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Bristol Coanda School

Bristol Coanda WO

Bristol Coanda Monoplane

Bristol Military Monoplane

 

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The Romanian aircraft designer Henri Coandă joined Bristol in January 1912 and his first design for Bristol was a two-seat monoplane trainer, a development of the Bristol Prier Monoplane, controlled by wing warping. The first prototype flew in March 1912.

 

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Several versions of the plane were built from 1912 onwards with both tandem and side-by-side cockpits. Several were purchased by the War Office for use as trainers by the Royal Flying Corps. International purchases were by Italy and Romania.
Henri Coandas’ second monoplane, No. 80, was similar but had side-by-side seats with dual controls. It was built in May 1912 and remained in continuous use as a school machine at Brooklands and Larkhill until crashed by Merriam and Gipps on 26 January 1914.
 
A series of similar aircraft followed with both tandem and side-by-side cockpits, known as the School Monoplane and the Side by Side Monoplane. The first School and Side by Side monoplanes entered service with flying schools operated by Bristol at Larkhill and Brooklands.
 
The two Competition Monoplanes were bought by the War Office after the Military Aircraft Competition, being used as trainers for the RFC. However, on 10 September 1912, one of the Competition Monoplanes crashed, killing Lieutenants Edward Hotchkiss and Claude Bettington. While this was traced to one of the bracing wires becoming detached, it resulted in a five-month ban of flying of all monoplanes by the military wing of the RFC.
 
Despite this ban, Military Monoplanes were purchased by Romania and Italy, with a production license being granted to Caproni (although this license was later cancelled, only two being built by Caproni). One tandem and two side-by-side machines were sold to Italy, with four tandem and three side-by-side aircraft being sold to Romania.

 

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A more powerful derivative was built for a competition to provide aircraft for the British War Office. Two aircraft, known as Competition Monoplanes were built and entered into the competition, together with two Bristol Gordon England biplanes. The aircraft were flown by Harry Busteed, Bristol's test pilot and James Valentine.
 
These did well in the competition, rated equal fifth and were described at the time as "well-designed and well-constructed" though criticised as "heavy for the wing area" and lacking in power. This resulted in their being purchased by the War Office for use as trainers by the Royal Flying Corps. These two aircraft formed the basis for a revised military trainer, the Military Monoplane, which had increased wingspan.
 
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One example of the 37 built survives in the Gianni Caproni Museum of Aeronautics, Trento, Italy, being the oldest surviving Bristol aircraft still in existence. This aircraft was a pattern aircraft sent to Caproni as a basis for their licensed production., never being flown, but was restored to a complete example for display at the museum. The Military Monoplane later formed the basis for the Bristol TB.8, several being rebuilt into TB8s.
 
There is a monument in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire to Lieutenants Edward Hotchkiss and Claude Bettington, killed in a Bristol Coanda crash in 1912
 
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Variants:
 
School Monoplane
Trainer aircraft with tandem cockpits. Powered by 50 hp (40 kW) Gnome engine. Six built.
 
Side by Side Monoplane
Trainer aircraft with side-by-side cockpit. Powered by 50 hp (40 kW) Gnome engine. Six built.
 
Competition Monoplane
Two aircraft built for War Office Military Aeroplane Competition. Powered by 80 hp (60 kW) Gnome engine.
 
Daimler Monoplane
Single aircraft powered by 70 hp (50 kW) Daimler engine. Overweight and unsuccessful.
 
Coanda School
Engine: 1 x 50hp Gnome
Take-off weight: 499 kg / 1100 lb
Empty weight: 350 kg / 772 lb
Wingspan: 12.19 m / 39 ft 12 in
Length: 8.23 m / 27 ft 0 in
Height: 2.13 m / 6 ft 12 in
Wing area: 25.55 sq.m / 275.02 sq ft
Max. speed: 105 km/h / 65 mph
 
Military Monoplane
Improved development of Competition Monoplane with increased wingspan.
Powered by 80 hp (60 kW) Gnome engine.
21 built.
 
Military Monoplane
Engine: 1 × Gnome Rotary, 80 hp
Wingspan: 37 ft 8 in (11.48 m)
Length: 29 ft 3 in (8.92 m)
Wing area: 450 ft² (41.8 m²)
Empty weight: 970lb (441 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 1,665 lb (757 kg)
Maximum speed: 56–61 knots (65–70 mph, 105–113 km/h)
Endurance: 5 hours
Climb to 3000 ft (915 m): 11 min
Armament: Some with a 7.92mm machine gun
Bombload: 12 x 10 lb (4.5 kg) light bombs
Crew: two
 
Military Monoplane
Engine: Gnôme 80ps, 79 hp
Length: 27.067 ft / 8.25 m
Height: 9.022 ft / 2.75 m
Wingspan: 41.995 ft / 12.8 m
Wing area: 279.864 sq.ft / 26.0 sq.m
Max take off weight: 1323.0 lb / 600.0 kg
Weight empty: 771.8 lb / 350.0 kg
Max. weight carried: 551.3 lb / 250.0 kg
Max. speed: 62 kts / 114 km/h
Cruising speed: 54 kts / 100 km/h
Wing load: 4.72 lb/sq.ft / 23.0 kg/sq.m
Range: 130 nm / 240 km
Crew: 2

 

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