Bristol Buckmaster

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Type 166 Buckmaster
Bristol Buckmaster T.1 at Boscombe Down c1945.jpg
Role Advanced trainer aircraft
Manufacturer Bristol Aeroplane Company
First flight 27 October 1944
Introduction 1945
Primary user Royal Air Force
Produced 1945-1946
Number built 112
Developed from Bristol Buckingham

The Bristol Buckmaster was an advanced British training aircraft operated by the Royal Air Force during the 1950s.

Design and development[edit]

By 1945, there was a serious gap in performance between the so-called advanced trainers in use – such as the Avro Anson, Airspeed Oxford, dual-control Bristol Blenheim and Lockheed Hudson – and the combat aircraft which the pilots would be expected to fly on graduation.

The Bristol response to Air Ministry Specification T.13/43[1] was to make further use of the Buckingham wing, with another new fuselage, in an aircraft developed as the Type 166. The trainee and instructor were seated side by side with a wireless operator seated behind.

The Buckmaster was a propeller-driven, twin-engine mid-wing aircraft. The retractable undercarriage was of conventional (tailwheel) configuration. The radial engines were equipped with four-blade propellers.

Operational history[edit]

A total of 65 Buckingham bombers were unfinished on the production line and ended up being rebuilt as the Buckmaster, to add the production series. All were intended to serve as a trainer for the similar Brigand.[1][2] It was considered the "highest performance trainer in the RAF" when introduced. Blind flying instruction and instrument training could be undertaken, the normal crew complement being pilot, instructor and air signaller. The last Training Command Buckmasters served with the No. 238 OCU at Colerne into the mid-fifties; the transfer of one or two to Filton for experimental work[1] marked its retirement in the mid-1950s.[3]


 United Kingdom


Data from Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II[4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: three (student pilot, instructor pilot, radio operator)
  • Length: 46 ft 5 in (14.2 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: 33,700 lb (15,280 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Bristol Centaurus VII 18-cylinder radial engines, 2,585 hp (1,880 kW) each


See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ a b c Mondey 1994, p. 70.
  2. ^ Winchester 2005, p. 94.
  3. ^ Winchester 2005, p. 95.
  4. ^ Bridgeman 1946, p. 113.
  • Bridgeman, Leonard. "The Bristol 166 Buckmaster." Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II. London: Studio, 1946. ISBN 1-85170-493-0.
  • Mondey, David. The Hamlyn Concise Guide to British AIrcraft of World War II. London: Aerospace Publishing Ltd., 1982 (reprint 1994). ISBN 1-85152-668-4.
  • Winchester, Jim. The World's Worst Aircraft: From Pioneering Failures to Multimillion Dollar Disasters. London: Amber Books Ltd., 2005. ISBN 1-904687-34-2.