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Bristol Bulldog

United Kingdom (1929)
Picture of Bristol Bulldog Biplane Fighter Aircraft

The Bristol Bulldog eventually made up about seventy percent of Britain's entire air defense force.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Bristol Bulldog Biplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 8/30/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

In 1926, the British Air Ministry put forth a specification for a radial-piston engine fighter design that could operate in daytime and nighttime with armed with twin Vickers-type machine guns and capable of engaging the top enemy bombers of the day. Bristol responded with the Bulldog I (Mk.I or Mark I) which was used as a developmental model to ultimately become the Bulldog II. The type would become one of Britain's most recognized aircraft creations in the years between both world wars serving with the host nation for some seven years as a frontline fighter. Some 443 examples were produced. The aircraft would serve in the Royal Air Force, Spanish Air Force, Finnish Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force among others.

In configuration, the Bulldog II sported an all-metal fuselage with a fabric skin covering. The wings were arranged in a typical biplane fashion, equal spanning units with single bays and a single pair of parallel support struts. Power was supplied through the Bristol Jupiter VII series radial piston engine of 440 horsepower. Armament consisted of 2 x 7.7mm Vickers machine guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller via an interrupter gear. The undercarriage was fixed with a tail skid and both were designed with grass strip runways in mind. The pilot sat behind and underneath the upper wing assembly in an open air cockpit. The pilot was provided an oxygen supply for operations in high altitudes and even a short-wave two-way radio for communications. In many ways, these two additions were a glimpse into the future of military aviation and were noted collectively as quite the innovation. Optional armament included were 4 x 20lb bombs held under the wings.
The Bulldog II entered service in June of 1929 and effectively replaced the aging Gloster Gamecock and Armstrong Whitworth Siskin fighters then in frontline use. Bulldog II's would never see combat under the British banner but foreign users of the type fared well, particularly Finnish pilots using Bulldogs against their Soviet invaders in World War 2. Other foreign operators included Estonia, Siam (Thailand) and Denmark.

The Bristol Bulldog was inevitably replaced in RAF service by the Gloster Gauntlet. Designed of the Bulldog was headed up by Frank Barnwell, chief designer at Bristol. Other variants existed but were produced in limited numbers, the most notable among them were the two seat Bulldog TM trainer. Nakajima of Japan produced two examples of the Bulldog as the J.S.S.F.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (174mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Bristol Bulldog II's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
443
443


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: United Kingdom
Service Year: 1929
Classification Type: Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Bristol Aeroplane Company - UK
Production Units: 443
Global Operators:
Australia; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; Japan; Latvia; Siam (Thailand); Spain; Sweden; United Kingdom.
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Bristol Bulldog II model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
25.00 ft


Meters
7.62 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
33.92 ft


Meters
10.34 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.84 ft


Meters
3 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
2,200 lb


Kilograms
998 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
3,490 lb


Kilograms
1,583 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Bristol Jupiter VII Radial Piston Engine developing 440 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
174 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
280 kph


Knots
151 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
275 mi


Kilometers
443 km


Nautical Miles
239 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
27,001 ft


Meters
8,230 m


Miles
5.11 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,379 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
420 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (4):

STANDARD, FIXED:
2 x 7.7mm synchronized Vickers machine guns

OPTIONAL:
4 x 20lb bombs
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Bulldog I (MK.I) - Developmental Prototype Designation; 2 examples produced.
• Bulldog II (Mk.II) - Main Production Model Designation; fitted with Bristol Jupiter VII engine of 440 horsepower; 92 examples produced.
• Bulldog IIA (Mk.IIA) - Fitted with Bristol Jupiter VIIF engine of 490 horsepower; 268 examples produced.
• Bulldog IIIA - (Mk.IIIA) Two examples produced.
• Bulldog IVA - (Mk.IVA) Fitted with Bristol Mercury engine of 640 horsepower; 18 examples produced.
• Bulldog TM (Type 124) - Two-Seat Trainer Model; 59 examples produced.
• J.S.S.F - Nakajima license-production models; only 2 examples.