Bristol 72 Racer

Discussion in 'Between the wars 1918-1939' started by johnbr, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

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    #1 johnbr, Aug 23, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
    Bristol 72 Racer.+.jpg Bristol 72 Racer=.jpg Bristol Racer G-EBDR was a single-engine monoplane with a monocoque fuselage and unusually for the time, a retractable landing gear. Bristol Racer Type 72 powered by a Bristol Jupitor engine.
    The aircraft was allocated and painted with the racing number 10 for the 1922 Aerial Derby.Did this fly. Bristol 72 Racer.jpg
     
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  2. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

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    The aeroplane really meant to win the Derby was the Bristol Type 72. Built with a bulky but light thin-walled monocoque fuselage the spindly undercarriage retracted neatly into the bulbous wing roots. he 490 hp Jupiter had a specially shaped spinner incorporating a duct to admit cooling air. An ill-timed strike caused such disruption to last minute work on this spinner that the 72 had to be withdrawn from the race. But there was still time to enter the Coupe Deutsch. Shipped hurriedly to France, its test flights were seriously disappointing. Something as salvaged from the journey. The engine was removed and sold. Brought back to Bristol, the Type 72’s end was ignominious. The advanced fuselage was cut in two and made fine children’s play sheds.H P Folland made his name as designer of the successful SE 5a. By 1917 he was Chief Designer of the British Nieuport company (which later emerged as the Gloster Aircraft Company). Asked to design a racer, he adopted a novel approach. A firm proponent of the biplane he used a thick high-lift section for the upper wing with a medium lift convex section for the lower. The aim was to make the drag of the lower wing ‘almost disappear in cruising flight’.
    He squeezed in a 530 hp Napier Lion with both water and fuel tanks in the hump below the upper wing. It was described as a cross between a bear and a camel and the name Bamel stuck. Finished just in time for the 1921 Aerial Derby (final repairs and adjustments delayed take-off to just 10 minutes before the deadline) the Bamel roared round the circuit and took both speed and handicap prizes.
    [​IMG]

    The following year at the 1922 Derby, cleaned up and fitted with even smaller wings, it won the speed prize. The team then quickly packed for France with high hopes of winning the prestigious Coupe Deutsch. Its pilot was the flamboyant but careless Welshman, Jimmy James. After an impressive take-off there was a bizarre incident on the first lap. James had prepared his map by sticking it to a piece of plywood and hanging it round his neck on a piece of string. Suddenly, this blew out of the cockpit and James found himself being garrotted by the sawing string. Somehow, he managed to find his penknife and cut the string but by then he was lost and his race was over. Ironically, all but one of the other competitors had been eliminated. The next day, James flew a very fast, but pointless lap and the team left for home in humiliation.
     
  3. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

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    -bristol-72.jpg Bristol 72 Racer++.jpg
     
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  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Fascinating post, thanks!
     
  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good shots!
     
  6. XBe02Drvr

    XBe02Drvr Active Member

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    Ancestor of the Gee Bee?
     
  7. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

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    Aero fashion of the time.
     
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