Bristol Coanda Monoplanes
|Manufacturer||Bristol Aeroplane Company|
Several versions of the plane were built from 1912 onwards with both tandem and side-by-side cockpits. Several were purchased by the War Office for use as trainers by the Royal Flying Corps. International purchases were by Italy and Romania. One example survives in the Gianni Caproni Museum of Aeronautics, Trento, Italy.
Design and development
The Romanian aircraft designer Henri Coandă joined Bristol in January 1912. His first design for Bristol was a two-seat monoplane trainer, a development of the Bristol Prier Monoplane, controlled by wing warping. The first prototype flew in March 1912. A series of similar aircraft followed with both tandem and side-by-side cockpits, known as the School Monoplane and the Side by Side Monoplane.
A more powerful derivative was built for a competition to provide aircraft for the British War Office. Two aircraft, known as Competition Monoplanes were built and entered into the competition, together with two Bristol Gordon England biplanes. The aircraft were flown by Harry Busteed, Bristol's test pilot and James Valentine.
These did well in the competition, rated equal fifth and were described at the time as "well-designed and well-constructed" though criticised as "heavy for the wing area" and lacking in power. This resulted in their being purchased by the War Office for use as trainers by the Royal Flying Corps. These two aircraft formed the basis for a revised military trainer, the Military Monoplane, which had increased wingspan.
The Military Monoplane later formed the basis for the Bristol TB.8, several being rebuilt into TB8s.
The first School and Side by Side monoplanes entered service with flying schools operated by Bristol at Larkhill and Brooklands. One tandem and two side-by-side machines were sold to Italy, with four tandem and three side-by-side aircraft being sold to Romania.
The two Competition Monoplanes were bought by the War Office after the Military Aircraft Competition, being used as trainers for the RFC. However, on 10 September 1912, one of the Competition Monoplanes crashed, killing Lieutenants Edward Hotchkiss and Claude Bettington. While this was traced to one of the bracing wires becoming detached, it resulted in a five-month ban of flying of all monoplanes by the military wing of the RFC.
Despite this ban, Military Monoplanes were purchased by Romania and Italy, with a production license being granted to Caproni (although this license was later cancelled, only two being built by Caproni).
- School Monoplane
- Trainer aircraft with tandem cockpits. Powered by 50 hp (40 kW) Gnome engine. Six built.
- Side by Side Monoplane
- Trainer aircraft with side-by-side cockpit. Powered by 50 hp (40 kW) Gnome engine. Six built.
- Competition Monoplane
- Two aircraft built for War Office Military Aeroplane Competition. Powered by 80 hp (60 kW) Gnome engine.
- Daimler Monoplane
- Single aircraft powered by 70 hp (50 kW) Daimler engine. Overweight and unsuccessful.
- Military Monoplane
- Improved development of Competition Monoplane with increased wingspan. Powered by 80 hp (60 kW) Gnome engine. 21 built.
Aircraft on display
A single Bristol Coanda Monoplane survives, in the Gianni Caproni Museum of Aeronautics, Trento, Italy, being the oldest surviving Bristol aircraft still in existence. This aircraft was a pattern aircraft sent to Caproni as a basis for their licensed production., never being flown, but was restored to a complete example for display at the museum
- Crew: two
- Length: 29 ft 3 in (8.92 m)
- Wingspan: 37 ft 8 in (11.48 m)
- Height: ()
- Wing area: 450 ft² (41.8 m²)
- Empty weight: 970lb (441 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 1,665 lb (757 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Gnome Rotary engine, 50, 80, 100hp (different versions of the Gnome rotary) ()
- Maximum speed: 56–61 knots (65–70 mph, 105–113 km/h)
- Endurance: 5 hours
- Climb to 3000 ft (915 m): 11 min
- 12 x 10 lb (4.5 kg) light bombs
- Some were equipped with a 7.92 machine gun
- Barnes, CH (1964). Bristol Aircraft Since 1910 (First ed.). London: Putnam.
- "The Military Competition Machines". Flight. Flightglobal. 3 August 1912. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- "Military Trials". Flight. 2 November 1912. p. 988.
- "RAF Museum". Archived from the original on 4 July 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2007.
- "The Pioneers: An Anthology: Sir Stanley White and his Bristol Aeroplanes 1910–1918". Retrieved 19 July 2007.
- "Museo G. Caproni – aeronautica, scienza e innovazione" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bristol-Coanda Monoplanes.|
- "The Military Competition Machines". Flight. Flightglobal. 3 August 1912. – contemporary photographs