- Aircraft Make / Model
- Work Undertaken
David Bremner, Bristol Scout
The propeller for our Bristol Scout may be a perfect reproduction of the original, but it is unquestionably a work of art in its own right. Hercules propellers took endless pains to get it exactly right – even to the extent of finding (goodness knows where) the letter stamps that would reproduce the correct typeface for the markings on the propeller boss. We can’t wait to see how it performs in the air!
Francis Donald Holden Bremner flew the Bristol Scout during the First World War. His grandsons David and Rick Bremner, along with their friend Theo Wilford have been rebuilding his aeroplane from a few small parts kept as souvenirs – the control stick, rudder bar and one magneto.
The trio started building the replica Scout in 1983 – it is due to be flying in 2016 to commemorate the battle of the Somme.
The Bristol Scout was a single-engine, single-seat fighter intended to supply ground commanders with an advantageous ‘eye in the sky’. The initial prototype, Scout A, was unveiled in 1913 with a top speed of 100 miles per hour, a service ceiling of 14,000 feet and an endurance of 2.5 hours. Its design was regarded as very streamlined and consisted of a well-contoured fuselage with the single rotary piston engine set to the front and a conventional tail to the rear.
The engine powered a two-bladed wooden propeller, of which a faithful reproduction has been produced here at Hercules from American Black Walnut.
The open air cockpit was held just under and aft of the upper wing assembly with generally adequate views. The Scout B was established as an early militarised form and led to the development of the Scout C – which was the one flown by the Bremner’s grandfather.
Type C aircraft was first ordered by the British government on November 5, 1914, in a 12 aircraft production batch for the Royal Flying Corps. It was later commissioned by the competing Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) in a 24-aircraft batch and its first combat was in February 1915. It was armed with a standardised mounting and a 7.7mm Lewis machine gun along the left side of the fuselage away from the spinning propeller arc. Some were also finished with their guns fielded across the upper wing assembly.
Targets ranged from enemy aircraft (patrol, escort, interception), bombers, observation balloons, ground-based ‘targets of opportunity’ and even Zeppelins, which regularly patrolled airspaces.