The B.125 Bulldog was developed by Beagle Aircraft at Shoreham as a more powerful military trainer version of the Beagle B.121 Pup.
It is fully aerobatic and features an enlarged, fully-transparent sliding canopy and an increased wingspan when compared with the Beagle Pup.
It is fitted with a 200 hp Lycoming engine driving a two-blade variable pitch propeller.
The first prototype Bulldog (G-AXEH) flew at Beagle's south-coast factory on 19th May 1969.
Unfortunately, later that same year saw the failure of Beagle Aircraft Limited following the withdrawal of government financial support and despite a full order book.
Responsibility for the type was transferred to Scottish Aviation whose first example (G-AXIG) flew on 14th February 1971, this aircraft having been initially registered by Beagle as their second B.125.
Both aircraft (G-AXEH and G-AXIG) were used by Scottish Aviation as demonstrators with one (G-AXIG) painted in Swedish Air force colours as ‘005’. This aircraft, which was originally flown on 14th February 1971, was subsequently sold on the civil market and for a number of years operated out of Compton Abbas Airfield in Wiltshire.
The S.A. Bulldog was also reasonably successful in the export market with sales of 78 aircraft to the Swedish Air Force, as well as several mainly African nations. In the UK, the RAF purchased 130 aircraft for use as the Bulldog T Mk 1 Basic Trainer.
The Swedish order was initially received by Beagle Aircraft although it was subsequently fulfilled by Scottish Aviation Limited who thereafter continued production at Prestwick, under the banner of newly-formed British Aerospace.
One aircraft (G-BDOG) was fitted with a retractable undercarriage and displayed at Farnborough Air Show in 1976, bearing the type name ‘Bullfinch’. This version did not actually enter production however and is currently registered as a Bulldog 200.
In addition to Sweden, export customers also included Botswana, Ghana, Hong Kong, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, and Nigeria.
Following the withrawal of the type from its RAF Basic Training, University Air Squadron and Air Experience roles in 2001, 'civilianised' Bulldogs became popular in private and flying club ownership as the type offers good aerobatic performance, excellent handling qualities and good all-round view from the cockpit.
In October 2018, some 55 examples appeared on the British Civil Aircraft Register, several of which are operated in their original RAF or export colour schemes.
A total of two prototypes, 320 production aircraft and a single Bulldog 200 / Bullfinch were built.
Numbers & Variants
|Bulldog 100 / 101||78 aircraft designated Sk 61 by the Swedish Air Force|
|Bulldog 100 / 102||15 aircraft to Royal Malaysian Air Force|
|Bulldog 100 / 103||5 aircraft to Kenya Air Force|
|Bulldog 100 / 104||Refurbished second prototype G-AXIG, delivered to private owner|
|Bulldog 120 / 121||130 T.Mk.1 aircraft to Royal Air Force, first example being XX513.|
|Bulldog 120 / 122||6 aircraft to Ghana Air Force.|
|Bulldog 120 / 122A||7 aircraft to Ghana Air Force.|
|Bulldog 120 / 123||37 aircraft for Nigerian Air Force.|
|Bulldog 120 / 124||Company demonstrator G-ASAL.|
|Bulldog 120 / 125||13 aircraft for Royal Jordanian Air Academy, later transferred to the Jordanian Air Force.|
|Bulldog 120 / 125A||9 aircraft for Jordanian Air Force.|
|Bulldog 120 / 126||6 aircraft for Lebanese Air Force.|
|Bulldog 120 / 127||9 aircraft for Kenya Air Force.|
|Bulldog 120 / 128||2 aircraft for Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force.|
|Bulldog 100 / 129||One aircraft for a civil customer in Venezuela.|
|Bulldog 120 / 1210||One aircraft for Botswana Defence Force – originally designated Bulldog 130|
|B.125 Bulldog 200||Improved version of Bulldog Series 120 with retractable landing gear. Marketed as Bullfinch G-BDOG.|
|Total production||323 aircraft including 2 prototypes, 1 Bullfinch and 320 production aircraft.|
|Powerplant||One 200 hp Lycoming IO-360-A1B6 engine|
|Span||33 ft 1.85 in|
|Maximum Weight||2,350 lb|
|Capacity||Instructor and student pilot. Provision for light underwing stores.|
|Maximum Speed||150 mph|
|Cruise Speed||120 – 140 mph|
|Maximum range||621 miles (no reserves)|
In addition to the aircraft that remain active on the UK and other civil registers, the followig aircraft may be found on display at UK museums.
|G-AXIG Bulldog 104||National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland|
|XX634 Bulldog T.1||Newark Air Museum, Nottinghamshire www.newarkairmuseum.org|
|XX654 Bulldog T.1||Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, Shropshire www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford|
|Bulldog T.1||172 (Haywards Heath) Sqn ATC, Haywards Heath TA Centre, Sussex|