Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 5: The Post War Piston Era, Bristol 170 Freighter

Bristol 170 Freighter, RCAF

Data current to 23 March 2020.

(RCAF Photo)

Bristol 170 Freighter Mk. 31C, RCAF (Serial No. 9697), coded KC. 

The Bristol Type 170 Freighter was a British twin-engine aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company as both a freighter and an airliner. Its best known use was as an air ferry to carry cars and their passengers over relatively short distances.  A passenger-only ve rsion was also produced, known as the Wayfarer.  The Freighter was developed during the Second World War, having attracted official attention from the British Air Ministry, which sought the development of a rugged vehicle capable of carrying various cargoes, including a 3-ton truck.  Various changes to the design were made to accommodate their requirements, but being completed too late to participate in the conflict, the majority of sales of the Freighter were to commercial operators. 

The Royal Canadian Air Force used five Freighters to carry spares and supplies between the United Kingdom and their bases in France and West Germany.

Bristol 170 Freighter Mk. 31 (1), (Serial No. 9850), Mk. 31C (3), (Serial Nos. 9696, 9697, 9698), Mk. 31M (2), (Serial Nos. 9699, 9700), for a total of 6 aircraft.

 (RCAF Photo via Benoit Thibeault)

Bristol 170A Freighter Mk. 31C, RCAF (Serial No. 9850). 

 (Griffin Library Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Bristol 170A Freighter Mk. 31C, RCAF (Serial No. 9850).  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3388169)

Bristol Freighter Mk. 31C, RCAF (Serial No. 9696). 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584692)

Bristol Freighter Mk. 31C, RCAF (Serial No. 9696). 

(RCAF Photo)

Bristol 170 Freighter Mk. 31C, RCAF (Serial No. 9697), KC. 

 (RCAF Photo)

Bristol 170A Freighter Mk. 31C, RCAF (Serial No. 9698). 

(Gunter Grondstein Photo)

Bristol 170 Freighter Mk. 31C, RCAF, 4 (F) Wing, Baden-Soellingen, Germany, 1964.

 (RuthAS Photo)

Bristol 170 Freighter Mk. 31M, RCAF (Serial No. 9699), at Langar Notts in the UK in 1966. 

(RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Bristol Freighter Mk. 31M, RCAF (Serial No. 9699), ca 1960s. 

 (RCAF Photo via Benoit Thibeault)

Bristol Freighter Mk. 31M, RCAF (Serial No. 9699).

 (RCAF Photo via Benoit Thibeault)

Bristol Freighter Mk. 31M, RCAF (Serial No. 9699).

 (Clinton Groves Photo)

Bristol 170 Mk. 21 Wayfarer, RAF Fairford, UK, 1 June 1965.

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Bristol Freighter Mk. 31M, RCAF.

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Bristol Freighter Mk. 31M, RCAF, unloading a Canadair CL-13 Sabre.

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Bristol Freighter Mk. 31M, RCAF, unloading a Canadair CL-13 Sabre.

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Bristol Freighter Mk. 31M, RCAF, unloading a Canadair CL-13 Sabre.

 (Author Photo)

Bristol Freighter Mk. 31M.  The last Freighter in service, which flew for Instone Airline then later returned to New Zealand, was bought from surplus by Hawkair in Terrance, British Columbia.  In 2004, this aircraft undertook its final ferry flight to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum at Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

 (Author Photo)

Bristol Freighter Mk. 31M, CF-WAE was built in 1955 for the RCAF.  It carried F86 Sabre Fighter Jets and Helicopters from bases in France and Germany to overhaul facilities in the UK.  It was purchased in 1967 by Wardair to carry freight around northern Canada, mainly to the DEW Line of Radar Stations.  It was sold to Norcanair in Saskatchewan where it operated until 1983.  Norcanair then flew it to Winnipeg and donated it to the Western Canada Aviation Museum.

Bristol Freighters were also flown in Canada by Associated Airways, Central Northern Airways, Hawkair, Lambair, Maritime Central Airways, North Canada Air, Norcanair, Pacific Western Airlines, Transair, Trans Canada Airlines, Trans Provincial Airlines and by Wardair.

 (WinterCity296 Photo)

Bristol Freighter Mk. 31M CF-TFX, Monument, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, 13 June 2008.