The Full Wiki

Boulton Paul Bittern: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

P.31 Bittern
Manufacturer Boulton Paul Limited
First flight February 1927
Number built 2

The Boulton Paul Bittern was a 1920s British night-fighter aircraft from Boulton Paul Limited of Norwich, named after the marsh bird of the same name


Design and development

Designed to Air Ministry Specification 27/24, which called for a single-seat night fighter for use against enemy bomber aircraft, the Bittern design was different from others in that it was a twin-engined shoulder wing monoplane rather than the usual single-engine biplane.

Two prototypes were built, both very underpowered. As a result, during testing performance was so poor that further development was abandoned.[1]

The first prototype had fixed .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns, the second had guns that could be angled from 0-45° upwards so the fighter could attack bombers from below without having to put the aircraft into a climb. The wingspan of the second prototype was increased by about 5 ft (1.5 m).[2][3]

Specifications (Second prototype)

Data from The British Fighter since 1912 [4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 (pilot)
  • Length: 32 ft 4 in (9.86 m)
  • Wingspan: 41 ft 0 in (12.50 m)
  • Height: ()
  • Empty weight: 3,215 lb (1,461 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 4,500 lb (2,045 kg)
  • Powerplant:Armstrong Siddeley Lynx seven cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 230 hp (172 kW) each




  1. ^ Donald, David, ed (1997). The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Prospero Books. pp. pg 118. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.  
  2. ^ Boulton-Paul P.31 Bittern - night fighter
  3. ^ The WWII Fighter Gun Debate: Upward firing guns
  4. ^ Mason 1992, p.187.


  • Mason, Francis K. (1992). The British Fighter since 1912. Annapolis, Maryland, US: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.  


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address