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16-25 Mar 1914. Monday – Wednesday. The Olympia Aero Show


This major event was the public debut for the Scout, where it was shown with the GB75 two-seater (also largely Barnwell’s design) on the Bristol stand, and was given a very good write up. Despite Frank’s weekend working, the larger wings hadn’t been fitted, and it was shown in its original form.

Flight article 21 Mar 1914 featuring the Bristol Scout prototype

Flight article 21 Mar 1914 featuring the Bristol Scout prototype

Presumably Frank wasn’t there all week, as he was filling in the last few ages of his sketchbook on the first Wednesday, but if he had, he would no doubt have taken a great interest in a Vickers tandem two-seater designed by his brother Harold, and which was not, according to ‘the Birth of Military Aviation: Britain, 1903 -1914’ by Hugh Driver, a success. Flight magazine reported on the Bristol Scout with some enthusiasm in its issue dated 21 Mar

The introduction is interesting, in that it reflects the opinion expressed in the 1913 Jane’s ‘All the World’s Aircraft’ that the only significant market foreseen for aviation was in the military. It’s also clear that both military and manufacturers were keenly aware of the necessity of fighting aircraft, with the War Office issuing details in the February of a series of tests for privately-developed aircraft, including a light scout, two types of reconnaissance machine, and two types of fighting machine

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