Bristol Blenheim

Bristol’s Blenheim originated as a light transport design by Frank Barnwell, and was brought to reality by a requirement by the Daily Mail for what, in later years, would be termed an executive aircraft. The resulting Mercury-powered Bristol Type 142 of 1935 lived up to the newspaper’s speed requirements, being significantly faster than front line RAF fighters of the day. The Type 143 was similar, save for the Bristol Aquila engines used on the second aircraft.

Air Ministry interest in the Type 142 had been high from the start, and within a few months of the first flight an order was placed for 150 Type 142M bomber derivatives under Specification B.28/35, these receiving the name Blenheim.

The last production version of the type, the Type 160 entered service as the Blenheim MkV with No.18 Squadron. This mark entered service with a glass nose, but had actually originated as the solid-nosed Bisley prototype.


Blenheim Bibliography:

“Britain’s Death Angel” Includes a photo of Blenheim K7037. Popular Aviation October 1937 p.29
Photos: Finnish Blenheim I and VI. Air International June 1984 p.309
“Golden Anniversary” A photo feature marking the Blenheim’s 50th year. Aeroplane Monthly April 1986 p.190-194. Some interesting images, including the Bristol Type 142 and 143 together, an air to air portrait of prototype K7033, and a production line shot.
Photos(3): A Blenheim I seen after landing in a field. Aeroplane Monthly January 1989 p.38
“World’s only genuine Blenheim completed” (Blenheim IV in Finland) Aeroplane September 2008 p.6
Color profile: Blenheim Mk.I L8609 Encyclopedia of 20th Century Air Warfare p.201
Adrian Troughton “Bristol Blenheim MkI/IF” Review of the Classic Airframes 1/48 kit Scale Aviation Modeller April 2008

Bill Gunston Illustrated Encyclopedia of Combat Aircraft of World War II color profile of a Blenheim I/No 139 Squadron, Mk.IV 3-view p.90-91