P3D – Bristol Type 188

P3D – Bristol Type 188, the ‘Flaming Pencil’ was a British highspeed research aircraft. Designed to meet operational requirement ER.134T for a testbed capable of speeds greater than Mach 2. Due to the anticipated effects of kinetic heating at high Mach numbers, the fuselage was constructed of stainless steel. Two aircraft were built, XF923 and XF926. First flight of XF923 was on 14th April 1962 and then XF926 with upgraded Gyron Junior engines on 29th April 1963. Ironically, the Maximum speed achieved was Mach 1.88 at 36,000 ft. Although the top speed of the Type 188 was disappointing, the airframe advanced understanding and knowledge of structures, oils, electrics, hydraulic fluid, bearings, tires, windows and cabin environment at high temperatures as well as telemetry which was used during the development of Concorde. Last flight was 11th January 1964. One Bristol Type 188 remains at the RAF Museum, Cosford. P3Dv4.4 native design with custom 3D gauges and cockpit. For P3D 4.4+.

By Tyler Gladman.

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