The Bristol Brigand was designed as a replacement for the Bristol Beaufighter in its role as a torpedo-bomber. The Beaufighter had been a success in that role, but did have some flaws in the role, not having been designed for it. The Brigand was based on the Bristol Buckingham, a proposed light bomber that failed to see service in its original role, having been made obsolete by the Mosquito. The Brigand too would fail to see service in its intended role, but would find a new role as a ground attack aircraft.
The first Brigand prototype was ordered in April 1943. The new aircraft shared much of its design with the Buckingham, particularly the wings and tail plane. The most obvious difference was the high cockpit, with the three crew members sitting in line under a single canopy. The first prototype flew on 4 December 1944, at which point it was still possible that the aircraft might have been needed in the Far East, but the Japanese surrender left the original Brigand TF.Mk 1 was no longer needed.
The type survived as a light bomber. The B.Mk 1 was very similar to the TF.Mk 1, but with the torpedo carrying capability removed. It entered service in 1949 and saw active service during the Malaya emergency. A number of other variants were also produced, most important of which were the T Mk 4 and T Mk 5, used to train RAF radar operators until finally retired in 1958.
Engines: Two Centaurus 57 radial engines
Span: 72 ft 4 in
Length: 46 ft 5 in
Max Speed: 358 mph at 16,000 feet
Cruising Speed: 311 mph
Range: 2,800 miles
Ceiling: 26,000 feet
Bomb load: 2,000lb of bombs, or under-wing rockets
Armament: Four 20mm cannon in nose.