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Barnwell the early years

The team included Leslie G. Frise, a brilliant young engineering mind who had graduated from the University of Bristol. Frise went on to become equally distinguished, being remembered for his design of Frise Type ailerons, and for laying the foundations of most World War Two aircraft that came from the factory.

After making some minor but very effective changes to the Bristol Scout, Frank Barnwell then designed what became known as the 'Brisfit', the Bristol Fighter. The aircraft became a legend almost as soon as it arrived on the Western Front, it had a poor start being flown as a traditional two-seat machine and on its first sortie most of the aircraft were shot down. Pilots immediately began to fly it differently and the aircraft responded like the true great it was, they began to win air battles, morale went up and pilots lived longer. Fifty had been ordered in August 1916, and by 1918 that number had risen to 2600. Fitted with a Rolls-Royce Falcon engine it was a sturdy two-seat machine that could be thrown around the sky like a single seat fighter. Pilots began to swear by its capabilities and it certainly turned the tide of war in the air over the Western Front.

Frank also designed the M.1 series of monoplanes that showed their potential early on but were never accepted fully by the Air Ministry. He also went on to design the definitive inter war fighter, the Bristol Bulldog

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This is page 1 of Captain Frank Barnwell - Aircaft Designer - 1880 to 1938.
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Capt Barnwell in front of the Badger X known as 'The Captains Weekender'

Capt Barnwell in front of the Badger X known as 'The Captains Weekender'
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A Bristol Scout F derived from one of Barnwell's early successes

A Bristol Scout F derived from one of Barnwell's early successes
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The Bristol Fighter or 'Brisfit'

The Bristol Fighter or 'Brisfit'
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