After the temporary Royal Flying Corps ban on the use of the monoplane, designer Henri Coanda turned his attention to a series of two-seat biplanes configured as a single float sea plane. This entry covers the British & Colonial Aeroplane Company Bristol Coanda Hydro 120 (build number 120) and separate entries are provided for the Bristol Coanda BR.7 biplane and the very successful Bristol TB.8.
In January 1913, Coanda commenced the design of a seaplane with a single central float, known as the Hydro. This aircraft bore some resemblance to the Gordon England GE.3, having a fuselage of circular cross-section mounted midway between its biplane wings.
The Hydro (build number 120) initially failed to fly when fitted with its original central float, which had been designed by Gnosspelius of the Lakes Aircraft Company.
However, it eventually succeeded in doing so on 15th April 1913 after the float had been replaced by one designed by SE Saunders & Co and manufactured using their wire-sewn 'Consuta' construction. Test Pilot Harry Busteed was at the controls when unfortunately the engine overheated shortly after take-off and the aircraft was destroyed in the subsequent forced landing. Thankfully, Busteed survived the crash and escaped, having been in the water for more than half an hour before being rescued.
The Hydro had been purchased by the Admiralty and was replaced by a twin float seaplane conversion of the prototype TB.8.
This was a land plane derived from the Coanda monoplane, the prototype being a conversion of the monoplane (No. 121). This was tested at Larkhill from July 1913 and proved much superior to the BR.7.
|Powerplant||80 hp Gnome|
|Span||38 ft 8 in|
|Maximum Speed||54 mph|
Single example only, flown without markings.
Nil; aircraft destroyed following engine failure during first flight on 15th April 1913.