The Bristol Aeroplane Company Type 73 Taxiplane was an attractive, three-seat single engine biplane using the Bristol Lucifer power unit. The pilot sat in an open front cockpit, ahead of his passengers, who were accommodated side by side in a second open cockpit.
The type was constructed predominantly of wood with fabric covering. The passenger cockpit was provided with a hinged entry door on the port side, together with a small baggage compartment with a separate access door. The upper and lower wings were identical to reduce the number of spares required.
The Bristol Lucifer 3-cylinder radial engine was provided with a hinged mounting, to allow ready access to the rear of the engine, and its accessories when required.
The first Bristol Type 73 Taxiplane (G-EBEW) was flown for the first time on 13th February 1923 although when tested at Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Martlesham Heath, certification was only approved for use as a two-seat machine, it being considered to be underpowered with three occupants.
In the light of this disappointing assessment, only three Taxiplanes were built. Although the design showed considerable promise, the Company revised the design to a two-seat primary trainer (Bristol Type 83), of which 24 were built. In addition, they built a Bristol Type 83E, which served as a testbed for the Bristol Titan engine.
The aircraft saw service in Bulgaria, Hungary, Chile and of course the United Kingdom were it was flown by the Reserve Flying School at Filton.
|Powerplant||One 120 hp Bristol Lucifer engine|
|Span||31 ft 1 in|
|Maximum Weight||1.840 lb|
|Capacity||Pilot and two passengers|
|Maximum Speed||90 mph|
Three Type 73 Taxiplane aircraft only, G-EBEW, G-EBEY and G-EBFY.
None - First two aircraft scrapped 1925, third aircraft used to supply spare parts for Type 83A.