- Vickers Viscount
name = Viscount
type = Turboprop airliner
caption = A Vickers Viscount at Aberdeen Airport, Scotland
first flight =
introduction = 1950
primary user =
British European Airways
more users =
number built = 445
unit cost =
developed from =
variants with their own articles =
The Viscount was a British medium-range
turboprop airlinerfirst flown in 1948by Vickers-Armstrongs, making it the first such aircraft to enter service in the world. It would go on to be one of the most successful of the first-generation post-war transports, with 445 being built. It was particularly well liked by the passengers, as it was quiet, fast and vibration free, and had larger windows than those found even on modern airliners.
Design and development
The design resulted from the
Brabazon Committee's Type II design, calling for a small-sized medium-range pressurised aircraft to fly its less-travelled routes, carrying 24 passengers up to 1,750 miles (2,816 km) at 200 mile/h (322 km/h).Ref Great Aircraft|Vickers Viscount|323-333] British European Airways(BEA) was involved in the design and asked that the plane carry 32 passengers instead, but remained otherwise similar. During development, Vickers advocated the use of turboprop power, believing piston-engines to be a dead-end in aviation. The Brabazon committee was not so convinced, but agreed to split the design into two types, the Type IIA using piston power, and the Type IIB using a turboprop. Vickers won the IIB contracts, while the IIA was the Airspeed Ambassador.
The resulting Vickers Type 630 design was completed at Brooklands by Chief Designer
Rex Piersonand his staff in 1945, a thirty-two seat airliner powered by four Rolls-Royce Dartengines providing a cruising speed of 275 mph (443 km/h). An order for two prototypes was placed in March 1946, and construction started almost immediately. Originally to be named Viceroy, the name was changed after the partition of Indiain 1947. There was some work on replacing the Darts with the Armstrong Siddeley Mamba, but this was dropped by the time the prototypes were reaching completion.
The prototype Type 630 flew on
16 July1948, and the second prototype was built as a test-bed with two Rolls-Royce Tay turbojets in place of the four Darts. The first prototype was awarded a restricted Certificate of Airworthinesson 15 September1949, followed by a full Certificate on 27 July1950, and placed into service with BEA the next day to familiarize the pilots and ground crew with the new aircraft. However the design was considered too small and slow at 275 mph (443 km/h), making the per-passenger operating costs too high for regular service.
The designers then went back to the drawing board and the aircraft emerged as the larger Type 700 with up to forty-eight passengers (53 in some configurations), and a cruising speed of 308 mph (496 km/h). The new prototype first flew
28 August1950. British European Airwaysordered twenty V.701s, and soon orders came in from other airlines. The first 700 was delivered to BEA in January 1953, and in April it began the world's first turboprop-powered service.
In October 1953 the Viscount 700 prototype G-AMAV achieved the fastest time (40 hours 41 minutes flying time) in the transport section of the 12,367 mile (19,903 km) air race from
Londonto Christchurch, New Zealand. The aircraft averaged 320 mph (515 km/h) in the event, crossing the finishing line nine hours ahead of its closest rival, a Douglas DC-6of KLM, with the latter winning on handicap. En route G-AMAV flew 3530 miles non-stop from Cocos (Keeling) Islandto Melbourne's Essendon Airportin 10 hours 16 minutes. Vickers Viscounts later served with New Zealand's National Airways Corporation.
The Type 700D added more powerful engines, and the Type 724 included a new fuel system, two-pilot cockpit, and increased weights.
The final major change to the design was the Type 800 "Super Viscount", stretched 3 ft 10 in (1.2 m) for up to 71 passengers. Wider, more square doors were fitted to the airframe at this time. A further change to the fuselage was planned, but later renamed as the Vanguard instead. The last Viscounts built were 6 for the Chinese State airline
CAAC, which were delivered during 1964, giving a total production total of 445. Andrews and Morgan 1988, p.537]
The type continued in BEA and
British Airwaysservice until early 1985, eventually being passed on to charter operators such as British Air Ferries (later British World). The last British-owned Viscounts were sold for use in Africa.
* 700 - the first production version, 1,381 hp (1,030 kW) engines, 287 built
** 700D - 1,576 hp (1,175 kW) engines
* 724 - 15 sold to
Trans Canada Airlines(TCA) of Canada, included increased electrical power, new fuel system, and cold weather operation provisions.
* 745D - 40 sold to
Capital Airlinesof the USA
* 757 - 35 for Trans Canada Airlines with upgraded 1,600 hp (1,193 kW) Dart 510 engines
* 771D - improved 770D
* 785D -
* 800 - fuselage extended by 3 ft 10 in (1.2 m), 67 built
* 810 - 1,991 hp (1,485 kW) engines, 84 built
2008a total of 3 Vickers Viscount aircraft remain in airline service in Africa.Fact|date=May 2008 In addition to these, one (a series 700) has also been restored to airworthy condition in the USA, and it is hoped that the Viscount will be attending several air shows in the future.Fact|date=May 2008
* Air Ferry
* Air Bridge Carries
All Nippon Airways
British Air Ferries
British European Airways
British United Airlines
British West Indian Airways
British World Airways
BWIA West Indies Airways
* Central African Airway
Far Eastern Air Transport
* Hunting Clan
LOT Polish Airlines(3)
MacRobertson Miller Airlines
* Maritime Central Airways
Middle East Airlines( MEA)
* Misrair - Egypt Airlines
* Northeast Airlines
National Airways Corporation
Pakistan International Airlines
South African Airways
SAETA(Sociedad Anonima Ecuatoriana de Transportes Aereos)
Transportes Aereos Centroamericanos( TACA)
Trans Australia Airlines( TAA)
Trans Canada Airlines( TCA)
* Transair (Canada)
Turkish Airlines( THY)
* Union of Burma Airways
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Royal Australian Air Force
No. 34 Squadron RAAF;BRA
Brazilian Air Force;CHN
People's Liberation Army Air Force;IND
Indian Air Force;OMA
*Sultan of Oman Air Force;PAK
Pakistan Air Force;flag|South Africa|1928
South African Air Force
No. 21 Squadron SAAF;TUR
Turkish Air Force;UK
Aircraft on display
* Type 701 (Registration G-ALWF named "Sir John Franklin") on display in BEA colours at Duxford,
* Type 701 (Registration G-AMOG named "Sir Robert Falcon Scott") on display in BEA colours at
RAF MuseumCosford, Shropshire, England.
* Type 708 (Registration F-BGNR named "Victoria Lynne") awaiting restoration at the
Midland Air Museum, Coventry Airport, England [ [http://www.viscount35association.com/ Viscount 35 Association] ]
* Type 708 (Registration F-BGNU) on display in
Air Francecolours at Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum, Germany.
* Type 745D (Registration N7471) in Capital Airlines colors, at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum, Reading, PA, USA.
* Type 757 (Registration CF-THG) in Air Canada colours under restoration at BC Air Museum, Victoria, BC, Canada.
* Type 757 (Registration CF-THI) on display in
Trans Canada Airlinescolours at Canada Aviation Museum, Rockcliffe, Canada.
* Type 757 (Registration CF-THS) on display in
Air Canadacolours at Western Canada Aviation Museum, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
* Type 772 (Registered 9Y-TBT) fire training at
Port of Spain, Piarco International Airport.
* Type 789D (Serial Number FAB2101) on display in
Brazilian Air Forcecolours at the Museu Aeroespacial, Campos dos Afonsos, Brazil.
* Type 794D (Manufacturer Serial Number 430, registration TC-SEL changed to TC-SEV, which crashed 1959 in Gatwick) Military Aviation Museum,
Yeşilköy, Istanbul, Turkey.
* Type 806 (Registration G-APIM named "Viscount Stephen Piercey") on display in
British Air Ferriescolours at Brooklands, Surrey, England.
* Type 807 (Registration ZK-BRF named "City of Christchurch") on display at the
Ferrymead Heritage Park, New Zealand
* Type 814 (Registration D-ANAM) on display in
British Air Ferriescolours with no titles at Flugausstellung Leo Junior at Hermeskeilin Germany.
* Type 818 (Registration VH-TVR named "John Murray") on display in
Trans Australian Airlinescolours at the Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin, Australia.
* Type 843 (Serial Number 50258) in China Air Force colours as the
Beijing Aviation Museum, China.
pecifications (Type 800)
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
crew=Two pilots + cabin crew
length main=85 ft 8 in
length alt=26.11 m
span main=93 ft 8 in
span alt=28.56 m
height main=26 ft 9 in
height alt=8.15 m
area main=963 ft²
area alt= 89 m²
empty weight main=41,479 lb
empty weight alt=18,815 kg
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
max takeoff weight main=72,281 lb
max takeoff weight alt=32,786 kg
Rolls-Royce DartRDa.7/1 Mk 525
type of prop=
number of props=4
power main=2,100 shp
power alt=1,566 kW
max speed main=352 mph
max speed alt=566 km/h
range main=1,735 miles
range alt=2,790 km
ceiling main=25,000 ft
ceiling alt=7,620 m
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main= 75 lb/ft²
loading alt= 368 kg/m²
power/mass main= 0.12 hp/lb
power/mass alt= 0.19 kW/kg|
Armstrong Whitworth Apollo
Lockheed L-188 Electra
* Andrews, C.F.; Morgan, E.B. "Vickers Aircraft since 1908". London: Putnam, Second Edition, 1988. ISBN 0 85177 815 1.
* [http://www.vickersviscount.net/. Vickers Viscount Network, a virtual museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs VC2 Viscount that contains over 2,500 Viscount photos.]
* [http://www.viscount35association.com/. Viscount 35 Association, a group restoring Viscount 708 F-BGNR "Victoria Lynne"]
* [http://www.vsp.org.uk/. Home page of G-APIM - Viscount Stephen Piercey]
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