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Bristol Gordon
England Biplanes

Three two seat biplanes, designed by Gordon England, that failed to enter production.
Bristol Gordon England GE1 original Larkhill May 1912 The Bristol GE.1 at Larkhill in May 1912 with its original small tail surfaces.
 
In August 1911, Eric Gordon England joined the British & Colonial Aeroplane Co Ltd, initially as a pilot but he soon became responsible for a series of biplane designs.
 
England led the design of three types of two seat biplane, which were first flown between May 1912 and the end of 1912.
 
The GE.1 side-by-side two-seat biplane with a square-section fuselage (build number 64) and was powered by a water-cooled 50 hp Clerget engine with chain drive reduction gearing to the large two blade propeller. It was test flown in May 1912 and was found to be extremely easy to fly.
 
Bristol Gordon England GE1 modified tail The Gordon England GE.1 (with modified tail surfaces) being moved by road.
 
The GE.1 was first flown with small, sharply swept triangular fin and rudder surfaces. These were later changed to a large, horn-balanced all-moving rudder extending above and below the fuselage. Although otherwise satisfactory, the aircraft was sold to Deutche Bristol Werke although it was found that the 50 hp was not sufficient for a two-seat aircraft and it was scrapped in September 2012.
 
An improved version, the GE.2 was designed with two examples being built to take part in the War Office’s 1912 Military Aeroplane Competition. One aircraft was flown by Gordon England himself with the other being flow by Howard Pixton.  These aircraft featured a similar fuselage to the GE.1, albeit suspended part-way between the two wings – a style later to be seen on the famous Bristol F.2b Fighter.
 
Bristol Gordon England GE2 No 103 Gordon England GE.2 No 103 prepared for the 1912 Military Trials.
 
The first GE.2 (build number 103 – competition number 12) had a 100 hp two row Gnome rotary engine and the second (build number 104 – competition number 13) a 70 hp water-cooled Daimler-Mercedes engine driving a chain driven four blade propeller through reduction gears.
 
Bristol Gordon England GE2 No104 trials The Daimler-powered second GE.2 participating in the 1912 Military Aeroplane Trials.
 
The latter proved underpowered and was withdrawn. The first flew successfully, until it was damaged in a heavy landing and also withdrawn.
 
Finally, Gordon England designed a tandem two seat aircraft with an 80 hp Gnome engine, to a Turkish specification, the GE.3. This aircraft had a circular section fabric covered fuselage, also mounted between the wings.
 
Two were built (build numbers 112 and 113) but test flying in late 1912 showed serious structural weakness in the wing spars and with increasing difficulties caused by the Italian blockade of Turkey, the type was abandoned without further development.
 
Bristol Gordon England GE3 side The Bristol GE.3, two of which were built for Turkey, proved to have inadequate wing strength.
 

Specifications

  GE.1 GE.2 (no. 103) GE.2 (no. 104) GE.3
Powerplant 50 hp Clerget 100 hp Gnome 70 hp Daimler 80 hp Gnome
Span 33 ft 8 in 40 ft 0 in 40 ft 0 in 39 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight 1,800 lb 1,980 lb 2,000 lb 1,996 lb
Capacity  Two seat Two seat Two seat Two seat
Maximum Speed 65 mph 68 mph 62 mph 65 mph
Endurance       3 hr (design aim)

Variants and number built

One GE.1; two GE.2; two GE.3. Total five aircraft as described above.

Survivors

No examples of Gordon England Biplanes survive.

Other information