United Kingdom : Blenheim Mk IV
The Bristol Blenheim was a British high-speed light bomber, widely used from the early days of WWII. Later variants included a heavy fighter which proved rather successful. The Blenheim was the first British all-metal aircraft and one of the first with retractable landing gear, an electric defensive turret and a variable pitch propeller.
The Blenheim Mk IV was not, as is often thought, a variant of the Mk I. Rather it was based on the Type 149 variant, based on the 11/36 requirement for a coastal defence bomber. During flight trials the Mk IV reached the top speed of 266 mph which was better than the Mk I. However the data was misleading, as the speed was reached at 12,000 ft, whereas the Mk I was tested at sea level, where it reached 239 mph. Obviously the Mk I was slightly faster at altitude. Unfortunately, this became obvious in combat, when Mk IVs fared no better against Luftwaffe fighters than the Mk I. It quickly became clear that Blenheims needed fighter escorts.
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