Bristol Bulldog

Bristol Bulldog









The Bristol Bulldog was a single-seat biplane designed during the 1920s by the Bristol Aeroplane Company. The Bulldog was the most famous RAF aircraft during the inter-war period with over three hundred Bulldogs being produced. In September 1926 the Air Ministry stated a need for a single-seat fighter capable of operating in day and night-time conditions; to be armed with two 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns and to be powered by a radial air-cooled engine. The Bulldog MkI took to the skies in May 1927. The full-production Bulldog came in the form of the MkII, which had a modified structure but in every other respects was identical to the original Bulldog.

The aircraft entered production in 1928, entering service the following year and becoming, during the early 1930s, the most widely used aircraft in the RAF. It was cheap to maintain and thus, at a time of defence budget constraints, was the more preferable option to any other competitors. The Bulldog proved to be quite successful and was exported to several foreign air forces. The Bulldog was withdrawn from RAF service in 1937.

A total of 8 Bulldogs served with the RAAF from 1930 to 1940 at various times flying for 1 FTS, 1 Sqn, 2 Sqn and 21 Sqn.

General characteristics

Crew:                                                       One
First flight:                                              January 21, 1928
Entered service:                                      May, 1929
Length:                                                    7.67 m (25ft 2 in)
Wingspan:                                              10.31 m (33ft 11in)
Height:                                                    2.67 m (8ft 9in)
Weight empty:                                        1008 kg (2,200 lb)
Maximum tak-eoff weight:                    1601 kg (3252lb)
Engines:                                                   Bristol Jupiter VIIF Radial Piston Engine at 490 hp


Maximum speed:                                    280 km/h (151 kt)
Service ceiling:                                       29,300 ft
Range:                                                    483 km (260)
Climb rate:                                              14.5 mins to 20,000ft (6096 m)


Guns:                                                       Twin synchronised 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns
Bombs:                                                    Four 20 lb (9 kg) bombs