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Bristol Jupiter

United Kingdom (1924)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Bristol Jupiter Biplane Fighter Prototype / Advanced Trainer Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 11/18/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Bristol Jupiter  
Picture of Bristol Jupiter Biplane Fighter Prototype / Advanced Trainer Aircraft

A mating of the Bristol F.2B biplane fighter with the Bristol Jupiter engine resulted in the short-lived Bristol Jupiter advanced trainer platform.

The Bristol F.2 biplane fighter of World War 1 (1914-1918) was combined with a Bristol "Jupiter" series engine to produce the Bristol Jupiter design of 1924. The original form appeared back in 1916 and was produced across 5,329 total examples and served with the Royal Flying Corps and Polish Air Force among others. The move to the Jupiter powerplant was an attempt by Bristol Aeroplane to produce a speedier biplane fighter without requiring a completely new design - however it proved rather underwhelming in the intended role and only 26 of the type were produced in all. The aircraft was therefore relegated to the advanced trainer role in British service and served for a time with the Swedish Air Force as well - making Sweden the only foreign operator.

The design was set around the Jupiter IV series engine of 425 horsepower output. The prototype was born from the existing F.2 post-war aircraft stock to which three examples were pulled aside for modification. The first form became Type 76 which recorded its first flight during June of 1923 and this was followed by Type 76A which installed a bi-fuel Jupiter engine. The first prototype crashed in November following an engine failure at high altitude. Type 76B marked the third prototype which was purchased, evaluated and flown by the Swedish Air Force. This variant recorded its first-flight in 1924 and managed a career into 1935.

When the Type 76 failed to showcase itself as a viable fighter mount (it lacked the range and performance required), thought was given to progressing the nearly finalized design as a dual-control, twin-seat advanced biplane trainer. This led to development of the Type 89 from the earlier Type 76A offering and nine production models followed before the switch was made to the Type 89A mark - a modified version with revised fuselage construction. Fifteen of this model were produced.

As trainers for the British, the Type 89 flew into 1933 before being given up.

Structurally, the aircraft exhibited a length of 25 feet with a wingspan of 39.2 feet and height of 9 feet. Empty weight was 2,325lb against a MTOW of 3,250lb.

Performance-wise, the biplane (Type 89) could make speeds of 110 miles per hour, cruise around 95 miles per hour and reach out to ranges of 340 miles. Its listed service ceiling was 22,150 feet. The Bristol Jupiter IV engine was a 9-cylinder, single row radial unit outputting 320 horsepower.
Any available statistics for the Bristol Jupiter Biplane Fighter Prototype / Advanced Trainer Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).
Bristol Type 89 (Jupiter) Specifications
National Flag Graphic
United Kingdom
Year: 1924
Type: Biplane Fighter Prototype / Advanced Trainer Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Bristol Aeroplane Company - United Kingdom
Production: 26
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 2
Length: 25.00 ft (7.62 m)
Width: 39.27 ft (11.97 m)
Height: 9.02 ft (2.75 m)
Empty Weight: 2,337 lb (1,060 kg)
MTOW: 3,263 lb (1,480 kg)

Installed Power
1 x Bristol Jupiter IV 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine of 320 horsepower.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 110 mph (177 kph; 96 kts)
Maximum Range: 360 mi (580 km; 313 nm)
Service Ceiling: 22,146 ft (6,750 m; 4.19 mi)


Operators List
Sweden; United Kingdom

Series Model Variants
• "Jupiter" - Base Series Name
• Type 76 - Original prototype; single example completed.
• Type 76A - Prototype with bi-fuel Jupiter engine installation; becoming Type 89 design.
• Type 76B ("Swedish Fighter") - Evaluation fighter for Swedish Air Force usage; single example.
• Type 89 - Twin-seat, dual-control trainer variant; nine examples built based on Type 76A.
• Type 89A - Revised fuselage construction; fifteen examples completed.