The Dennis Falcon was a rear-engined bus chassis manufactured by Dennis between 1981 and 1993. It was mostly built as a single-deck bus, although some express coaches and a small number of double-deckers were also produced. The total number built was 139, plus one development chassis.
The double-deckers were offered with bodywork by Alexander, East Lancs and Northern Counties, while most of the standard-floor single-deckers were bodied by Alexander to their PS and Strider designs, though the Wright Endurance, Plaxton Verde and East Lancs EL2000 were also specified.
The Falcon was closely derived from the Dennis Dominator, the front half of the chassis being identical. The original horizontal-engined Falcon H had a layout recalling that of the Bristol RE with the longitudinally-mounted Gardner engine driving forward above the Dennis-built portal rear axle to a Voith gearbox and reversing unit which then took drive rearward into the driving-head of the axle.
The later Falcon HC had a more orthodox continuous driveline, resembling that of the Seddon Pennine RU, the C (for continuous drive) denoted the Voith transmission close-coupled to the Gardner engine with a short propeller shaft taking drive into a straight Kirkstall spiral-bevel double-reduction rear axle.
For these types the frame was raised aft of the rear axle to provide clearance for the under-slung engine.
The Falcon V, with Daimler-Benz V6 engines in the double decks and Perkins V8 engines in the coaches, was even closer in frame-concept to the Dominator.
Single deck buses were based on the Falcon H and HC chassis. Six English municipal operators bought Dennis Falcon single-deckers between 1981 and 1993:
Leicester bought the first Falcon in 1981, with Duple Dominant Bus bodywork, and added six more between 1983-1984. Despite selling these to Thamesdown Transport in 1987, Leicester later purchased sixteen more Falcons between 1991-1993, including the last Falcon built.
The Duple Britannia (1956, on its third facelift for the 1960 season) had an excessively droopy outline and tiny windows, and was very little different from Duple's gaudy Super Vega/Yeoman/Corinthian for cheap coach chassis. Duple probably didn't care, the Brittania was not where the jam lay.