The Bristol Type 148 was designed against Specification A.39/34 for an Army co-operation monoplane. The Type 148 design was heavily based on the Bristol Type 146 single-seal fighter (described separately) differing in having two crew seated in tandem, the rear occupant having a defensive Lewis gun.
The 39ft span tapered wing of the Bristol 146 was replaced by a constant chord wing of 40ft span and 25% greater wing area. The fixed forward-firing eight-gun armament of the Type 146 was reduced to two guns in the port wing of the Typw 148.
A bomb-aiming position in the fuselage floor could be accessed from the rear cockpit, the bombs being carried on under-wing racks.
Two prototypes were ordered (K6551 and K6552). The first aircraft was powered by a Mercury IX engine, whereas the second aircraft was fitted with a Bristol Taurus engine and was designated the Type 148B.
The first prototype flew for the first time on 15th October 1937 and demonstrated a wide speed range (from 62 mph to 255 mph), despite the planned automatic slots not yet having been fitted. Although service trials were generally acceptable, the high wing configuration of the Westland Lysander was preferred.
The first prototype was damaged following failure of the undercarriage to lock down. It was subsequently repaired, after which it was fitted with 905 hp Perseus XII engine for engine endurance testing.
The Bristol 148B (K6552) fitted with a 1,050 hp Taurus II engine, was first flown in May 1938, being used thereafter for Taurus engine test and development work.
|Bristol Type 148||Bristol Type 148B|
|Powerplant||One 840 hp Bristol Mercury IX radial engine||One 1,050 hp Bristol Taurus II radial engine|
|Span||40 ft 0 in|
|Maximum Weight||5,250 lb|
|Capacity and armament||Two crew: pilot and bomb aimer / gunner. Two forward firing 0.303 Browning machine guns and one defensive 0,303 Lewis gun. Provision for under-wing bomb carriage.|
|Maximum Speed||255 mph||290 mph|
|Bristol Type 148||One only K6551: initially Mercury IX powered; then Perseus XII|
|Bristol Type 148B||One only K6552: powered by Taurus II engine|
No examples of the Bristol Type 148 survive.