Canadian Warplanes 4: Blackburn B.26 Botha

(San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives Photo)

The Blackburn B.26 Botha was a four-seat reconnaissance and torpedo bomber. It was produced by the British aviation company Blackburn Aircraft at its factories at Brough and Dumbarton. The Botha was developed during the mid 1930s in response to Air Ministry Specification M.15/35, and was ordered straight off the drawing board alongside the competing Bristol Beaufort. On 28 December 1938, the first production aircraft made the type's maiden flight; almost exactly one year later, it enter service with the RAF. During official evaluation testing of the Botha, stability issues were revealed, as well as the fact that it was underpowered. It was only briefly used in frontline operations before being withdrawn to secondary roles during 1941. It continued to be flown in secondary roles, largely being used for training and as a target tug, before the Botha was fully withdrawn during September 1944. (Wikipedia)

Three Bothas carrying RCAF aircrew were lost on operations during the Second World War.

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