The Bristol 83A Primary Trainer (sometimes known as the Bristol PTM - Primary Trainer Machine) is a direct descendant of the unsuccessful Bristol 73 Taxiplane (which is described separately).
The Primary Trainer was a Taxiplane configured as a two-seat dual control primary trainer, fitted with a single engine and slightly narrower fuselage. It was hoped that this machine would be suitable for use by the Reserve Flying Schools.
The first Primary Trainer (G-EBFZ) was the first of six aircraft to be used by the Reserve Flying School at Filton. It was first flown around late May 1923 and by the first week of July four aircraft were in use by the Filton Reserve Training School.
Six additional aircraft were put in hand but it was sometime before these attracted orders.
The first export sale was to Bulgaria who purchased a single machine (B-BEPK) which was delivered in April 1926. This, and later aircraft, were fitted with larger tail surfaces as the Type 83B with this change being effected on the earlier aircraft when returning for overhaul or repair.
Ultimately, the performance and reliability of these aircraft attracted further export orders of twelve aircraft for Chile and five for Hungary.
In 1928, one of the Filton aircraft (G-EBGA) was cleaned up for racing purposes and designated the Type 83C. Modifications included a more streamlined cowling and spinner, fuselage fairings and increased chord interplane struts.
It was also fitted with a comma-shaped all-moving rudder and was later modified as a three-seater - it continued to fly until being scrapped in December 1933.
The final development was the one-off strengthened Type 83E (G-EBYT) which was used as a test-bed for the 250 hp Bristol Titan engine. It was flown with a direct-drive Titan in the 1928 King’s Cup Air Race.
Later, it was fitted with a geared version of the Titan engine, which required an extended nose, and drove a four-blade propeller. Eventually it was scrapped following the completion of the Titan development programme in December 1930.
Specification Type 83A, B
|Powerplant||One 120 hp - 140 hp Bristol Lucifer engine|
|Span||31 ft 1 in|
|Maximum Weight||1,900 lb|
|Capacity||Pilot and student|
|Maximum Speed||96 mph|
Variants and number built
|Type 83A||Six initial production aircraft|
|Type 83B||Main production model with increased tail areas. 18 aircraft for export. Earlier aircraft brought up to this standard|
|Type 83C||Streamlined competition conversion of G-EBGA|
|Type 83D||Proposed seaplane variant not proceeded with|
|Type 83E||One-off aircraft G-EBYT strengthened airframe for Titan engine development,|
|Total production||24 Types 83A and 83B, plus one Type 83E; total 25 aircraft|
No examples of the Type 83 Primary Trainer survive.