The Bristol Aeroplane Company Tourer series of civil utility 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 F2b 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 Type 29 Tourer – an unarmed Bristol Fighter with a Siddeley Puma engine. This was initially used as a company communications aircraft, 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;
In addition, there were further developments for Greece (Bristol Type 81) and Bulgaria (Bristol Type 88).
The Type 29 was an unarmed, two-seat, open cockpit, Puma-powered conversion of the Bristol F2b Fighter. The first example (construction number 5867) was fitted with the Puma engine that had been previously fitted to FS Barnwell’s Badger X (the Badger X having been damaged in a landing accident).
This aircraft (G-EAIZ) was registered on 7th August 1919 and received its Certificate of Airworthiness on 16th September. Initially used for Puma trials, the aircraft became popular as a general-purpose liaison aircraft and was named the Tourer.
A second similar example (G-EANR - 5868) was also built and registered in September 1919. This aircraft was later sold in the USA and reportedly used in Nicaragua.
Two additional Bristol Type 29 aircraft (5881 & 6123) were exported to the USA, the latter being operated by the Newfoundland Air Survey Company.
Three more aircraft were registered in Britain (G-EAVU - 5892, G-EAXA - 6120 and G-EAWB - 6122). The latter of these aircraft being purchased by Mr Alan S Butler and used for touring in France. Alan Butler was a wealthy businessman who went onto become Chairman od the De Havilland Aircraft Company. His aircraft featured fairings between the fuselage and the lower wing, purely designed for air racing. It entered the 1921 Aerial Derby, finishing with an average speed of 106 mph, taking third prize in the Handicap Race.
One aircraft (G-EAVU) was used as a demonstrator in Belgium and Norway, before being temporarily operated in Spain as a replacement for Bristol Type 47 Tourer (M-AAEA), which had been destroyed in an accident. Thereafter, it was scrapped unsold in September 1921 after its return from Spain.
A single Bristol Type 29 was subsequently supplied to Spain (M-AFFA - 6121) taking the place of the aircraft covered above.
The aircraft (G-EAXA) was built in May 1921, and was converted to dual control configuration in September 1922. This proved hugely successful and led directly to the Bristol Type 81A Puma School Trainer and to the Bristol Type 81A for the Greek Navy (described separately).
A total of eight two-seat open-cockpit Type 29 Tourer aircraft were built.
|Bristol Type 29 two-seat open Tourer|
|Powerplant||230 hp Siddeley Puma|
|Span||39 ft 5 in|
|Maximum Weight||2,800 lb|
|Maximum Speed||120 mph|
|Total Built||8 aircraft: G-EAIZ, G-EANR, (5881 USA), G-EAVU, G-EAXA, M-AFFA, G-EAWB, (6123 Newfoundland)|