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Bristol B.175 Britannia




The Type 175 began as a Medium Range Empire (MRE) design to meet BOAC requirements set down in MoS Specification 2/47. Designed to carry 32-36 passengers and be powered by four Bristol Centaurus 662 sleeve-valve engines, the aircraft's size was soon increased and consideration given to the installation of Bristol Proteus turbines or Napier Nomad compound engines.

After some delay, in June 1948 the Ministry of Supply ordered three Centaurus-powered prototypes but stipulated that the second and third should be capable of conversion to Proteus-engined aircraft. When the first prototype emerged in 1952 it was a much bigger aeroplane with accommodation for more than 80 passengers and powered by Proteus 625 engines.

Prototypes were ordered in February 1948 and the first of these was airborne at Filton on 16 August 1952, powered by Bristol's new Proteus turbo-prop.

The second prototype was lost after only 51hr flying and a major engine fault delayed entry into service with BOAC until February 1957. On 1 February 1957 BOAC began operating Britannia 102 with 2,906kW Proteus 705 and up to 90 seats on its London-Johannesburg services.



A number of versions were developed from the Series 100 aircraft and on 19 December 1957, BOAC began the first turbine-powered North Atlantic service when it put Britannia 312 on the London-New York route. These were 3.12m longer, had accommodation for up to 139 passengers, were powered by 3,070kW Proteus 755 and had a 13,608kg increase in max weight. On the day that BOAC introduced Britannias on the North Atlantic, El Al flew a Britannia 10,328km non-stop from New York to Tel Aviv.


The Bristol Britannia entered RAF Transport Command service with No.99 Squadron, at Lyneham, Wiltshire, in mid-1959. As Britannia C.1, twenty Britannia 250 were operated with strengthened floor and large freight loading doors. Three Britannia C.2s were purchased by the Ministry of Supply for use on trooping flights.






The Britannia 310 was ordered by BOAC, El Al, Hunting Clan, Canadian Pacific Airlines and Cubana.
Britannia 310


Only 85 Britannias were built at Filton and by Shorts at Belfast.

Canadair developed the Britannia design into the military CL-28 Argus and CL-44 Yukon and the CL-44 series of passenger and cargo aircraft.




100 Series
90 passenger airliner
All built at Filton
Engines: four Bristol Proteus 705, 4,400 h.p.
Length: 114 feet
Height: 36 feet 8 inches
Wing Span: 142 feet 3 inches
Weight (empty): 88,000lbs
Weight (all-up): 155,000lbs
Range: 3,450 miles

101 - Two prototypes, initially powered by Proteus 625, later 705

102 - 25 ordered by BOAC. The last ten were cancelled in favour of the 300 series.

200 Series
All-cargo stretched version of the 100 series, with an extra 10 ft in length.
Five options from BOAC, but cancelled in favour of the 310. None built.

250 Series
As 200 series, but mixed passenger and freight
Length: 124 feet 3 inches
Height: 37 feet 6 inches
Wing Span: 142 feet 3 inches
Weight (empty): 90,500lbs
(90,600lbs for 253)
Weight (all-up): 185,000lbs
Range: 2,268 miles

252 - Three ordered by Royal Air Force and given the designation C Mark 2. All built at Belfast.

253 - 22 ordered by Royal Air Force, with designation C Mark 1. All but the last five were built at Belfast, the remainder were built at Filton

300 Series
As 200 series, by passenger only. Capable of carrying up to 139 passengers.
Engines: 4 x 4,400 h.p. Bristol Siddeley Proteus 705 turboprop
Length: 124 feet 3 inches (37.89 m.)
Height: 37 feet 6 inches
Wing Span: 142 feet 3 inches (43.38 m)
Weight (empty): 92,500lbs
Weight (all-up): 185,000lbs
Econ cruise: 355 m.p.h. (570 kph)
Range: 3,496 miles
Range 4,268 miles (6,869 km.) with max. payload of 28,000 lb (12,700 kg)
Crew: 9
Pax cap: 133

301 - one prototype, built at Filton

302 - Ten ordered by BOAC. Order cancelled in favour of 305 Series, later 310 series. Two were completed, but not delivered. Both were built at Belfast.

305 Series
As 300, but with increased fuel capacity
Length: 124 feet 3 inches
Height: 37 feet 6 inches
Wing Span: 142 feet 3 inches
Weight (empty): 90,000lbs
Weight (all-up): 185,000lbs
Range: 4,268 miles

306 - 1 built, leased to El Al. built at Belfast
307 - 2 ordered by Air Charter. One was a conversion of the sole 306, the other was built at Belfast.
307F - 1960's conversion of 307 to freighter (both Series 307 aircraft converted)
308 - 2 ordered by Transcontinental, built at Belfast.
308F - 1960's conversion of 308 to freighter (both Series 308 aircraft were converted)
309 - 1 ordered by Ghana Airways, built at Belfast.

310 Series
Initially known as 300LR. As 305 series, but with strengthened fuselage skin and undercarriage.
Engines: 4 x Bristol Proteus, 4120 shp
Length: 124 feet 3 inches (37.89 m)
Height: 37 feet 6 inches
Wing Span: 142 feet 3 inches (43.38 m)
Weight (empty): 82,500lbs
Weight (all-up): 185,000lbs
Range: 4,268 miles
Max level speed: 385 mph (616 kph)

311 - one prototype, built at Filton.
312 - 19 ordered by BOAC, all built at Filton.
Engine : 4 x Proteus 755, 4064 shp
Length: 124.245 ft / 37.87 m
Height: 37.5 ft / 11.43 m
Wingspan : 142.224 ft / 43.35 m
Max take off weight : 185030.4 lb / 83914.0 kg
Max. speed : 345 kts / 639 km/h
Service ceiling : 26247 ft / 8000 m
Range : 5004 nm / 9268 km
Crew : 5 + 133 PAX

312F - 1960's conversion of 312 to freighter (five converted)
313 - Four ordered by El Al, all built at Filton.
314 - Six ordered by Canadian Pacific, all bar one built at Belfast.
317 - Two ordered by Hunting-Clan Air Transport, all built at Filton.
318 - Four ordered by Cubana, all built at Filton.
320 Series - as Series 310, with a few modifications, giving increased maximum range.
Length: 124 feet 3 inches
Height: 37 feet 6 inches
Wing Span: 142 feet 3 inches
Weight (empty): 86,400lbs
Weight (all-up): 185,000lbs
Range: 4,268 miles

324 - Two ordered by Canadian Pacific





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