Aircraft Type Photo
BELOW: A Mk 1 Boulton Paul Defiant fighter in action.
Photo: [pre 1940]. UK Government photograph / public domain.
Aircraft Type and Background
RCAF Boulton Paul P.82 Defiant / N1731
Type Nickname: "Daffy"
Boulton Paul was a well known aircraft builder of the period. In the 1920s and early 1930s, this company had participated in the building of the R101 airship. (The subsequent enquiry into the loss of the R101 concluded that the airship had been well constructed, and that the loss was not due to any failure of the airframe.)
The Boulton Paul Defiant was equipped with a single engine, and was armed with four machine guns, fitted in a hydraulically-powered dorsal turret. However, the Defiant had no forward-facing guns.
The aircraft was powered by a single Rolls-Royce Merlin III liquid-cooled V12 engine. It had a maximum speed of 504 km/h (313mph), and carried a crew of two (pilot and air-gunner).
Although the first prototype flew in 11 August 1937, the Boulton Paul Defiant was not delivered to the RAF until December 1939.
Initially, over Dunkirk, the Defiant proved an effective fighter. Ultimately however, and due to poor manoeuvrability and the lack of forward-facing guns, it proved no match for the Messerschmitt Bf 109. Consequently, they were withdrawn from front-line operations. However, the Defiants became very effective in their new role as night-fighters.
Aircraft Accident Details
Accident details are sparse. However, from the information available, it seems that a number of Defiants had recently been delivered to 410 Squadron RCAF. The squadron had been engaging in night training flights in the vicinity of RAF Drem (E. Lothian).
Aircraft Crew Casualties
The two airmen who died in this accident were:
(Please click on the hyperlinked names above for further details at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website.)
BELOW: Sgt Denis Winton Hall (21), Pilot, RAFVR. More details and photos on PAGE 2.
Photo: (©) 2014 Geoff Winton
Registration or Serial: N1731
Operator: RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force)
Operating Base: RAF Drem (Gullane / West Fenton); RCAF 410 Squadron.
(At this time, 410 Squadron's Operating Base alternated fortnightly with RAF Ouston (X5OU).)
Base Location: Drem, N. Berwick, E. Lothian, Scotland, alternating with Ouston, nr. Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Current Airport Status: (RAF Ouston): Operational Military Depot. Army assumed control in 1974 and renamed the site Albemarle Barracks. Was used as Cruise missile store and ordnance depot.
Defiant at RAF Museum (Hendon)
RCAF No. 410 Squadron Links
410 Tactical Fighter Squadron (modern)
Defiant at Century of Flight (Battle of Britain)
Hill Walking Links
(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)
Hillwalking (The Scottish Mountaineering Club)
Hillwalking.org.uk (Equipment, etc.)
Mountain Guides (Routes, maps, advice and guidance compiled by Steven Fallon)
OutdoorScotland.co.uk (Directory of Clubs, Associations, and Mountain Rescue Teams)
WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)
Emergency Services Link
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BP P.82 Defiant N1731
Bleak Law, Gifford, E Lothian