Bristol 27

A Bristol Fighter with an enclosed passenger cockpit; led on to the Bristol Tourer series.
Bristol 27 Coupe H1460 front port The Bristol 27 Coupé H1460 photographed in May 1919.
The commercial use of Bristol Fighter derivatives, notably the Puma-powered Types 28, 29, 47, 48, 81 and 88 Tourers, began in January 1919 with the request by Sir Frederick Sykes, Controller of Civil Aviation, for three Bristol Fighter aircraft to be delivered for unarmed communications duties.
These aircraft were to be provided with dual controls and to have their fuel capacity increased to provide up to five hours endurance. They were otherwise unarmed standard Bristol F.2b Fighters.
A further aircraft from this batch (H1460) was additionally modified with a glazed and hinged cover to the rear cockpit and was also fitted out with a writing table for the passenger. These differences resulted in this aircraft being known as the Bristol Coupé and being retrospectively allocated a separate type number as the sole Bristol Type 27.
Bristol 27 Coupe passenger cockpit The passenger compartment of the Bristol 27 Coupé showing canopy and fittings.
On the 1st May 1919, this aircraft was used by test pilot Cyril Uwins to fly Herbert Thomas from Filton to Hounslow to meet General Seely. This date was significant as being the first day on which civilian flying became legal once again in the UK, following its suspension in August 1914 for the duration of the Great War.
As well as increasing comfort, the rear canopy enclosure reduced the aircraft’s drag, increasing its maximum speed to 128 mph, compared with a standard Bristol Fighter figure of around 123 mph.
The Bristol Coupé led on directly to the Bristol Tourer – an unarmed Bristol Fighter fitted with a Siddeley Puma engine. The Tourer series was subsequently produced in two and three seat configurations, as summarised below.
When Bristol type numbers were allocated, the following type numbers were retrospectively allocated to the Bristol Tourer series;
Bristol 27 Coupé: conversion of Bristol Fighter H1460
Bristol 28 Tourer: three-seat with coupé passenger cockpit
Bristol 29 Tourer: two seat open passenger cockpit
Bristol 47 Tourer three-seat open passenger cockpit
Bristol 48 Tourer Seaplane: three-seat open passenger cockpit
These aircraft are described separately. Further developments for Greece (Type 81) and Bulgaria (Type 88) are described separately.
Bristol 27 F2B dual control H1688 H1688 is the second of three long range, dual-control Bristol Fighters that preceded the Type 27 Coupé.


  Type 27 Coupé
Powerplant 275 hp Rolls-Royce Falcon III 
Span 39 ft 3 in
Maximum Weight 2,800 lb
Capacity  Two occupants; passenger in enclosed rear cockpit 
Maximum Speed 128 mph
Endurance  Five hours


Single example only, serial H1460. Preceded by three dual control Bristol Fighters with long-range tanks.



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