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Bristol Type 159 (Beaubomber)


Four-Engine Heavy Bomber Aircraft Proposal


United Kingdom | 1939



"The Bristol Type 159 Beaubomber heavy bomber project was to reflect a new generation of attack aircraft for Britain heading into World War 2 - none were built."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/20/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Prior to the British entry into World War 2 (1939-1945), the Royal Air Force (RAF) was already on the lookout for a successor to its heavy bomber lineup (made up primarily of the Avro Manchester, Short Stirling and Handley Page Halifax - all detailed elsewhere on this site). The design would be powered by no less than four engines, carry an internal bombload of at least 9,000lb and sport 20mm automatic cannon as defensive armament. One of the submissions put forth arrived from the Bristol Aeroplane Company and involved its "Type 159". However, the project was suspended in early-mid-1940 as Britain became evermore committed to its defensive was against the Axis powers. As such only a partially-completed mockup was had of the Type 159 design.

The Type 159's short-lived development was covered by Specification B.1/39. During its run, the Type 159 was referred to as the "Beaubomber" falling in line with other Bristol products like the "Beaufighter" and "Beaufort". The Type 159 competed against the Handley Page HP.60 proposal which was an offshoot of the company's own Halifax bomber design.

The Type 159 proposal featured a teardrop-shaped fuselage with a glazed-over nose section and stepped cockpit flight deck. A dorsal turret (4 x guns) was fitted over the spine and a rear-facing gun emplacement was carried below in a gondola-type assembly. The wing mainplanes were low-mounted under the fuselage with noticeable dihedral and the engines protruded from the wing leading edges in traditional fashion. The tail unit incorporated a twin-finned arrangement common to many British bombers of the period. A tricycle undercarriage was proposed instead of the more common "tail-dragger" arrangement which was to give this bomber a most modern appearance when on the ground.

Power to the large aircraft was to come from 4 x Bristol "Hercules VII" air-cooled radial piston engines of 1,500 horsepower each and these would be used to drive three-bladed propellers in typical "puller" fashion. Engineers also included future support for the Rolls-Royce "Griffon" inline engine series. The crew would number seven and include pilots, a navigator, bombardier and dedicated gunners. The crew spaces would also be armored for survivability against FlaK and fighter attacks. Empty weight of the completed specimen was estimated at 37,350lb with an MTOW of 71,000lb. Performance specifications, also estimated, included a maximum speed of 302 miles per hour, a range out to 2,500 miles and a service ceiling up to 25,300 feet. It is assumed the dorsal and ventral gun positions would mount 20mm automatic cannon for point defense against enemy fighters.

Bristol managed to complete wind tunnel models and subsequent stability testing in the run-up to prototype construction. The Air Ministry contracted for two flyable prototypes but these never materialized - a full-scale mockup was completed of the Type 159 but British needs of the time moved on to fighter production for the defense of the country particularly after the Fall of France in June of 1940 so there proved little need for an all-new heavy bombing platform.

With work officially suspended after May-June of 1940, little more was had on the Type 159 project before the design completely fell away to history.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Bristol Type 159 Four-Engine Heavy Bomber Aircraft Proposal.
4 x Bristol Hercules VII air-cooled radial piston engines OR 4 x Rolls-Royce "Griffon" liquid-cooled inline piston engines driving three-bladed propeller units.
Propulsion
304 mph
490 kph | 265 kts
Max Speed
23,704 ft
7,225 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
2,501 miles
4,025 km | 2,173 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Bristol Type 159 Four-Engine Heavy Bomber Aircraft Proposal.
7
(MANNED)
Crew
82.0 ft
25.00 m
O/A Length
114.8 ft
(35.00 m)
O/A Width
20.2 ft
(6.15 m)
O/A Height
37,479 lb
(17,000 kg)
Empty Weight
77,162 lb
(35,000 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Bristol Type 159 (Beaubomber) Four-Engine Heavy Bomber Aircraft Proposal .
PROPOSED:
4 x 20mm cannons in dorsal turret.
4 x 20mm cannons in rear-facing ventral position.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 15,000lb of conventional drop stores held internally.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Bristol Type 159 (Beaubomber) family line.
Type 159 - Base Series Designation
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Bristol Type 159 (Beaubomber). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Bristol Aeroplane Company - UK
National flag of the United Kingdom

[ United Kingdom (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (304mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
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Image of the Bristol Type 159 (Beaubomber)
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Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
X-PLANE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Bristol Type 159 (Beaubomber) Four-Engine Heavy Bomber Aircraft Proposal appears in the following collections:
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