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Bristol Bulldog

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Entering service in 1929 the Bulldog would spend eight years with the Royal Air Force during which it would make an attempt on the climb-to-height records. Successfully exported aboard the Bristol Bulldog would be used by a number of air forces around the world.

Quick Facts
Bristol Bulldog side profile image
First flight
17th May 1927
Entered service
May 1929
Total built

Front view
Bulldog front view photo
Side view
Bulldog side view photo
Rear view
Sorry, no view photo available

As 1926 drew to a close Specification F.9/26 was issued by the Air Ministry for a single seater fighter whose armament was to consist of twin Vickers machine-guns and its power supplied by a radial air-cooled engine and with a performance comparable to the two-seater Fairy Fox bomber. Out of all the submissions received the Bristol Bulldog and Hawker Hawfinch would be chosen for detailed analysis with the Bulldog, just about, coming out on top.

The following year the prototype Bulldog Mk I made its maiden flight on the 17th May 1927, however this would be replaced by a Mk II prototype which had its fuselage lengthened, but not before a modified Bulldog Mk I had made an attempt on the altitude and climb-to-height records with large span wings. Out of the prototypes the Mk II was chosen as the production version and would be powered by the Bristol Jupiter VII engine.

Entering service with the Royal Air Force during May 1929 with No. 3 Squadron who were based at RAF Upavon, these would be the first of 312 Bristol Bulldogs which would see service with the RAF before they were phased out during 1937.

In total 443 Bristol Bulldogs were built. This included two built by Nakajima in Japan under licence which were known as the Japanese Single Seat Fighter (JSSF). The Bulldog was also used by a number of other countries including Australia and Sweden.


Click on the aeroplane image to view a larger version.

Top Speed Range Service Ceiling Armament
Bulldog Mk I Two prototypes built under this designation.
Bulldog Mk II 174 mph 300 miles 27,000 ft two Vickers machine-guns
four 20lb bombs
Bulldog Mk II side profile image
Bulldog Mk III Only two examples built and second one became a Mk IV prototype.
Bulldog Mk IV 224 mph 300 miles 33,400 ft two 0.303-in machine-guns
four 20lb bombs
Bulldog Mk TM Training aircraft.
Bulldog JSSF Two examples built in Japan under Licence.


Click on a photo to view a larger version.
Bulldog Mk IIA

On Display

(C) = Cockpit only exhibit. (F) = Fuselage only exhibit. (R) = Remains of an aircraft.

Variant Location
Bulldog Mk IIA Royal Air Force Museum, London

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