Bristol Scout

From Wings of Linen
Bristol Scout
Role Reconnaissance/Fighter
Manufacturer Bristol
Designer Frank Barnwell
First flight Feb 1914 [1]
Introduction Sept 1914 [1] [note 1]
Primary user U.K. (RFC/RAF)
Number built 374, see chart[3][4]
Wingspan 7.49 m (24 ft 7 in)[5][4][2] [note 2]
Propeller Diam. 2.50 m (8 ft 2.5 in)[6]
Engine 80-100hp Gnome rotary or
80hp Le Rhône rotary or
80-110hp Clerget rotary
Armament varies
Ammo 250 rounds (Vickers-armed) or
3-4 drums of 47 rounds (Lewis-armed)[7]
Max Speed see chart
Climb see chart
Ceiling see chart
Endurance see chart

The Bristol Scout was a pre-war racing design with simple and handsome lines. For clarity, the prototype was given the name Bristol Scout A. The first two production machines, named the Bristol Scout B, were sent to France as quickly as they cleared testing, they differed in only minor ways from the original.

The next order of twelve scouts for the RFC and twenty-four for the RNAS became the Bristol Scout C, and after the first batch was delivered in March 1915, a second order for seventy-five was placed. They differed little from the Type B -- the main visible change being the removal of stiffening ribs from the engine cowl. As was common at the time, the were scattered among many squadrons in small numbers and mixed with other scouts and two-seaters. Planes with Gnome engines were reserved for the RNAS because the engine they were more likely to be flying over water and the Gnome was thought to be more reliable than the Le Rhône.[8] Partly through Production of the Type C a widened tail was fitted and the dihedral was increased to 3°.[9]

Eighty Bristol Scout Ds were ordered by the RFC in late 1915 for the RFC. The Type D had shorter ailerons and increased dihedral and the Le Rhône engine. Late production RNAS Type Ds used the 100hp Gnome Monosoupape engine, but vibration problems forced the final twenty RNAS Type Ds to revert to the 80hp Gnome.

While most Scouts were delivered unarmed, various jury-rigged guns were mounted, and Scouts built for the RFC in 1916 used a synchronized Vickers machine-gun with the Challenger or Scarff-Dibowski interrupter.

Eighty RFC Scouts were sent to France in total, and they served through summer 1916, after which they were repurposed as trainers. Thirty-two went to the Middle East, nine to Home Defense, and 115 went straight to flight schools. [1][3] The early piecemeal distributions of Scouts can be illustrated by unit strength in September 1915 when seven Squadrons had one Scout each and No.8 had two.[10]

In the RNAS, the Bristol Scout pioneered flight from a carrier deck from the H.M.S. Vindex (which was used against Zeppelin L.17), in the Dardanelles, and in the Aegean.[11]

VersionEngine# BuiltIntroSpeedClimbCeilingEndurance
A 80hp Gnome 1 RFC crashed 153 km/h (95 mph)[12][4] 300 m (1,000 ft) in 1:15[12][4] 3:00[13]
B 80hp Gnome 2 RFC Sept 1914
C 80hp Le Rhône 137 RFC May 1915 150 km/h (93 mph)[12][14] 1,500 m (5,000 ft) in 7:00[14]
2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 10:50[12]
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 21:20[12][14]
4,700 m (15,500 ft) [13][14] 2:30[13]
C 80hp Gnome 74 RNAS
D 80hp Le Rhône 80 RFC late 1915[12] to
Feb 1916[6]
150 km/h (93 mph)[4]-160 km/h (100 mph)[12][14][5][2] 1,500 m (5,000 ft) in 7:00[4]
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 18:30[12][2]-21:20[4]
4,600 m (15,000 ft) in 50:00[4]
4,900 m (16,000 ft)[5] 2:00 [5]-2:30[4][2]
D 100hp Gnome

For more information, see Wikipedia:Bristol Scout.

Timeline [note 3]

Game Data

Wings of Glory

Official Stats
Availability Maneuver Damage Dmg Points Max Alt. Climb
15Q2-16Q3 R B 11 11 5
Card Links

Blue Max/Canvas Eagles

Aircraft Chart

Miniatures and Models

1:144 Scale

1:285/6mm/1:288 Scale


Orthographic Drawings


  1. The Scout D saw service entry in 1916.[2]
  2. 6.71 m (22 ft) wingspan on the Scout A.[6]
  3. British usage numbers are approximate, derived from the squadron histories.[15]
  4. 4.0 4.1 Updated card
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bruce'69, p.114.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Argus Vol. 1, p.10.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bruce'69, p.123.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Bruce'67, p.16.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Angelucci, p.41.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Bruce'67, p.14.
  7. Kelly, p.229.
  8. Bruce'69, p.117.
  9. Bruce'67, p.7.
  10. Bruce'67, p.5.
  11. Bruce'67, pp.12-14.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 Bruce'69, p.122.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Bruce'69, p.113.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Lamberton, pp.212-213.
  15. Philpott'13, pp.379-444.
  • Enzo Angelucci, ed. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980. New York: The Military Press, 1983 edition. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
  • Argus Books, Airplane Archive: Aircraft of World War One, Volume 1. Great Britain: Argus Books, 1989. ISBN 0-85242-983-5
  • J.M. Bruce. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. Great Britain: Funk & Wagnalls, 1957, 1969. ISBN 0370000382
  • J.M. Bruce, Profile Publications 139: The Bristol Scouts C & D. Great Britain: Profile Publications, Ltd., 1967.
  • Kevin Kelly, "Belts and Drums: A Survey of First World War Aircraft Ammunition Totals". Over the Front, Vol. 5, No. 3, Autumn 1990. Walsworth Publishing Co, Inc. and The League of World War I Aviation Historians.
  • W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Limited, 1960.
  • Ian Philpott, The Birth of the Royal Air Force. Great Britain: Pen & Sword Books Limited, 2013. ISBN 978-1-78159-333-2