Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Bristol M.1 Scout


RobL
 Share

Recommended Posts

Built in 1916 as a private venture by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, the Bristol M.1 Scout was a monoplane designed armed with a single synchronised Vickers machine gun. The design was not to see operational use on the western front - the landing speed was deemed too high, and monoplane's weren't popular due to the belief a single wing wouldn't be able to cope with the stresses placed upon it during combat. Most were issued to UK training units, although some served in the Middle East.

bristol3.jpg

bristol2.jpg

bristol1.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe the BEF higher command was against monoplanes, and probably a single machine gun, but anyone in authorirty in a UK training unit who could get his hands on one as a 'personal' aeroplane did. You've only to look at logbook entries of those who flew the type to see the superlatives added in the 'Remarks' column. Consider the exotic paint schemes applied - would pilots have done that to a 'dog'? If Harry Butler, with all of his experience, chose to take a machine back to Oz, why a M1C and not a Pup or Camel, with which he was well familiar and which were equally cheap via the Disposal Board?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

McCudden flew one while with a Home Defence unit.

This one is a recent replica - I can't remember if it is a flier or not.

An M1C was the first aircraft to fly over the Andes.

Would "Scout" have been part of its name though? - this would have been confusing with the earlier Bristol Scout biplane.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Bristol M1C has to pose one of the great 'what if' questions of Great War aviation. All the accounts I've read of the type say that it was a great performer. Had it been used in numbers on the Western Front, perhaps it could have been developed in to a really potent weapon.

We'll never know. It was certainly a good looking machine.

Gareth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"An M1C was the first aircraft to fly over the Andes. "

I don't think so, Adrian. That record is normally given to a Caudron G-III in 1921 flown by Adrienne Bolland.

Can you document an earlier flight by the M1C? Doc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was a flier, at least up until recently. Don't think it's took to the air this year, although pretty certain it did last year (although this year the WW1 aircraft haven't got in the air much at all). As for 'Scout', pretty much every single seater (which we'd now refer to as a fighter) was a Scout, for example the Sopwith Pup and Camel (and possibly the Triplane) were officially Sopwith Scouts

There's a very nice personalised Bristol M.1C (replica as well) at Hendon. The Shuttleworth replica was built by Northern Aero Workshops, who also built Shuttleworth's Sopwith Triplane. They're currently building a Sopwith Camel for them too

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another great aircraft!

I understand that the prejudice against monoplanes was an RFC thing and it set back aircraft development by 20 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a picture of Hendon's

bristolscoutzi7.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"An M1C was the first aircraft to fly over the Andes. "

I don't think so, Adrian. That record is normally given to a Caudron G-III in 1921 flown by Adrienne Bolland.

Can you document an earlier flight by the M1C? Doc

Doc

"On 12 December 1918 Teniente Dn Dagoberto Godoy of the Chilean Military School of Aviation became the first man to fly across the Andes when he flew an M1C from Santiago de Chile to Mendoza in Argentina. This feat was repeated on 4 April 1919 by Teniente Cortinez, also in a Bristol M1C." The Bristol M.1 by J M Bruce

Cheers

Gareth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doc

"On 12 December 1919 Teniente Dn Dagoberto Godoy of the Chilean Military School of Aviation became the first man to fly across the Andes when he flew an M1C from Santiago de Chile to Mendoza in Argentina. This feat was repeated on 4 April 1919 by Teniente Cortinez, also in a Bristol M1C." The Bristol M.1 by J M Bruce

Cheers

Gareth

Gareth, I stand corrected. Thanks. Lots of references which give that honor to Adrienne Bolland need to be changed. I appreciate the reference. Doc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gareth, I stand corrected. Thanks. Lots of references which give that honor to Adrienne Bolland need to be changed. I appreciate the reference. Doc

Doc

However, just to confuse things, in Franks and Bailey's Over the Front, we read of Lt Hudson Donald, the 6 victory ace from Kansas City, Missouri, who served in the 27th Aero Sqn USAS: "In 1919 he became in instructor for the Bolivian Air Force in South America and was credited with being the first pilot to fly over the Andes Mountains."

My post on Teniente Dn Dagoberto Godoy has now been corrected to show the correct date, ie 1918, not 1919. He still remains the first over-Andean flier.

Cheers

Gareth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doc

"On 12 December 1919 Teniente Dn Dagoberto Godoy of the Chilean Military School of Aviation became the first man to fly across the Andes when he flew an M1C from Santiago de Chile to Mendoza in Argentina. This feat was repeated on 4 April 1919 by Teniente Cortinez, also in a Bristol M1C." The Bristol M.1 by J M Bruce

Cheers

Gareth

Gareth, I stand corrected. Thanks. Lots of references which give that honor to Adrienne Bolland need to be changed. I appreciate the reference. Doc

Thanks for the reference, Gareth - I would have been reduced to looking through back copies of Aeroplane Monthly!

Assuming Adrienne Bolland was a lady, could she have been the first female to make that flight? But if so, did she really use a Caudron G111? I'd be surprised if any of those were still flying, and if they were they wouldn't exactly have been the highest-performance aircraft around, apart from having extremely exposed cockpits.

Adrian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

post-51721-1259381277.jpgpost-51721-1259381277.jpgFor interest here are 2 photos of Harry Butlers Bristol M1c.

Serial Number C5001.

It was his personal plane at the no. 2 School of Aerial Fighting, Marske by the Sea

The first one is with H A KAuper in the UK - I beleive at the Aircraft Disposals Baord sight as they were buying it to send back to Australia.

The second is from the 90th Anniversary of Harry's flight back to his home town of Minlaton in South Australia.

The plane has been restored to original condition ( other than the smaller roundels and number 83 on the underside of the wings)

I cant find the records that give a date and price for the sale - but have read 2000 pounds was what he paid for it.

Any info on Butler or the M1c would be appreciated.

Les

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In defence of those who did not see the M.1 as an aircraft for the WF its high landing speed would have created difficulties on many of the landing fields in France and it seems to have lacked maneuverability, certainly reports of its service in the ME suggests that it was easily evaded by slower but more agile German aircraft.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another great aircraft!

I understand that the prejudice against monoplanes was an RFC thing and it set back aircraft development by 20 years.

Somewhat of a myth. There was a problem with some monoplanes (Bristol Coanda and Deperduissin) shortly before the war and a (short term) ban. (Bracing was not properly understood and a number of aircraft crashed because the wings collapsed downwards). However both before and during the war the RFC used plenty of monoplanes in some numbers (Bleriot XI, XII XXI & Parasol;Flanders F4; Morane Sauliner G, H, I, L, LA, N, P &V). Sopwith designed and built a high wing monoplane fighter but its performance simply was not good enough. A Bleriot XI monoplane shared (with a BE2a) the RFC's first flight over enemy lines in 1914

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reference, Gareth - I would have been reduced to looking through back copies of Aeroplane Monthly!

Assuming Adrienne Bolland was a lady, could she have been the first female to make that flight? But if so, did she really use a Caudron G111? I'd be surprised if any of those were still flying, and if they were they wouldn't exactly have been the highest-performance aircraft around, apart from having extremely exposed cockpits.

Yes she was the first woman to fly across the Andes. There is a lot on this in various places on the web - most of it is a load of dingos' kidneys emanating from an article in Wicrapopedia. It states that the flight was a publicity stunt by Caudron to promote the GIII ('even a woman can fly it across the Andes'). Given that the GIII dated from 1914 and had long since dropped out of production, being completely obsolete by 1921 this has to be a load of tosh. What does seem to be the case was that she did fly across the Andes and in a borrowed GIII, probably the only aircraft she could come by. I think Chile had used the GIII as a trainer. Still a remarkable achievement.

Of course the civilised way to cross the Andes in those days was on the Argentine Central Railways broad gauge service that ran from coast to coast terminating at Valparaiso. One of my great uncles, a South African War vet, was at one time the senior engineer on this service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

post-51721-1259488762.jpg

In defence of those who did not see the M.1 as an aircraft for the WF its high landing speed would have created difficulties on many of the landing fields in France and it seems to have lacked maneuverability, certainly reports of its service in the ME suggests that it was easily evaded by slower but more agile German aircraft.

Not being familiar with the landing fields of the Western Front, im not sure of thier size, but in my research of Harry Butler and his M1c i have many photo and documents showing some incredible manoueverability as it performed loop after loop, turns, spins, jetty jumping, etc.

The newspaper reports of the time and quotes by Butler and Horrie Miller who ended up with it after Butler both sing its praises in regards to its speed and manouverability.

Also Butler used it for many aerial displays in small country towns around South Australia and landed in many fields, oval, etc that did not seem to be very large.

I have several great photos of it taking off from Unley Oval ( a small suberban football ground) with 20 000 people around the outside.

He parked it against the fence at one end, had a person hold each wing and the tail and 2 more men holding onto ropes leading to chocks under the wheels. He then started the engine and reved it until he signalled to all 5 to let go as he jumped forward and took off before he had reached half way.

Seems to me they were not given much of a chance to prove themselves and the powers to be had made up thier minds about monoplanes.

Funny thing is i dont see too may Biplane passenger jets landing at Adelaide airport when i go down there regularly to catch a flight for work.

Maybe they got it wrong.

Attached photo is at Unley Oval - 23/8/19.

Cheers,

Les

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The assertion that a prejudice against monoplanes held up aircraft development doesn't hold water. There were at least 30 different types of monoplane in service on both sides in WW1. Even with major bracing (and its accompanying drag) the traditional monoplane was  in essence less structurally sound than the biplane. A good example was the Morane Saulnier AI monoplane fighter of 1917 that was withdrawn from front line French  service as being structurally unsound(they still sold 50 to the Americans). The partial answer came with the cantilever wing pioneered by Fokker and Junkers. This gave strength and eliminated the need for bracing. However cantilever wings of the late war period and the twenties were somewhat thick and heavy which obviated some of the advantages of streamlining. Monoplanes were less agile than biplanes , not in the type of maneuver that could be performed but in the tightness of turn (that allowed slower bipanes to evade them) and there was not much difference in speed (the fastest fighter of WW1 was the Martinsyde Buzzard a conventional biplane). Attempts in the early post war period to produce a monoplane fighter (and between 1919 and 1934 Britain alone produced 10) produced aircraft with mediocre performance, for example the Supermarine 224 that looked rather like a single seat Stuka. Where fast monoplanes were produced (eg in the Schnieder trophy and American air races ) these had wire braced wings and would have been unsuitable for military or general commercial use.

The breakthrough came in the civil field with the General Aircraft Monospar that introduced a new method of construction that allowed the manufacture of a monoplane wing that was strong and relatively thin. This approach was adopted for both the first generation of monoplane fighters such as the Hurricane, Spitfire, Me 109, Heinkel 112 etc etc and the first monoplane commercial aircraft (Lockheed, Boeing, Douglas etc)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know d*mn all about aircraft, but would like to ask a question, which I am sure exposes my ignorance.

Bearing in mind the bracing etc over the top of the cockpit, how did the pilot actually get into the thing?

Did he need to be double-jointed, or just rather more agile than most?

I am not extracting the mikey...just curious.

Bruce

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Further question the downward vision does not appear to be all that good. I have noticed clear panels on the wings near the fuselage but presume

these were for landing. Right or wrong?

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To the best of my knowledge there was originally one clear section on the starboard wing root. However looking at various photo it would seem that on many aircraft there were sections  where there was no fabric at all in both wing roots (which means as I've found that if you model the beast you have to put in some spar and rib detail). They seem to have varied in size and were probably in the field adaptations with fabric simply being cut away. The problem with most WW1 low or mid wing mono planes was that downward vision was lousy. The holes must have helped with landing but may also have been intended to allow the pilot to spot EA below him.

 A report from the commander of the RFC in the Middle East says of the M1 that it was "not very much good except to frighten the Hun: they always seem to loose the enemy when he starts maneuvering."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...