The Bristol 133 was a prototype single-seat monoplane fitted with a single engine and retractable undercarriage. It was the company’s second offering (after the Goshawk-powered Type 123 biplane) against Specification F.7/30 for a four-gun day and night fighter.
The type used a 620hp Bristol Mercury VI engine and was of inverted gull-wing configuration with fairings for the retractable main wheels mounted from the ‘knuckle’ of the wing.
The Type 133 (R-10) was first flown by Cyril Unwins with an open cockpit on 8th June 1934 - a cockpit enclosure being subsequently fitted. Other striking features included a monocoque rear fuselage and (initially) full span ailerons that could be symmetrically drooped as flaps.
The aircraft later reverted to more conventional ailerons with split flaps under the centre-section. The clean engine cowling featured a long-chord Townend-ring cowling, with an integral exhaust collector-ring.
Sadly the Type 133 did not reach Martlesham Heath for official trials, being lost in a spinning accident on 8th March 1935 with the pilot escaping by parachute. The problem occurred whilst spinning with the undercarriage down. It was evident that the aircraft was in a flat spin and it had very little forward speed when it reached the ground.
The Hawker Hurricane, which flew barely six months after the Bristol Type 133 was a much more mature design and carried twice the gun armament although Specification F.7/30 was eventualy awarded to the Gloster Gladiator
Consequently, it is considered unlikely that despite its initial potential, the Type 133 would have ever been selected for RAF service.
|Powerplant||One 640 hp Bristol Mercury VIS.2|
|Span||39 ft 0 in|
|Maximum Weight||4,738 lb|
|Capacity and armament||Pilot only; four forward firing Vickers machine guns|
|Maximum Speed||260 mph equipped|
Single example only, flown marked as R-10.
Nil; aircraft destroyed during spinning trials in March 1935.