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Bristol Types 36 & 85
Seely

Intended as a small commercial aircraft, the Seely was later used for engine test flying at high altitudes.
Bristol 36 Seely G-EAUE side The Bristol 36 Seely G-EAUE showing the deeper fuselage and central undercarriage skid.
 
The Bristol Type 36 Seely was a single engine biplane which entered into the August 1920 Air Ministry competition for a small commercial aircraft.
 
The Seely was in essence, a further development of the Bristol Tourer concept retaining the same Siddeley Puma engine. Space in the rear 'coupé cockpit' was improved and other design enhancements incorporated such as a deeper fuselage and new, three bay wings. Disc brakes were also fitted and a central steel skid was fitted to prevent the aircraft 'nosing-over' under braking.
 
Bristol 36 Seely Martlesham 08-1920 The Bristol 36 Seely undergoing trials at Martlesham Heath in August 1920.
 
The sole aircraft (G-EAUE) first flew on 3rd July 1920 and tested the following month at Martlesham Heath, in competition with the Westland Limousine III and the Sopwith Antelope.
 
The Limousine III, a large 5 seater, won the competition and the prize of £7,500 but only two examples were ever built by Westland.
 
After the competition, the Seely was used by the Bristol Aeroplane Company on general tasks, until it was converted to Jupiter power to assist in engine development.
 
In 1923, a Jupiter III engine with an exhaust-driven supercharger was fitted, together with a steel-bladed propeller.
 
Bristol Type 85 Seely J7004 with s-charged Jupiter The Type 85 Seely J7004 was used for high altitude flying with supercharged Jupiter III engine.
 
In this form, the aircraft was re-designated the Bristol Type 85 and was purchased by the Air Ministry for supercharger trials at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) at Farnborough. The aircraft (re-allocated the serial J7004) was also used for high altitude flight tests at heights up to 23,000 ft.
 
The lasting contribution of the Seely was therefore in the field of supercharger and engine development.

Specifications

                               Type 36  Type 85
Powerplant 240 hp Siddeley Puma 435 hp supercharged Bristol Jupiter III
Span 47 ft 4 in
Maximum Weight 3,000 lb 3,600 lb
Capacity  Two seat, with passenger in cabin enclosure
Maximum Speed 110 mph at sea level 121 mph at sea level; 137 mph at 10,000 ft

Variants

Bristol 36 Seely Tourer Puma powered entrant into Ministry small commercial aeroplane competition G-EAUE
Bristol 85 Seely The same airframe equipped with a supercharged Jupiter III engine and used for RAE high altitude trials; serial J7004.

Survivors

Nil.

Other information