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Bristol Boxkite




After first buying a Zodiac biplane from France, which Bristol proposed to manufacture, they settled on a copy of the Farman - which was a better design and unlike the Zodiac could be made to fly successfully. The Boxkite, as it was named, was first flown on 31 June 1910 with a 37kW Gregoire engine and in September 1910 made the first military flight when it was used in a reconnaissance role during Army manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain, which led to the delivery of the first military aircraft as an army co-operation machine in May 1911.

The Boxkite was more successful when fitted later with a 37kW Gnome rotary engine.



Within a matter of months of the first flight the company was planning for expansion and mounting its first overseas sales drive. Mis-sions were dispatched to Australia, India and other countries with good results. In November 1910 the first export order was placed by Russia for eight Boxkites and subsequently aircraft were also sold to Sweden, Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria.


The Boxkite has a history in the evolution of military aviation in Australia and was the first official military aircraft built in Australia that was used to train Australia’s military aviators.
A Bristol Boxkite was flown in Australia for the first time on 1 March 1914, when Lieutenant Eric Harrison took one into the air at Point Cook. The airfield was then the home of the Australian Flying Corps (AFC).
M. Jullerot in November 1911


A total of 76 aircraft were constructed.


RAAF Museum Bristol Boxkite


Bristol Boxkite
Length: 38.386 ft / 11.7 m
Height: 10.827 ft / 3.3 m
Wingspan: 46.49 ft / 14.17 m
Max take off weight: 1151.0 lb / 522.0 kg
Empty weight: 363 kg / 800 lb
Max. speed: 35 kts / 65 km/h
Engine: Gnôme, 50 hp
Crew: 2

Boxkite Standard
Engine: Gnôme, 50 hp
Wingspan: 10.52 m / 34 ft 6 in
Length: 11.73 m / 38 ft 6 in
Height: 11 ft 10 in / 3.61 m
Empty weight: 363 kg / 800 lb
Wing area: 42.46 sq.m / 457.04 sq ft
Max. speed: 64 km/h / 40 mph




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