Douglas Havoc II (Night Fighter)

The Douglas Havoc II (Night Fighter) was produced by installed a new solid nose carrying twelve guns to 100 French DB-7As which reached Britain after the collapse of France. The French had ordered 100 DB-7As, but none had reached France before the armistice of June 1940 and the order was taken over by Britain.

The DB-7A used the same 1,600hp Wright R-2600-A5B Double Cyclone engines as the British DB-7B/ Boston III. However the aircraft were designed with different operating conditions in mind, so the DB-7A, which was designed to fly short range army support missions, was faster but had a shorter range than the Boston III. Like the earlier DB-7/ Boston II/ Havoc I it was thus not considered suitable for use as a bomber but perfectly acceptable as a night fighter.  

The Havoc II (Night Fighter) was given a solid nose designed by Martin Baker Aircraft. This was slightly longer than the nose used on the Havoc I (Night Fighter), but contained three times as many 0.303in guns. Twelve guns and their ammunition could be carried in this nose. The Havoc II (Night Fighter) is sometimes described as having twice the firepower of the Havoc I (Night Fighter), which implies that the four fuselage guns were also retained, giving the new design a total of 16 forward firing guns.

The Havoc II (Night Fighter) was used by No.85 Squadron from July 1941, at first alongside the Havoc I, and then alone from the end of 1941. It was replaced by the Mosquito in September 1942. Thirty nine Havoc IIs were later turned into Havoc II (Turbinlites).

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 September 2008), Douglas Havoc II (Night Fighter) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_douglas_havoc_II_night_fighter.html

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