The Bristol Aerplance Company Bristol Type 23 Badger was a 2-seat reconnaissance aircraft, designed around the ABC Dragonfly engine, to compete against the Westland Weasel and Austin Greyhound. It resembled a two-seat variant of the Bristol Type 21 Scout F, being a single engine, single bay biplane, with ‘N’ interplane struts.
Three Bristol Badger aircraft were ordered. The first aircraft (F3495) flew with a 320hp ABC Dragonfly engine on 4th February 1919. The second aircraft (F3496) flew on 24th May 1919.
Meanwhile, the third prototype (which would have been F3497) was cancelled despite its construction being already underway.
An experimental design was known as the single seat Bristol Badger X (X standing for Experimental), also known as the ‘Barnwell Weekender’. It was flown on 13th May 1919, using the wings, undercarriage and tail of the part-built third Badger, which were married to a new square-section fuselage.
The Bristol Badger X, which was not allocated a unique Bristol Type number, made use of a 240hp Siddeley Puma engine, purchased cheaply from the Disposal Board. In this instance, the availability of the completed wings intended for the third Badger, allowed Barnwell to rapidly produce a new and attractive aircraft for the sum of no more than £750.
The intention (rather as with the Type 92 Laboratory Biplane of 1925) was to generate flight performance data that could be compared with wind tunnel test results. The aircraft was placed on the civil aircraft register (as K110 later G-EABU) although it never bore these markings.
Nine days after the successful first flight on 22nd May 1919, Barnwell had the misfortune of the aircraft nosing over upon landing.
The company decided that the aircraft should not be repaired and that the Siddeley Puma engine would be installed in a Bristol F2b Fighter converted to civil standards, thereby generating the first Puma-powered Bristol Type 29 Tourer (G-EAIZ).
The Puma-powered Bristol Tourer series (Types 28, 29, 36, 47, 48, 81/81A) were to provide Bristol Aeroplane Company with useful sales during the difficult early inter-war years.
Although the ‘Barnwell Weekender’ was an attractive design, it was unsuitable for commercial production due to its single seat layout and relatively uneconomic 230hp engine.
|Bristol Badger X|
|Powerplant||230 hp Siddeley Puma|
|Span||34 ft 2 in|
|Maximum Weight||2,900 lb|
Single example only, flown without markings but allocated K-110 and G-EABU.
None - aircraft not repaired following a landing accident in May 1919.