Bristol Type 81, 81A
Puma Advanced Trainer

A Puma-powered dual control trainer derived from the Type 29 Tourer.
Bristol 81 Puma Advanced Trainer G-EAXA The Puma Advanced Trainer stemmed from dual control trials of Type 29 Tourer G-EAXA.
 
The  Bristol Aeroplane Company Type 81 Puma School Trainer was a British two-seat utility biplane and was a dual control adaptation of the Bristol Tourer aircraft, fitted with Frise ailerons and oleo landing gear.
 
Its origins were with a two-seat Bristol Type 29 Tourer (G-EAXA), which was produced in the years following World War I, using as many components as possible from the successful Bristol F2B Fighter. The Bristol Type 81 however, was fitted with dual controls in 1922, and evaluated as a trainer.
 
Four similar aircraft were built for use by the Filton Reserve Flying School (registered G-EBFR to G-EBFU) and known as the Type 81.
 
First flown around May 1923, these aircraft had mixed fortunes; One aircraft (G-ABFR) crashed during landing at Yeovil Aerodrome in June 1923, prior to the issue of its Certificate of Airworthiness. Meanwhile, another (G-EBFS) was scrapped in May 1924, and whilst a third (G-EBFT) crashed at Filton in March 1925. The fourth G-EBFU also crashed at Filton in 1928.
 
Bristol 81 Puma Advanced Trainer G-EBFS G-EBFS is one of four Type 81 Puma Advanced Trainers built for the Filton Reserve Flying School.
 
In parallel, the Greek government had ordered six Tourers, as advanced trainers, specifying that it should be possible to convert them to fighters, if required. These aircraft were flight tested in April and May 1925 using a single Siddeley-Deasy Puma engine, supplied by the Greek customer.
 
Bristol 81A Greek Advanced Trainer One of the six Type 81A Puma Advanced Trainers supplied to the Greek Navy.
 
These airframes (designated Bristol Type 81A) were shipped without engines to Greece, where Siddeley-Deasy Puma engines were fitted locally.
 
These aircraft differed from the Bristol Type 81, having enlarged rudders and being radio-equipped. All the Greek aircraft were subsequently converted to Rolls-Royce Falcon power in 1931.
 

Specifications


(Data in parentheses relates to Greek Type 81A with Rolls-Royce Falcon engine)

Powerplant 230 hp Siddeley Puma (or 275 hp Rolls-Royce Falcon)            
Span 39 ft 5 in
Maximum Weight 2,800 lb (3,000 lb)
Capacity & Armament Pilot and student; provisions for armament (Greek Type 81A).
Maximum Speed 120 mph (125 mph)
Endurance 5 hr (4 hr)

 

Variants and number built


Type 81 Four Puma engined aircraft for Filton Reserve Flying School 
Type 81A Six aircraft for the Greek Navy; initially Puma-powered, later re-engined with Rolls-Royce Falcon.
Total built Ten aircraft

 

Survivors


None
 

More information