Bristol’s Blundered Brabazon

It was the largest and most complex commercial aircraft of its day – but it was a monumental failure, as Ken Ellis explains...


This October 1949 photo shows test pilot ‘Bill’ Pegg (left) and Brabazon designer ‘Archie’ Russell in an informal moment during testing

“Myside’s airborne…what about yours?” These are words attributed to chief test pilot ‘Bill’ Pegg. He was addressing his co-pilot, ‘Wally’ Gibb, on the maiden voyage of the immense Bristol Brabazon airliner on September 4, 1949.

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