Scottish Aviation Bulldog N689BD, owned by Tull
Morgan of Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, and flown by Scott Weaver and Chris Haven
(passenger). Photo by Jeff Taylor.
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
Engine: One 200-hp Lycoming IO-360 flat-four piston engine.
Weight: Empty 1,428 lbs., Max
Takeoff 2,345 lbs.
Wing Span: 33ft. 2in.
Length: 23ft. 3in.
Height: 8ft. 11.5in.
Range: 620 miles
Armament: Usually none, but can be
fitted with four underwing 7.62 machine-gun pods, fourteen 75mm rockets, or eight Bofors
Number Built: 328
Number Still Airworthy: At least 20.
and Bulldog Club -- Includes technical information and members' forum.
Support -- Maintenance and regulatory support for the Bulldog.
SABulldogsUSA.com -- Parts and information source about the Bulldog.
61 Page -- Information on Bulldogs in Swedish service.
Aviation -- Bulldog technical information, parts, photos.
Bulldog Discussion Forum -- Bulletin board and and news.
Skysport Beagle Airhire,
Hertfordshire, UK -- Bulldog training and rental.
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