Scottish Aviation Bulldog
The history of the Bulldog began in the late 1960s, when the Beagle Company,
builders of the then-popular, civilian Beagle B.121 Pup trainers, began developing
a replacement for the RAFs fleet of aging DeHavilland Chipmunks. Their design,
the B.125 Bulldog, was fitted with a more-powerful 200-hp engine; a constant-speed
propeller; longer, strengthened wings; and a strengthened fuselage structure.
Before the prototype could be delivered, however, Beagle's financial troubles
led it to be liquidated in February 1970.
In May 1970, Scottish Aviation Limited (SAL) announced that it had acquired
the development and manufacturing rights, and it resumed production of the Bulldog
in 1971. The first customer was Sweden, with other nations following in rapid
succession, including Malaysia, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Venezuela
and Botswana, among others. The Swedish designated the aircraft the SK 61.
The largest customer by far was the Royal Air Force (RAF), which placed an
order for 130 Bulldogs in 1972 to be used as primary "flight-aptitude"
trainers for their flying cadets in the University Air Squadrons (UASs). The
Bulldog served in this role until at least 2000, when it began to be replaced
by more modern Grob Tutor T1 trainers. Increasingly, surplus Bulldogs have been
appearing at the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD) auctions, where many eager bidders
from around the world have bought them in anticipation of restoring and flying
them as reasonably-priced warbirds.
Powerplant: one 149-kW (200-hp) Avco Lycoming IO-360-A1B6 flat-four piston engine
driving a Hartzell propeller of 6' 2'' (1 m and 880 mm) diameter.
Length: 7.09 m
Span: 10.06 m
Height: 2.28 m
Bulldog Series 120
Performance: maximum speed at sea level 241 km/h;
economic cruising speed 195 km/h at 1220 m;
service ceiling 4875 m;
range with maximum fuel 999 km
Weights: empty equipped 649 kg;
maximum take-off 1066 kg