After the temporary Royal Flying Corps (RFC) ban on the use of the monoplane, Henri Coanda turned his attention to a series of two-seat biplanes. These included the Renault-powered Bristol BR7 alongside related types, built in Germany, and powered by a Daimler engine. These were known as the Bristol Coanda Hydro biplane and the very successful Bristol TB.8.
First to fly was the Bristol Coanda BR.7, which was designed in Romania, albeit to meet Spanish and German requirements for a long-range biplane. It was powered by a 70 hp Renault engine, this having been specified by the Spanish customer, particularly as it was already in use on the Maurice Farman aircraft in service in Spain. Meanwhile, the German requirement specified a 90hp Daimler engine.
The first prototype Bristol Coanda BR.7 (Bristol build number 157) was displayed at Olympia in February 1913 and it was first flown in March 1913. Five aircraft were eventually ordered by Spain but unfortunately their performance was proven to be unsatisfactory and the Spanish refused to accept the aircraft.
Whilst the already completed aircraft were retained at Larkhill for use as advanced trainers, the second aircraft (build number 158) suffered the misfortune of catching fire in the air on 26th May 1913. Fortunately, the pilot (Collyns Pizey) was able to land immediately and he, and his mechanic (Fellows) escaped without injury. The aircraft was completely burnt out on the ground.
Thereafter, the remaining four aircraft of the Spanish order rarely flew although No. 163 was tested with a conventional two-wheeled main undercarriage.
One further aircraft (No. 178) was built in December 1913 with increased wingspan although this aircraft remained unflown.
A version was also built at Halberstadt in Germany by Deutsche-Bristol Werke (the German-Anglo Joint Venture), fitted with a 90 hp Daimler and an upper wing of much increased span. Other unique features were longer inverse-tapered ailerons and a second rudder-mounted below the fuselage.
The sole Daimler-powered example was flown for a period during July and August 1913.
|Powerplant||70 hp Renault||90 hp Daimler|
|Span||38 ft 0 in||57 ft 0 in|
|Maximum Weight||1,826 lb||2,100 lb|
|Capacity||Two seat||Two seat|
|Maximum Speed||63 mph||65 mph|
|Endurance||5 hr||5 hr|
Number & Variants
Total of seven BR.7 aircraft, build numbers 157, 158, 160-163 and 168 (not flown).
One Daimler-powered variant built at Halberstadt by Deutsche-Bristol Werke.