Montage of aviation images. Follow this link to skip navigation.
Link to the aviation archive

Aviation Archive: Aviation Heritage

Link to home page
Link to canals section
Link to railways section
Link to aviation section
Link to learning zone
Link to about this site
Link to send feedback
Navigation ends

Type 142

Type 142

Back to the story

G1004. Type 142 was arguably the most important single aircraft built at Bristol, the first "modern aeroplane" in Britain. It was developed from Barnwell's 1933 project for a high-speed six-passenger aircraft (Type 135) but adapted to the specifications of Lord Rothermere, the jingoistic proprietor of the Daily Mail who wanted the fastest machine in Europe. The 142 was the first British aircraft to incorporate all the synergistic advances which had been pioneered in America: a stressed-skin of Alclad aluminium alloy, retractable landing gear, flaps for high lift, well-cowled engines and variable-pitch propellers. It flew in flew in April 1935 and with a top speed of over 300mph, it was more than 50mph faster than the latest RAF fighters. Rothermere named it Britain First and rather than using it himself he "presented it to the nation". The RAF, somewhat embarrassed, asked Bristol about a bomber variant. Barnwell adapted his design as the 142M which became the Blenheim, powered by a yet more powerful version of the Bristol Mercury engine used in Britain First. A more economical civil machine - Type 143 - powered by Fedden's new Bristol Aquila sleeve-valve engines was also built but with the Company's efforts concentrated on mass-producing the Blenheim this, like Britain First, remained a one-off prototype.
PublisherBristol Aeroplane Company Ltd
Creatorcorporatename - Bristol Aeroplane Company Ltd
Datecreation - Circa 1935
beginning - 1970
TypePhotographic prints - Black and White
Photographs - Black and White
Formatdimension.H - 180 mm
dimension.W - 235 mm
SourceRolls Royce plc
CoverageLocation.Current Repository - Rolls Royce Plc
Location.Creation Site - Filton
RightsRights as agreed and detailed in signed agreement. Bristol Aeroplane Company/Rolls-Royce