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File:Short Stirling bomber N6101.jpg

 

 

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Short Stirling

 

 

Información histórica sobre el Short Stirling

The Short Stirling was the first four-engined British heavy bomber of the Second World War. The Stirling was designed and built by Short Brothers to an Air Ministry specification from 1936, and entered service in 1941. The Stirling was fated to have a relatively brief operational career being relegated to second line duties from 1943 onwards when other four-engined RAF bombers, specifically the Handley Page Halifax and Avro Lancaster, took over its role.

 

Operational status was not reached until January 1941, by No. 7 Squadron RAF. The first three Stirlings flew a mission on the night of 10/11 February 1941 against fuel storage tanks at Vlaardingen, near Rotterdam, and from spring of 1942 the bomber started to be used in greater numbers. From May 1943, air raids on Germany started with over a hundred Stirlings at once.

 

Despite the "disappointing performance" at maximum altitude, Stirling pilots were delighted to discover that, due to the thick wing, they could out-turn the Ju 88 and Me 110 nightfighters they faced. Its handling was much better than that of the Halifax and some preferred it to the Lancaster. Based on its flight characteristics, Pilot Murray Peden of No. 214 RAF Squadron flatly described the Stirling as "one of the finest aircraft ever built". By December 1943, Stirlings were being withdrawn from frontline service as bombers, increasingly being used for deploying mines outside German ports, electronic countermeasures and dropping spies deep behind enemy lines at night (through the now unused ventral turret ring). Also at that time, there arose a need for powerful aircraft to tow heavy transport gliders such as the GAL Hamilcar and Airspeed Horsa; the Stirling fitted this role admirably. In late 1943, 143 Mk III bombers were rebuilt to the new Mk IV series specification (without nose and dorsal turrets), for towing gliders and dropping paratroops, as well as 461 new Mk IVs being produced. They were used in the Battle of Normandy and Operation Market Garden. Stirlings were also used on Operation Glimmer on D-Day June 1944 for the precision-laying of patterns of "window" ("chaff") to produce radar images of a decoy invasion fleet. From late 1944, 160 of the special transport variant Mk V were built, which had the tail turret removed and a new opening nose added, most of these being completed after the war.

 

In service with Bomber Command Stirlings flew 14,500 operations, dropping 27,000 tons of bombs, losing 582 in action with 119 written off.

 

Ficha técnica

Periodo

1941-1946

Fabricante

Short Brothers (Gran Bretaña)

Usuarios

Royal Air Force (Gran Bretaña)

Canadá

Egipto

Misiones

Bombardero pesado

Transporte de paracaidistas y planeadoras

Minado

Guerra electrónica

Peso vacío

21.274 kg

Peso máximo al despegue

31.752 kg

Velocidad máxima

410 km/h

Alcance

3.750 km

Techo

5.030 m

Armamento

8 ametralladoras de 7,7 mm

6.350  kg de bombas

 

Fuente Wikipedia.