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Bristol Buckingham

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The Bristol Type 163 Buckingham was a British Second World War medium bomber for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Overtaken by events, it was built in small numbers, and was used primarily for transport and liaison duties.

Design and development

In 1940, Bristol was working on a project called the Bristol Type 161 Beaumont, essentially a bomber variant of their Beaufighter. The Beaufighter itself had started as a bomber design, the Beaufort. The Beaumont never proceeded beyond the design stage.

In 1941, the new Air Ministry Specification B.2/41 called for a replacement for the Bristol Blenheim that could carry 4,000 lb (1,150 kg) of bombs on daylight raids over Germany. At the time, the RAF no longer had any medium bomber capable of carrying out daytime missions, and for this role any new design would have to have excellent performance as well as defensive armament. Bristol responded with the Buckingham B. Mk 1, powered by the new very powerful Bristol Centaurus radial engine and mounting gun installations in the nose, dorsal and ventral turrets. Generally conventional in appearance, one unusual feature was that the bomb-aimer was housed in a mid-fuselage ventral gondola. [1] The first flight took place on 4 February 1943.

During testing, the Buckingham exhibited poor stability which necessitated the enlargement of the twin tails along with other modifications. [1]

Operational history

By the time the design entered production, the requirements had already changed, and this sort of duty generally fell to night missions with the de Havilland Mosquito instead. However, the first batch of 119 had already been built, so after the first 54 bombers, the remainder were converted for high-speed courier duties with RAF Transport Command. The gun installations were removed and four seats and windows fitted in the fuselage. The aircraft were then designated Buckingham C. Mk I. Despite its 300 mph (480 km/h) speed and superior range to the Mosquito transports, with only room for four passengers, the Buckingham was rarely put to use. [1] A total of 65 Buckingham bombers were unfinished on the production line and ended up re-built as the Buckmaster transport, a close derivative. [2] The Buckmaster was also further modified for use as a trainer for the similar Brigand. Considered the "highest performance trainer in the RAF," the Buckmaster continued to serve as a trainer until its eventual retirement in the mid-1950s. [1]



Specifications (Buckingham C. Mk I)

Data from [citation needed]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 4 passengers
  • Length: 46 ft 10 in (14.3 m)
  • Wingspan: 71 ft 10 in (21.9 m)
  • Height: 17 ft 6 in (5.3 m)
  • Wing area: 708 ft² (65.8 m²)
  • Empty weight: 24,042 lb (10,900 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 34,000 lb (15,000 kg)
  • Powerplant:Bristol Centaurus VII air-cooled radial engines, 2,520 hp (1,880 kW) each


See also

Related lists



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Winchester 2005, p. 95.
  2. Winchester 2005, p. 94.


  • Winchester, Jim. The World's Worst Aircraft: From Pioneering Failures to Multimillion Dollar Disasters. London: Amber Books Ltd., 2005. ISBN 1-904687-34-2.

External links

Template:Bristol aircraft

cs:Bristol Buckingham ja:ブリストル バッキンガム sv:Bristol Buckingham

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bristol Buckingham".