Bristol BE.26 Orpheus

Despite a lack of support by the British Government, Bristol was convinced there was a market for a small axial engine and designed the BE.26 Orpheus. The Orpheus first flew in 1955 powering a Folland Gnat.
The Orpheus was selected by all the contenders of the NATO light-fighter contest. Thousands were built by Bristol Engines, Fiat, KHD and Hindustan Aeronautics.


  • Orpheus 701: 4,520 lb (20.1 kN)


  • Turbojet
  • Compressor: 7-stage axial
  • turbine: single-stage

used by

  • Folland FO.141 Gnat