The Bristol Type 175 project, the initial program name which eventually matured into the famous Bristol Britannia, came about from two different post-war requirements: first, an earlier design specification from the Brabazon Committee, which embodied lessons learned from the Brabazon project; second, an urgent need from BOAC in 1946 for a Medium Range Empire (MRE) passenger transport aircraft. BOAC had been looking at purchasing the new and very efficient Lockheed Constellation, however, in the austere immediate post-war period, the government refused such large expenditure on foreign purchases.
The Bristol Aeroplane Company, based at Filton, was one of four aircraft building companies that tendered eight designs for this prospective order. None were initially accepted on their original design specifications but the nearest design that looked as if it could possibly match expectations was the Bristol Type 175 design To follow this up, further meetings took place with working groups established from October 1947 onwards between BOAC and the Bristol company; their remit to settle on size, weight, capacity and range etc., before the final specification could be agreed and certified. Three prototypes were initially ordered by the Ministry of Supply (MoS) in July 1948; all were to be Centaurus powered, however, the second and third prototypes would be built so that they could easily be converted to the, fairly new and unproven at that time, Proteus units. BOAC, who were expected to order at least 25 production aircraft, kept holding off the contract signing, presumably to await results of the first prototype flights but also starting to look at a Proteus powered version over the Centaurus. As such the working groups restarted design meetings to ascertain optimum parameters for a larger and more versatile aircraft based around the Proteus power plant. The contracts, to order 25 of the new designs was finally signed in July 1949 and comprised the following specifications: Wing span of 140ft, Wing area of 2,055ibs, an all-up-weight of 119,000lbs with Proteus (118,000 if Centaurus fitted); and with accommodation for 42, 50 or 64 day passengers, or 38 sleeping berths.
After completion of the test flights program of the prototypes, which lasted from 1952 to 1955, the first production aircraft of two Bristol Type 175-101 Britannia's; codes G-ANBC & G-ANBD were formally handed over to BOAC on December 30, 1955.
- Engraved panel lines and appropriate fabric-over-frame effects
- Detailed cockpit and cabin interior, separate cabin door, a full multi-part likeness of Pratt and Whitney R-985 radial engine, ADF loop, detailed landing gear, injection-molded clear parts, plus rigging diagram. Decals for 3 USAAF aircraft: Model 17 YC-43 N81740 assigned to the US air attaches of the American Embassy, London, 1939; UC-43 s/n 44-76068 of the 8th Air Force, England and UC-43 s/n 43-10859 of the US Army Communication Unit, late 1944 - includes instrument panel markings.