Bristol 88
Bulgarian Trainer

A 180hp version of the Bristol Tourer developed for the Bulgarian postal service.
Bristol 88 Bulgarian Tourer B-BECA front The first Bristol 88 Bulgarian Tourer B-BECA prior to delivery in April 1924.
 
The Bristol Type 88 Bulgarian Tourer was a version of the Bristol Type 29 Tourer to meet local Bulgarian requirements for a postal services aircraft.
 
Four aircraft were ordered from Bristol Aeroplane Company in August 1923, with the order for the second pair to be confirmed after the proven successful operation of the first two (B-BECA and B-BEHA).
 
Due to the political restrictions in place at the end of the First World War, Bulgaria was not allowed aircraft with engines of more than 200 hp. Consequently, the Bristol Aeroplane Company offered Bulgaria a bespoke version of the Bristol Tourer, one fitted with the meagre 180 hp Wolseley Viper engine.
 
The first two aircraft were completed in December 1923 and delivered in April 1924.
 
In April 1926, following the successful operation of the first two aircraft, an order was placed for three improved aircraft. This second group of aircraft featured various design improvements, including Frise ailerons, aerodynamically balanced rudders and oleo undercarriage legs. These were known as the Bristol Type 88A (B-BEBA, B-BETO and B-BEKA).
 
Bristol 88 Bulgarian Tourer B-BECA side A side view of the 180hp Wolseley Viper-powered Type 88 Bulgarian Tourer B-BEBA.

 

Unfortunately, these aircraft proved exceptionally accident prone and were withdrawn from service.

 

Specification


Powerplant One 180 hp Wolseley Viper
Span 39 ft 5 in
Maximum Weight 2,700 lb
Capacity Pilot and passenger
Maximum Speed 120 mph
Endurance 5.5 hr

 

Variants and number built


Type 88 180 hp Viper-powered Tourer; Two aircraft B-BECA, B-BEHA
Type 88A Improved undercarriage, ailerons, rudder and revised radiator; Three aircraft B-BEBA, B-BETO and B-BEKA
Total built Five aircraft

 

Survivors

None

 

More information