The Bristol Type 175 Britannia is a retired British medium-to-long-range airliner built in 1952 to fly across the Commonwealth.
During development two prototypes were lost and the turboprop engines proved susceptible to inlet icing, which delayed entry into service while solutions were sought.
By the time development was completed, “pure” jet airliners from France, the United Kingdom, and the United States were about to enter service, and consequently, only 85 Britannia’s were built before production ended in 1960.
Nevertheless, the Britannia is considered one of the landmarks in turboprop-powered airliner design and was popular with passengers.
It became known as “The Whispering Giant” for its quiet exterior noise and smooth flying, although the passenger interior remained less tranquil.
Canadair purchased a licence to build the Britannia in Canada, adding another 72 aircraft in two variants.
These were the stretched Canadair CL-44/Canadair CC-106 Yukon, and the greatly modified Canadair CP-107 Argus maritime patrol aircraft.
Originally ordered by the Ministry of Supply for intended lease to charter operators, but delivered to the Royal Air Force, as the Britannia C2.
Fitted with a heavy-duty floor in forward area of fuselage and cargo door, three built.
Passenger/freight variant for the Royal Air Force, designated Britannia C1.
Fitted with full length heavy-duty floor and provision for rearwards-facing seats, as preferred by the RAF.
Capacity for 115 troops or equivalent in cargo, 20 built.