New Acquisition at RAF Museum

BRISTOL BRIGAND TF.1 RH746

1946 Built by the Bristol Aircraft Company at Filton to contract 4628, c/n 12634, as one of the first production batch of thirteen Bristol Type 164 Brigands, RH742 – RH754, equipped as TF.1 torpedo-fighters, which served at Development Units at Gosport and Thorney Island from May 1946, but never entered service with first-line Coastal Command Squadrons.

16 Mar 46 Awaiting collection from Filton.

5 Apr 46 Issued via Controller, Research and Development (CRD) to Bristol, Aircraft Co, Filton.

18 Jun 46 Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE), Boscombe Down, Wilts. Photo – Air Enthusiast September/October 1999 p.29. See also RAFM P005275-6 and PC79/1/7-8.

Air Torpedo Development Unit (ATDU) Gosport, Hants -present 31 July 1947.

15 Oct 47 Bristol Aircraft Co for unspecified repair.

29 Apr 49 ATDU Gosport; still present 31 December 1949.

(Undated) Ministry of Supply – Controller of Supplies (Air) – CS (A)

(Date unknown-possibly 1956-58) Struck off Charge for scrap and delivered to the famous Clayton Vale, Failsworth (Droylesden, South Manchester) scrapyard of Unimetal Ltd, situated at a former mill.

Noted as being present at Failsworth in the 2nd Edition of ‘Wrecks and Relics’ (1963)

Part of a large collection of aircraft, including Meteor 7/8/9s, Provost T.1s, Vampire T.11s, three Supermarine Swifts, many Balliol T.2s, Neptune MR1s and Firefly AS.5/6s, acquired by the yard in the mid 1950s which remained dumped and decaying until the yard was cleared in May1981.

The Brigand lay for many years on its side with one wing lying on top of the gutted fuselage and the other nearby, corroded and covered in graffiti, with the cockpit area particularly battered and the engine nacelles also extant in the 1970s.

18 May 81 Fuselage by road to North East Aircraft Museum (NEAM), Usworth, Sunderland (along with Swift F.4 fuselage, a Balliol cockpit and Firefly fuselage), being on loan from the yard’s owner. Placed in store.

19 Apr 2001 Fuselage and a few smaller components including rudder and tailcone to Kemble Airfield, Glos for display with Bristol Aero Collection (BAC),Photo as displayed – Wrecks and Relics 18th Edition, 2002.

April 2010 Aircraft remains purchased by RAF Museum.

This is the only Brigand in the UK, albeit incomplete. The only other known partial survivor is one wreck recently reported in Malaya – the Malaysian jungle wreck is former 45 Squadron aircraft RH755 which crashed in January 1951. It comprises several large components, including a tail fin, undercarriage leg, propeller unit and complete engine. Some parts possibly recovered for Malaysian AF Museum.

 www.rafmuseum.org

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