The British and Colonial Aeroplane Company designed many aeroplanes after the Boxkite of 1910, so by 1916 had a wealth of experience available for building a two-seat fighter aircraft. Bristol (as the company became known) designed a large, rugged two-seater and named it the F.2a.
This aircraft was originally not successful due to pilots flying the aircraft as a conventional two-seat aircraft i.e. straight and level at all times. Bristol created an improved version called the F.2b and it entered service in March 1917.
The pilots soon learnt that the 'Brisfit' could be thrown around the sky and it was responsible for many kills during WW1. The F.2b remained in production until 1926 and was used by the RAF in peacetime as an army co-operation aircraft and also used by University Air Squadrons as a training aircraft.
D8096 was built in 1918, but was too late to see service during the First World War. It was used by No. 208 Squadron in Turkey in 1923. It was acquired in 1936 by Captain C.P.B. Ogilvie who stored it, along with many other aircraft, in Watford. It was registered at this time on the civil register as G-AEPH, but was not flown before WW2 as a civil aircraft.
D8096 was acquired by the Shuttleworth Collection and restored by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, flying again in February 1952. It starred at many air displays across the country and after twenty-eight years of flying, it was refurbished during 1980-82. D8096 still flies regularly and is one of only two Bristol Fighters that are airworthy in the world, although a third is being restored to airworthiness at Old Warden.
Height: 9ft 6in
Length: 26ft 2in
Wingspan: 39ft 3in
Engine: one 275hp Rolls-Royce Falcon III, V12
Max Speed: 132mph
Armament: one synchronised forward firing Vickers machine gun
one Lewis gun mounted on a scarff ring in the rear cockpit