This stainless steel juggernaut was a test bed aircraft and the hope was that the research would give the British aeronautical engineers a way to build better materials and structure for sustained Mach flight. The idea was to create plane that could climb to over 50,000 feet and and fly at transonic speeds for at least 30 minutes. Powered by two DeHavilland Gyron Junior DJ10s, the “flaming pencil” as they called the Bristol 188, had a wing area of almost 400 square feet and was almost 14 feet tall. The first testbed was delivered in 1960 but the first of only 58 flights began in 1962. The 188 never achieved Mach 2 and when it did it could only hold it for a few minutes. It was also a gas gusl’er as 75% of its fuel was consumed in 48 minutes of flight.
The testbed is in a museum in England.