Wed Apr 12, 2000 11:34 am

Anyone know of any links where I can see pictures of the british-built Brabazon? Supposedly it came out after WWII and was meant to be a passenger/transport plane but very little has been said about it.

RE: Brabazon

Wed Apr 12, 2000 9:35 pm

Theres an article about it in Australian Aviation from January/February 1986. Published by Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd. PO Box 105 Weston Creek ACT 2611, Australia.
The article is about 4 pages and provides some nice b&w pictures along with a cutaway drawing and really quite interesting. Shame the plane never made it really, it would be a mighty thing to see fly.

Designed to fly non-stop from london-new york at a speed of 250 mph.

25 ft (5ft greater than a 747) diamater fuselage, divided into two decks, sleeping berths for 80 passengers, a dining room, promenade and a bar, or day seats for 150 ppl.
177ft long, wing span of 230ft (747 is 195ft), 8 2500bhp Briston Centaurus 18 cylinder air cooled radial engines, mounted in pairs to drive eight counter rotating propellers. Weight was 130 tons and fuel capacity 13650 gallons.

I'd type out the whole article, but i can't be bothered  , if i had a scanner i'd send it  , if you've got any particular questions, ask and i'll see what i can do.

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RE: Brabazon

Thu Apr 13, 2000 3:41 am

Although an impressive aircraft, the concept of the Brabazon was flawed from the start. Essentially, it was conceived as a giant landplane version of the pre-war flying boats, such as the Shorts C Class. Air travel had been changed by World War Two and it was America that was building the right types of airliners (DC-4, Constellation etc). Bristol had a snowball's chance in hell of selling the thing, even to the domestic airlines such as BOAC or BSAA. In the end, fatigue problems were encountered after only two year's test flying and the prototype (G-AGPW) was scrapped together with the uncompleted second prototype. Ironically, the large assembly hall built at Filton to manufacture the Brabazon is the same building where Concordes were built. The building still stands today.

The Brabazon had emerged from the Brabazon committee (a group set up by the British government under the chairmanship of Lord Brabazon of Tara) during the war to establish what types of civil aircraft should be built when the war was over. Other designs that came from the committee were the De Havilland Dove and Comet and most successfully, the Vickers Viscount.


RE: Brabazon

Thu Apr 13, 2000 1:01 pm

The Brabazon was meant to be a cruise ship of the skies, only the upper class would be able to afford to fly on it, BOAC advised that passengers would not tolerate flights over 18 hours and each passenger would require the equivalent of 4 of todays cars space each.

Fatigue problems were encountered because of the lack of knowledge of fatigue at the time, most planes built up to this stage had a life expectancy of 35 hours. This lack of knowledge in fatigue is also what caused all the crashes of the Comets.

Also one of the cheif designers of this project was to later lead the british design team of the corcorde.

In the end the fact that only 2.5 % of the load was revenue producing and the difficulty of incorporating the new turboprop engines in the Brabazon2 is what caused the end of the project, I can't believe they just destroyed the thing.
However the technical advances made on this project allowed a quantam leap forward in the design of aircraft.
Samurai 777
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RE: To Blahblah

Thu Apr 13, 2000 3:16 pm

Blahblah, I've heard of the British-built Brabazon, but I had no idea how HUGE it was! (about the size of a 767-300) But I've also heard that they had to actually demolish houses in order to build a longer runway for the plane. Apparently, it must've required a similar takeoff length at or close to sea level as the 747 does today!

Are there any websites you know of that I can see pics or information of this plane?
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RE: Brabazon

Thu Apr 13, 2000 8:39 pm

A lot of scale airliner modellers are eagerly awaiting the release of Welsh Models vacuform kit of the Brabazon in 1:144 scale. Some of the contributors of airliner modellers digest on egroups know a lot about this aircraft (including one or two who saw it fly and on the ground and can also tell you some good books about it). Just visit and search for airliner modellers digest (or amd) and post a question and someone will tell you everything you would like to know.

Best Regards

"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan
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RE: Brabazon

Fri Apr 14, 2000 3:31 am

The runway at Filton had to be extended to allow the Brabazon to take off. The Government compulsorily acquired the entire village of Charlton, which lay at one end of the runway, and demolished all the houses. I'd like to see them try that today.
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RE: Brabazon

Fri Apr 14, 2000 5:56 am

Ironically though, the Brab' didn't need the extra length to T.O. in !!!!
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RE: Brabazon

Sat Apr 15, 2000 3:51 am

There is a fantastic piece of newsreel footage of the Brabazon making its first flight. I've seen the film over which was superimposed BBC radio's live commentary by their air correspondent Charles Gardener. The Brabazon sounds really good with all eight engines roaring at full throttle. Nobody knew if the test pilot Bill Pegg was actually going to do a full take-off. The comentator assumed he was going to run down the runway and lift the nosewheel off first and then return to the threshold and only take off if he felt the handling was OK. Instead, he took off on the first run and caught everybody by surprise.

Bill Pegg was also chief test pilot on the Britannia.
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RE: Brabazon

Sat Apr 15, 2000 8:06 am

As you've maybe heard by now, the Brab was not a double decker and was not fatter than a 747 (max fuselage diameter 16 ft 9 in, says the Putnam on Bristol; assume that's external diameter, but don't know.) They studied a 25-ft double-deck fuselage but presumably never came close to building it.

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