Bristol Type 159

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Type 159
Role Heavy bomber
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Bristol Aeroplane Company
Status Cancelled project
Primary user Royal Air Force
Number built None

The Bristol Type 159 was a British design for a four-engined heavy bomber by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, of Filton, Bristol. A mock-up was built but the project was cancelled and none were built.[1]

Design and development[edit]

In March 1939 the British Air Ministry issued specification B.1/39 for a heavy bomber to replace the Avro Manchester, Short Stirling and Handley Page Halifax.[1] Bristol had submitted the Type 159, sometimes known as the Beaubomber which was a low-wing monoplane with a twin tail and using mainly components used by the Bristol Beaufort.[1] It had a nose-wheel landing gear with the entire 15,000lb bomb-load stored inside the inner wing.[1] Four Hercules engines were the proposed engines with the ability to interchange with Rolls-Royce Griffons.[1] The crew apart from the bomb aimer would be in an armoured monocoque structure with both a dorsal and ventral gun turret.[1] The Type 159 and the Handley Page HP.60 design, a variant of the Halifax, were selected and the intention was to order two prototypes of each for evaluation.[1] The Type 159 passed wind-tunnel for stability and low drag and with design well advanced a full-scale mock-up was ready by early 1940.[1]

It was intended to build a half-scale aircraft for flight testing but with the Ministry of Aircraft Production (MAP) concentrating on the production of fighters further work on the Type 159 was stopped and the mock-up dismantled in May 1940.[1]

Specifications (Proposed)[edit]

Data from [1]Bristol Aircraft since 1910

General characteristics

  • Crew: 7
  • Length: 80 ft 3 in (24.46 m)
  • Wingspan: 114 ft 0 in (34.75 m)
  • Height: 20 ft 3 in (6.17 m)
  • Wing area: 1,800 sq ft (170 m2)
  • Empty weight: 37,350 lb (16,942 kg)
  • Gross weight: 71,000 lb (32,205 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Bristol Hercules VII radial piston engine, 1,500 hp (1,100 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 302 mph (486 km/h; 262 kn)
  • Range: 2,500 mi (2,172 nmi; 4,023 km) at 280 mph
  • Service ceiling: 25,300 ft (7,711 m)



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Barnes 1988, pp. 308-311


  • Barnes, ed. (1988). Bristol Aircraft since 1910. London: Putnam. ISBN 0 85177 823 2.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)