Camouflage & Markings – Bristol Bulldog
For a time during its service career the Bulldog equipped 70% of the RAF’s fighter defence force, with eleven squadrons in service.
The prototype, powered by a Jupiter VII engine, first flew on 17 May 1927. The aircraft had a problem with poor spinning recovery, so it was redesigned, as the Bulldog II, with enlarged fin and rudder, and lengthened rear fuselage, and fist flew on 21 January 1928. 26 production aircraft were produced and delivered by October 1929. Later aircraft were all of the improved Mark IIA, with revised wing spars and strengthened fuselage, and fitted with the Jupiter VIIF. The Bulldog was withdrawn from service with Fighter Command in July 1937, being replaced with Gloster Gauntlets, but remained in service for a few years in secondary roles.
In foreign service Bulldogs saw action with the Spanish Republican Air Force at the Battle of Santander. They also served with Finland in the Winter War where five pilots gained six kills for the loss of only one of their own, their Soviet victims being two I-16’s and four Tupolev SB’s.
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