The Bristol Aeroplane Company Bristol Type 36 Seely was a single engine biplane which entered into the August 1920 Air Ministry competition for a small commercial aircraft.
It was in essence, a further development of the Bristol Tourer concept, retaining the same Siddeley Puma engine. Space in the rear 'coupé cockpit' was improved, with other design enhancements incorporating a deeper fuselage and new, three bay wings. Disc brakes were also fitted with a central steel skid ahead of the undercarriage to prevent the aircraft 'nosing-over' under braking.
The sole aircraft (G-EAUE) first flew on 3rd July 1920 and tested the following month at Martlesham Heath, in competition with the Westland Limousine III and the Sopwith Antelope. The Westland Limousine III, a large 5 seater, won the competition together with the prize of £7,500. However, only two examples were ever built by Westland Aircraft.
After the competition, the Bristol Type 36 Seely was used by the Bristol Aeroplane Company on general tasks, until it was converted to Bristol Jupiter power to assist in the engine development department.
In 1923, a Bristol Jupiter III engine, with an exhaust-driven supercharger was fitted, together with a steel-bladed propeller.
In this form, the aircraft was re-designated the Bristol Type 85 and was purchased by the Air Ministry for supercharger trials at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), Farnborough. The aircraft (re-allocated the serial J7004) was also used for high-altitude flight tests at heights up to 23,000 ft.
The lasting contribution of the Bristol Type 85 Seely was therefore, in the field of supercharger and engine development.
|Type 36||Type 85|
|Powerplant||240 hp Siddeley Puma||435 hp supercharged Bristol Jupiter III|
|Span||47 ft 4 in|
|Maximum Weight||3,000 lb||3,600 lb|
|Capacity||Two seat, with passenger in cabin enclosure|
|Maximum Speed||110 mph at sea level||121 mph at sea level; 137 mph at 10,000 ft|
|Bristol 36 Seely Tourer||Puma powered entrant into Ministry small commercial aeroplane competition G-EAUE|
|Bristol 85 Seely||The same airframe equipped with a supercharged Jupiter III engine and used for RAE high altitude trials; serial J7004.|