The Bristol Type 146 was the Bristol Aeroplane Company’s offering against Specification F.5/34 which called for a single seat, eight-gun fighter.
The type was a low-wing monoplane using a Bristol Mercury engine and was of all-metal construction with a monocoque fuselage, the pilot sitting well forward under a sliding canopy. Four Browning machine guns were provided in each wing, firing outside the arc of the propeller.
The design benefited from the lessons learned from the earlier Bristol Type 133 (described separately) which had been lost in an accident immediately prior to its planned evaluation at Martlesham Heath. The intended powerplant was an 830 hp Perseus engine although the prototype was initially flown with an 840 hp Mercury IX.
The sole example of the Bristol Type 146 (K5119) was first flown on 11th February 1938, having taken a relatively low priority due to the demands on Bristol Aeroplane Company for production of the Bristol Blenheim.
Furthermore, the appearance of the Merlin-powered Hurricane and Spitfire and their evident promise, made it clear that these types would form the backbone of the RAF’s fighter force.
In the event, none of the contenders created against Specification F.5/34 received a production contract.
Following service trials at Martlesham Heath in 1938, the aircraft was damaged in a landing accident at the Empire Air Day hosted at Filton and was scrapped later that year.
|Powerplant||One 840 hp Bristol Mercury IX|
|Span||39 ft 0 in|
|Maximum Weight||4,600 lb|
|Capacity and armament||Pilot only; eight wing-mounted forward firing Browning machine guns|
|Maximum Speed||287 mph|
Single example only, K5119.
Nil; sole example scrapped after a landing accident in 1938.