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The testing Phase

At around 150,000 lbs all up weight the Brabazon was sight to see, particularly by onlookers more used to single seat or small fighter/bombers. When the Mk1 rolled out of her purpose built assembly sheds, most of the factory was there to witness the occasion. This, in 1947/48 was the hope of the factory, with the war over work was scarce and the workforce were banking on its success.

The aircraft carried out extensive testing before her, very late maiden flight in 1949. She was programmed to fly first in 1947 but it was two years later before she finally took to the air. This delay would cost her dearly for it allowed the American manufacturers to get ahead. The Boeing 707 and Douglas DC8 would leave her behind.

One has to remember that by late 40's standards the Brabazon was a remarkable aircraft. Tolerances were so tight that it was said one coat of paint would mean forfeiting one passenger. She is still the biggest aircraft ever to have been built in Britain and had a longer wingspan than any modern airliner.

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This is page 5 of The Bristol Brabazon - Engineering masterpiece or Great White Elephant.
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Brabazon - Roll out and engine Test

Brabazon - Roll out and engine Test
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Brabazon - dwarfing crew members

Brabazon - dwarfing crew members
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Brabazon - on tow to the test area

Brabazon - on tow to the test area
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