Dieselpunks.org | May 19, 2012
This will be a short one. Meet a Bristol monoplane built in 1922 but looking a good ten years “younger”.
Wilfrid Thomas Reid designed this ship in 1921, trying to come up with a “Super Racer” to enter into the Aerial Derby of 1922. The aircraft, designated Type 72, proved to be spirally unstable because of oversensitivity of any aileron input. They were way too big and caused oscillating vibration with minimal input. The Bristol 72 was then modified with smaller ailerons to race against the French in the 1922 Deutsch de la Meurthe Cup.
Ed Coates wrote on his website:
The two Bristol Aeroplane Company images on this page illustrate the very advanced (and very ugly) experimental racer developed in 1922 to exploit the new Bristol Jupiter IV nine cylinder air cooled radial engine. Note odd open ended spinner and ducted cooling, clearly visible on the shot below. The craft featured a manually retractable undercarriage. It turns out that the wings were too flexible and hence use of the ailerons produced a reverse effect when applied. The test pilot, Captain Cyril Uwins was able to effect turns using the rudder only. Flaps were virtually unknown at this time and hence the high landing speed, coupled with other control problems persuaded Bristols to abandon the project.