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Bristol 73
Taxiplane

An attractive three-seat biplane whid failed to enter production, but led on to the successful Type 83 Primary Trainer.
Bristol 73 Taxiplane G-EBEW G-EBEW was the first of three attractive, but ultimately unsuccessful, Bristol Taxiplanes.
 
The Bristol 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.
 
Bristol 73 Taxiplane G-EBEW rear This rear three quarter view of the Bristol Taxiplane clearly shows the two passengers in its rear cockpit.
 
The 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 Taxiplane (G-EBEW) was flown for the first time on 13th February 1923 although when tested 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 and the Company revised the design as a two-seat primary trainer (the Type 83 which is described separately) of which 24 were built plus a Type 83E which served as a testbed for the Bristol Titan engine.
 
Bristol 73 Taxiplane G-EBEW side A side view of the Taxiplane emphasising its clean lines and the convenient passenger entry door.

 

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.

Specification

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

Variants

Three Type 73 Taxiplane aircraft only, G-EBEW, G-EBEY and G-EBFY.

Survivors

Nil. First two aircraft scrapped 1925, third aircraft used to supply spare parts for Type 83A.

Other information