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Bristol Brabazon

The Bristol Brabazon airliner was a gian of an aircraft larger even than a Boeing 747. It was also in many ways a strikingly advanced design for its day. Yet, commercially, this huge piston-engine airliner was a total failure for the British aircraft industry. The aircraft was named after Lord Brabazon of Tara, who headed a committee that produced a government report on […]

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Bristol F.2B Fighter

The Bristol Fighter was one of a new generation of British aircraft deployed on the Western Front in 1917, Designed by Captain Frank Barnwell, it was a solid, versatile, two-seater fighter-reconnaissance aeroplane with excellent all-round performance. The first version, the F.2A, made its maiden flight on 9 September 1916; the faster F.2B followed shortly after. When the Bristol Fighter first entered service with the […]

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Bristol Type 138A

The Type 138A was purpose-built for record-breaking high-altitude flights, which were the object of intensive research and considerable national rivalry in the 1930s. It was commissioned by Britain’s Air Ministry,  which turned to the Bristol Aeroplane Company because its engines Had powered many of the aircraft used in previous attempts on the world altitude record. Designed by Frank S. Barnwell for […]

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Bristol Beaufighter

Bristol’s pugnacious Type 156 Beaufighter was a heavy two-seater, long-range fighter that proved a formidable night interceptor and anti-shipping aircraft. A hastily improvised concept combining the flying surfaces and rear fuselage of the Beaufort torpedo bomber with a new front fuselage and higher-powered engines, the Beaufighter progressed from design to prototype in just six months. The Mk 1F nightfighter entered service in August […]

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Handley Page H.P.42

If any aeroplane Could be described as a stately galleon of the airways, it was Handle Page’s H.P.42.This extraordinary biplane was the first four-engine airliner in the world to go into regular passenger service. First Flown in 1931, it was used exclusively by Britain’s Imperial Airwais. The 38-passenger H.P. 42W (Western) version operated to Europe from Croydon Airport in Surrey, while the 24-passenger H.P.42E (Eastern) model […]

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Saunders-Roe Princess

The epitome of those large, elegant commercial flying boats that had reigned supreme on intercontinental air routes in the 1930s, the Saunders-Roe Princess had the misfortune to be born into a postwar world whose requirements had changed. Certainly, the aircraft had ample power, with ten Bristol Proteus turboprop engines installed as coupled pairs in each of the four inboard nacelles, and as single […]

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Hawker P.1127

During the postwar period aircraft manufacturers around the world wrestled with t he knotty problem of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). The usefulness of a winged aircraft that could operate from a car park or a forest clearing was obvious, but how to design one was certainly not. An extraordinary variety of configurations was tested – including a number of “tail-sitters” […]