Bristol 138A: Confirmingly Proud.

Magnificent Bristol’s advertisement. Flying high: both the Pegasus engine and the 138A airframe were household products.

Artist: N. Clarke.

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Bristol Brabazon: The Greatest Flop.


The magnificent aircraft in this neat Qantas poster looks like the predecessor of the Bristol Brabazon. Bristol proposed in 1942 a “100-Ton” bomber which was turned down by the RAF who preferred then their war-proved Lancasters and Halifaxes. The work already done was not lost because Bristol based its proposal to the Brabazon Committee’s Type I airliner in it.

The aircraft concept depicted here shows the pusher engines and gorgeous V-tail (direct for the “100-Ton” bomber) early considered yet also displays the wing platform adopted in the end by the actual Brabazon airliner built.

Folland Fo.108 (43/37): Only the Brave (VI).

The Fo.108 was the answer to a RAF requirement (43/37) for a purpose-built engine testbed aircraft. Folland’s winner was this humongous single-engined monoplane. Crewed by a pilot and two “boffins” there was nothing fancy or advanced in its conception when the prototype took the skies for the first time in 1940, just a no-nonsense platform to perform a vital duty.
An obvious question came to my mind: why single-engined knowing the potential trouble of an untried engined as the only motive power? The operational story of the 12 produced Fo.108 answered it….,five of them were lost in crashes. You don’t get the nickname “Frightful” for nothing.

Those Follands’¬† humonguousness in all it splendor. The quite massive Napier Sabre model being tested here looks almost as a little tiny joke.

Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV: Numbers count…., in absence of something better.

The Blenheim was only for a really short time that “Britain’s Strength in the Sky”. By the time the long-nosed Mk.IV appeared the only strength these aircraft could offer was the quantitative one.

The Bristol Aviation Company people seem to have recognised their Blenheim’s strenghts & weaknesses…., they put a lot of them in this poster.