11/30/2011. The Bulldog IIIA prototype was built as a private venture during the summer of 1931. With RAF roundels, no serial number but the identity mark R-5, the aircraft was first flown on September 17, 1931, and went to Martlesham on December 7 with a prototype Mercury IVA engine. It returned to Filton for installation of a production Mercury IVS.2 and went back to Martlesham for extended trials on March 5, 1932.
Throughout the summer it was flown by RAF test pilots against the Gloster SS.19B, to determine which should be the successor to the Bulldog IIA in the day-and-night fighter squadrons. There was little to choose between them, but the Gloster was slightly superior in climb and went into service later as the Gauntlet.
One result of this decision was that a conditional manufacturing license for the Bulldog III acquired by the Danish government in March 1932 was annulled, the essential condition (that the Bulldog III would be adopted by the RAF) not having been satisfied. The Bulldog IIIA R-5 was finally written off in a crash at Martlesham on March 30, 1933.