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Bristol/Bristol Siddeley

Aircraft  The Company
Model Military Number Name
1916 Type 12* F.2 Bristol Fighter
* initial model number
Model Military Number Name
1938 CE.4    Centaurus
1953 BE.10   Olympus
1953 BS.209   Viper*
1955 BE.26   Orpheus
1959     Gnome**
1960 BE.53   Pegasus
* acquired with Armstrong Siddeley
**acquired with de Havilland
Bristol was originally formed in 1910 to produce aircraft and entered the aircraft engine business in 1920.  The aircraft engine business quickly became the focus of the company, although Bristol developed important aircraft until it became part of British Aircraft Corp. in 1960.

Bristol's engine business created a string of successful piston and jet engines until acquired by Rolls-Royce in 1966.


1910: The British and Colonial Aeroplane Co. is formed to manufacture aircraft.

1920: The company changes its name to the Bristol Aeroplane Co. and purchases the aircraft engine assets of the failed Cosmos Engineering.  With this acquisition, Bristol acquires the Jupiter of the premier engines of the 1920s.

1945: Bristol enters the jet age with a turboprop, the Theseus of 1945.

1956: Bristol becomes two separate companies...Bristol Aircraft and Bristol Aero-Engines.

1959: The Ministry of Supply forces aircraft suppliers to merge in order to compete on the TSR.2 contract.  Bristol Aero-Engines merges with Armstrong Siddeley to form Bristol Siddeley Engines Ltd.

1960: Bristol Aircraft (along with English Electric and Vickers) form the British Aircraft Corp (BAC).

1961: Bristol Siddeley acquires de Havilland Engines and Blackburn Engines (Blackburn Aircraft joins Hawker Siddeley).

1966: Bristol Siddeley is purchased by Rolls-Royce.


The Bristol Aeroplane Company
Derek James


page updated 26 December 2005



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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010