C.Barnes Bristol Aircraft since 1910 (Putnam)
One other Bristol biplane, the S.2A, deserves notice here, although it was a two-seater. It was derived from the Scout D and was designed to meet an Admiralty specification for a two-seater fighter. Powered by a 110 h.p. Clerget rotary engine installed between horizontal bearers as proposed for the G.B.l, it had the same tail surfaces as Scout D but less rake at the wing tips. Two seats were installed side by side in the single cockpit. The design was rejected by the Admiralty, who preferred the Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter, but the War Office were interested in it as a potential advanced trainer and ordered two prototypes on 10 March 1916. These, Nos. 1377 and 1378 (7836 and 7837), were built and flown in May and June 1916, being delivered to the Central Flying School at Upavon on 11 June and 30 July, respectively. One of them was later flown at Gosport, where it had been fitted with a 100 h.p. Monosoupape-Gnome in a modified cowling. Its performance was quite good in spite of its girth, which earned it the nickname 'Tubby' at Filton as well as other appropriate epithets at the C.F.S.
SPECIFICATIONS AND DATA
Manufacturers: The British & Colonial Aeroplane Co. Ltd., Filton and Brislington, Bristol
Power Plant 110 hp Clerget,
100 hp Mono-Gnome
Span 28 ft 2 in
Length 21 ft 3 in
Height 10 ft
All-up Weight 1,400 lb
Max. Speed 95 mph
Duration 3 hours
Sequence Nos. 1377,1378
H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
S.2A. This 1916 development of the Scout, designed for the Admiralty, had side-by-side seating and was intended for fighting. The proposed armament was a Lewis gun, possibly on a pillar mounting behind the cockpit.
P.Lewis The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)
While the T.T.A. was undergoing its trials, a completely different concept of a two-seat scout made its debut - the Bristol S.2A. A single-engine biplane with pilot and gunner seated side-by-side, it was inspired by the Scout D but, as a reliable synchronizer for a forward-firing gun was still awaited, the expedient of carrying a gunner alongside the pilot was adopted in the interest of keeping down the overall size of the aeroplane. The 110 h.p. Clerget provided the power initially in 7836 and 7837, the pair of prototypes. By the time that they were ready, one during May and the other during June of 1916, fairly adequate synchronizing gears were ready and the temporary solution provided by the S.2A was not required. Its performance was commendable and one of the two S.2As was modified for further trials with the lower power of the 100 h.p. Monosoupape Gnome.
F.Mason The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)
Bristol Type 8 S.2A
Once the Bristol Type 6 T.T.A. had passed out of the design stage, Frank Barnwell turned his attention to another original idea to overcome the lack of a reliable synchronized front gun, this time producing what was in effect a two-seat development of the Scout D, but instead of pursuing the customary tandem cockpit layout, which would be expected to require lengthening the fuselage by several feet, he adopted side-by-side accommodation of the crew in a single cockpit. While the pilot could concentrate on controlling the aircraft, his gunner could load, aim and fire the armament.
Two prototypes, Nos 7836 and 7837, were produced to meet an Admiralty requirement for a two-seater, and the first was flown at Filton in May 1916. Powered by a 110hp Clerget rotary, it featured the tail unit of the Scout D as well as similar wings, though with reduced rake at their tips. The centre section of the upper wing was somewhat wider than on the Scout owing to the increased fuselage width, while the cabane struts were angled outwards, but without stagger; because the lower wing was mounted slightly further aft, stagger was maintained on the interplane struts. The broader fuselage also allowed for a wider track undercarriage.
As neither prototype was ever fitted with armament, it is not known what gun mounting was intended, although it seems probable that the gun would have been fitted on top of the wing to fire over the propeller.
The S.2A was not adopted for production, despite a moderately good performance, having been overshadowed by the Sopwith Pup with synchronized front gun. Trouble had been experienced with the Clerget engine in the first prototype, possibly due to inadequate cooling, and the second prototype was later flown at Gosport with the Gnome monosoupape engine.
Type: Single-engine, two-seat, single-bay biplane scout.
Manufacturer: The British & Colonial Aeroplane Co Ltd, Filton, Bristol.
Powerplant: One 110hp Clerget engine; also 100hp Gnome monosoupape engine.
Dimensions: Span, 28ft 2in; length, 21ft 3in; height, 10ft 0in.
Weights: All-up, 1,400lb.
Performance: Max speed, 95 mph at sea level; endurance, 3 hr.
Armament: Probably a single Lewis machine gun mounted above the wing centre section.
Prototypes: Two, Nos 7836 and 7837 (first flown in May 1916). No production.
W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
BRISTOL S.2A UK
A derivative of the Scout D intended to meet an Admiralty specification for a two-seat fighter, the S.2A had side-by-side seating and was intended to be armed with a single 0.303-in (7,7-mm) Lewis gun. In the event, it was rejected by the Admiralty in favour of the Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter, but work continued on the two prototypes at the behest of the War Office which envisaged the type primarily as a potential advanced trainer for the RFC. The two prototypes were completed in May and June 1916 respectively, being powered by the 110 hp Clerget engine (although one was later re-engined with a 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape), and were delivered to the Central Flying School at Upavon. They were found to be manoeuvrable and quite fast, but no further development was undertaken.
Max speed, 95mph (153 km/h).
Endurance, 3.0 hrs.
Loaded weight, 1,400 lb (635 kg). Span, 28 ft 2 in (8,58m).
Length, 21 ft 3 in (6,48 m).
Height, 10 ft 0 in (3.05 m).