|The Bristol 170|
|Tuesday, 24 April 2012 00:00|
(by Derek A. King; ISBN 978-0-85130-405-2; Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd, 41 Penshurst Road, Leigh, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 8HL; 12in x 8½in
We have waited a long time for a definitive history of the Bristol Freighter, but the result is worth the wait and covers the basic Freighter, Wayfarer and Super Freighter.
It may not generally be realised that the Bristol Type 170 was designed as a larger derivative of the Bombay, and an early design sketch of 1944 shows it with Bristol Perseus engines and sideways-hinged nose doors, plus a built-in hoist. As the design progressed its potential as a military freighter was seen, and an improved version resulted in the Ministry of Supply funding two prototypes while Bristol built two more as demonstrators and laid down a batch of 25. The demonstrators were a Freighter with nose-opening doors and the Wayfarer with a “fixed” nose and accommodation for up to 40 passengers, but, after an initial small batch of Wayfarers had been built, production settled on several versions of the Freighter.
Sales tours were undertaken virtually world-wide, and orders poured in, total production reaching 214 aircraft and culminating in the Mk 32 Super Freighter, forever remembered for its cross-Channel car ferry services. Many Freighters went to military customers, notably the Pakistan and Argentine Air Forces, which received 71 and 15 respectively. Full details of all military and civil operators are given, with a separate production list for every variant.
Projects included a Vtol version with ten lift engines and another with four vectored-thrust engines. One Royal New Zealand Air Force Freighter undertook tests as a crop-duster.
In his foreword, John Pothecary says: “I loved it on calm, sunny days, or hated it in the Channel storms when we had to wear raincoats on the flight deck to keep dry.”
The 170 will be remembered with affection by all who knew it, and this book, with a mass of illustrations and drawings (including colour) and many reproductions of adverts and timetables, will be a delightful reminder of those days. Everything you will could to know about the Bristol 170 is here, well reproduced, so go and buy it.