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Bristol Type 28
Tourer

A three-seat Coupe version of the Bristol Tourer commercial aircraft developed from the Bristol Fighter.
Bristol 28 first ac 5891 to USA The first Bristol 28 Coupe Tourer (c/n 5891) was built for export to the USA.
 
The Tourer series of civil utilitiy aircraft were developments of the Bristol F.2b Fighter for civilian use following the end of the First World War.
 
A standard but unarmed Bristol Fighter (H1460) ordered for communications duties was fitted with a hinged cover over the rear passenger seat, becoming known as the Bristol Coupé.
 
The next development was the Bristol Tourer, an unarmed Bristol Fighter with a Siddeley Puma engine. This was initially used as a company communications aircraf but a second machine was sold to a private owner in the United States.
 
The type was subsequently produced in two and three seat configurations. In the three-seat variants, the passengers sat side-by-side in either open, or enclosed (coupé) cockpits. The two-seat variant was also produced with either an open, or an enclosed, passenger cockpit. A three-seat seaplane variant was also produced.
 
When Bristol type numbers were allocated, the following type numbers were retrospectively allocated to the Bristol Tourer series;
 
Bristol 27 Coupé: two seat conversion of Bristol Fighter H1460 with coupé passenger cockpit
Bristol 28 Tourer: three-seat with coupé passenger cockpit
Bristol 29 Tourer: two seat open passenger cockpit
Bristol 47 Tourer three-seat open passenger cockpit
Bristol 48 Tourer Seaplane: three-seat open passenger cockpit
* These aircraft are described separately on this website as is further developments for Greece (Type 81) and Bulgaria (Type 88).
 
Bristol 28 Tourer unpainted An unpainted Bristol Type 28 showing the cocpit arrangements.
 
The Type 28 Tourer was similar in concept with two passengers sat side-by-side in the rear cockpit under a glazed and hinged cover. The rear cockpit was accessed by an agricultural-looking ladder bolted to the port side of the fuselage and allowing access over the exhaust pipe, which extended beyond the rear cockpit.
 
Ten Type 28 Coupé Tourers were built, all of which were exported. Most notable of these was to Australia, where a number gave excellent service with West Australian Airways.
 
The first three seat Coupé aircraft (constructor’s number 5891) was exhibited at Olympia in July 1920, before exported to the United States in August. This aircraft (and other Tourers exported to the USA) was painted dark grey with blue undersides and the word ‘Bristol’ painted in longhand on the fuselage sides.
 
One aircraft (G-EAWQ - 6114) was sold in Spain (as M-AAEA) but it was destroyed at San Sebastian during its delivery flight in April 1921.
 
The remaining eight aircraft were all delivered to Australia. The first aircraft (G-AUCA - 6111) went to Colonel Brinsmead, the Director of Civil Aviation in June 1921. This aircraft was used for extensive route surveys, covering some 9,000 miles.

Six aircraft (registered G-AUDF to G-AUDK) were operated by West Australian Airways. Regrettably, oone aircraft (G-AUDI) crashed on 5th December 1921 as the airline started its services, with the loss of its pilot and engineer.
 
The service resumed however, and operated with considerable regularity. By June 1926, the fleet had flown some 485,000 miles carrying mail and parcels, as well as over 3,000 passengers.
 
In 1927, one aircraft (G-AUDK) was flown from Perth to Sidney, a distance of 2,300 miles, with the first Trans-Australian female passenger Mrs JW Marshall. The same aircraft was then flown 7,500 miles around Australia by Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm in just over ten days, during June 1927.
 
Bristol 28 Tourer (G-AUDK) unloading passengers A female passenger (possibly Mrs JW Marshall) is helped down from G-AUDK.
 
The remaining airframe (6113) was supplied as a spare and used, together with parts (from G-AUCA) to produce one final aircraft (G-AUDX).
 
An unrelated Bristol Fighter (H1248) was rebuilt locally in Australia in a similar Coupé configuration and used by QANTAS, initially with the Flying Doctor Service and finally in New Guinea, until 1928.
 

Specification

  Type 28 three seat Coupé Tourer
Powerplant 230 hp Siddeley Puma
Span 39 ft 5 in
Maximum Weight 3,000 lb
Capacity  Three seats
Maximum Speed 120 mph
Range 400 miles

Numbers

Total built                  Ten aircraft: c/n 5891 (to US), G-AUCA, G-AUDF – G-AUDK, c/n 6113 (spare airframe later flown as G-AUDX), G-EAWQ / M-AAEA. One similar aircraft H1248 / G-AUEB converted in Australia.

Survivors

Nil.

Other information