This Day in History: April 12, 1935 by Simonov

This Day in History: April 12, 1935

Simonov

12 April 2019 at 20:00:50 MDT

On April 12, 1935, the Bristol Blenheim takes its maiden flight. Developed as the Type 142 civil airliner, the aircraft was originally designed to meet a challenge to create the fasted commercial aircraft in Europe. Its performance caught the attention of Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) and soon an order for a version modified for use as a bomber aircraft was placed. Entering service as the Bristol Blenheim, the first deliveries were made to the RAF in 1937 with a version fitted a different cockpit design following soon afterward. Heavy fighter and night fighter variants were also produced. The aircraft would also serve as the basis/inspiration behind the Beaufort torpedo bomber and Beaufighter strike aircraft. The Blenheim would be retired from British service in 1944 after admirable service in Europe, the Pacific, African, and Asia; however, it continued to serve with the Finnish military as a bomber through the end of the war and as a target tug until 1958. Approximately 4,400 Blenheims were built during the war. There is currently only one left in airworthy condition (and can be seen in the 2017 film Dunkirk directed by Christopher Nolan).

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