weeks approx.
Did you fly, crew or maintain a Bristol Beaufighter or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.