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The Vickers VC.1 Viking
Vickers VC.1 Viking
was a British twin-engine short-range airliner derived from the Vickers Wellington
Vickers Wellington
bomber and built by Vickers-Armstrongs
Vickers-Armstrongs
Limited at Brooklands
Brooklands
near Weybridge
Weybridge
in Surrey. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the Viking was an important airliner with British airlines pending the development of turboprop aircraft like the Viscount. An experimental airframe was fitted with Rolls-Royce Nene
Rolls-Royce Nene
turbojets and first flown in 1948 as the world's first pure jet transport aircraft. Military developments were the Vickers Valetta
Vickers Valetta
and the Vickers Varsity

Contents

1 Design and development 2 Operational history 3 Variants

3.1 Type numbers

4 Operators

4.1 Civil operators 4.2 Military operators

5 Accidents and incidents 6 Aircraft on display 7 Specifications (Viking 1B) 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

Design and development[edit] The Ministry of Aircraft Production ordered three prototype Wellington Transport Aircraft to Air Ministry Specification 17/44 from Vickers-Armstrongs
Vickers-Armstrongs
Limited. The specification was for a peacetime requirement for a short-medium haul passenger aircraft. To speed development the aircraft used the wing and undercarriage design from the Wellington but the fuselage was new. Although the original contract referred to Wellington Transport Aircraft, on completion, the name Viking was chosen. The first prototype (designated the Type 491 and registered G-AGOK) was built by the Vickers Experimental Department at its wartime Foxwarren dispersal site and was first flown by 'Mutt' Summers at Wisley Airfield
Wisley Airfield
on 22 June 1945.[1] This aircraft crashed on 23 April 1946 due to a double engine failure; no fatalities occurred as a result of the crash. Following successful trials of the three prototypes the British Overseas Airways Corporation
British Overseas Airways Corporation
(BOAC) ordered 19 aircraft. The first BOAC aircraft flew on 23 March 1946. The prototypes were then used for trials with the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
which led to orders for military versions (the Viking C2 (12 ordered as freighter/transports) and the modified Valetta C1).

The jet-powered Vickers Nene Viking G-AJPH

The initial 19 production aircraft (later designated the Viking 1A) carried 21 passengers, they had metal fuselages and - except for the wing inboard of the nacelles - fabric-clad geodetic wings and tail units. Following feedback from customers, the next 14 examples, known as the Viking 1, featured stressed-metal wings and tail units. The next variant, the Viking 1B, was 28 in (71 cm) longer, carrying 24 passengers with up-rated Bristol Hercules
Bristol Hercules
piston engines, achieved a production run of 115. One of this batch was changed during production to so that it could be fitted with two Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet engines, with its first flight on 6 April 1948. In 1948, on the 39th anniversary of Blériot's crossing of the English Channel, the Type 618 Nene-Viking flew Heathrow– Paris
Paris
(Villacoublay) in the morning carrying letters to Bleriot's widow and son (secretary of the FAI), who met it at the airport. The flight of 222 miles took only 34 minutes. It then flew back to London in the afternoon. It obtained a maximum speed of 415 mph (668 km/h) at 12,000 ft (3,700 m) and averaged 394 mph (634 km/h).[2] In 1954 it was bought from the Ministry of Supply and underwent the substantial conversion to Hercules 634 piston engines by Eagle Aviation to join their fleet.[3] Production finished in 1948, including 16 for the RAF
RAF
of which 4 were for the King's Flight,[4] but in 1952 BEA adapted some to a 38-passenger layout, taking the maximum payload up from 5,500–7,200 lb (2,500–3,300 kg). All Vikings featured a tailwheel undercarriage. The 58th Viking (c/n 158) became the prototype of the military Valetta, of which 262 were produced for the RAF. When production of this strengthened but externally similar type ended in 1952, a flying classroom version with tricycle undercarriage was already being delivered to the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
(RAF), called the Varsity.[5] All but one of those entered RAF
RAF
service, the other example going to the Swedish Air Force. The production of 161 Varsities kept the Hurn works busy until January 1954, and they enjoyed a long service life. Examples are preserved at Brooklands
Brooklands
Museum, the Imperial War Museum Duxford and the Newark Air Museum. Operational history[edit]

BEA Vickers Viking
Vickers Viking
1B G-AHPO "Venturer" at Manchester Airport
Manchester Airport
in 1952

The first Viking was flown from Vickers' flight test airfield at Wisley, Surrey, by chief test pilot Joseph "Mutt" Summers on 22 June 1945 and the third aircraft built was delivered to BOAC at Hurn near Bournemouth on 20 April 1946. Upon the delivery of nine examples to BOAC for development flying, including the two remaining prototypes, British European Airways
British European Airways
(BEA) was established on 1 August 1946 to operate airliners within Europe and these first VC.1 Vikings were transferred to the new airline.[6] After a trial flight from Northolt to Oslo
Oslo
on 20 August 1946 by the newly formed BEA, the first regular Viking scheduled service commenced between Northolt and Copenhagen Airport
Copenhagen Airport
on 1 September 1946.[7] In all 163 Vikings were built. The initials "VC" stood for Vickers Commercial,[8] echoing the "VC" precedent set by the earlier Vimy Commercial of 1919. Vickers soon ceased to use the 'VC' letters, instead using type numbers in the 49x and 600 series, which indicated the specific customer airline.

Viking 1B of the Arab Legion
Arab Legion
Air Force (Jordan) at Blackbushe Airport, Hants, in April 1955

BEA operated their large fleet of Vikings on many European and UK trunk routes for eight years. From 1951, the remaining fleet was modified with 36, instead of 27 seats, and named the "Admiral Class". BEA operated the Viking until late 1954, when the last was displaced by the more modern and pressurised Airspeed Ambassador
Airspeed Ambassador
and Vickers Viscount. BEA sold their Vikings to several UK independent airlines for use on their growing scheduled and charter route networks. Some were sold to other European operators. An ex-BEA Viking 1B was fitted out as a VIP aircraft for the Arab Legion
Arab Legion
Air Force, mainly for the use of the King of Jordan.[9] Most Vikings had been retired from service by the mid-1960s and the sole surviving example in the UK is owned by Brooklands
Brooklands
Museum where it is under long term restoration. Variants[edit]

Viking Prototypes with two 1,675 hp (1,250 kW) Bristol Hercules
Bristol Hercules
130 engines, three built. Viking 1A Initial production version with geodetic wings and two 1,690 hp (1,261 kW) Bristol Hercules
Bristol Hercules
630 engines. Viking 1 Production aircraft with stressed skin mainplanes and two 1,690 hp (1,261 kW) Bristol Hercules
Bristol Hercules
634 engines. Viking 1B Viking 1 with "long nose", 113 built. Nene Viking One Viking 1B aircraft modified for trials with two 5,000 lbf (22.3 kN) Rolls-Royce Nene
Rolls-Royce Nene
I turbojets. Viking C2 British military designation of the Viking 1; VIP transport aircraft for the King's Flight
King's Flight
of the RAF. Valetta C1 & C2 Modified design with strengthened floor and large freight door. Varsity T1 Highly modified Valetta design with tricycle undercarriage for navigation and crew training.

Type numbers[edit]

Type 491 First prototype Type 495 Second prototype Type 496 Third prototype Type 498 Viking 1A for British European Airways Type 604 Viking 1B for Indian National Airways
Indian National Airways
with two Hercules 634 engines. Type 607 Valetta prototype for Ministry of Supply with two Hercules 634 engines. Type 610 Viking 1B for British European Airways Type 613 Projected fuel transport variant, not built. Type 614 Viking 1A for British European Airways Type 615 Viking 1 for the Argentine government with two Hercules 634 engines. Type 616 Viking 1 for Central African Airways Type 618 Nene Viking for Ministry of Supply Type 620 Viking 1 for the Argentine government with two Hercules 630 engines. Type 621 Viking C2 for the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
with two Hercules 130 engines. Type 623 Viking C2 for the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
with two Hercules 134 engines. Two ordered for use by the King's Flight
King's Flight
for a royal tour of South Africa, one aircraft for the King and one for the Queen. Type 624 Viking C2 for the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
with two Hercules 134 engines. One ordered for use by the King's Flight
King's Flight
for a royal tour of South Africa for use by the state officials in 21-seat configuration. Type 626 Viking C2 for the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
with two Hercules 134 engines. One ordered for use by the King's Flight
King's Flight
for a royal tour of South Africa as a mobile workshop support aircraft. Type 627 Viking 1B for Airwork Limited Type 628 Viking 1B for DDL with two Hercules 634 engines. Type 631 Projected 34-seat variant, not built. Type 632 Viking 1B for Air India
India
with two Hercules 634 engines. Type 634 Viking 1B for Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus
with two Hercules 634 engines. Type 635 Viking 1B for South African Airways
South African Airways
with two Hercules 634 engines. Type 636 Viking 1B demonstrator. Type 637 Valletta C1 for the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
with two Hercules 230 engines. Type 639 Viking 1 for British European Airways Type 641 Viking 1 for Suidair International Type 643 Viking 1 for Suidair International with two Hercules 630 engines. Type 644 Viking 1B for Iraqi Airways Type 649 Viking 1B for Pakistan
Pakistan
Air Force with two Hercules 634 engines. Type 651 Valetta C1 for the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
with two Hercules 634 engines. Type 657 Viking 1A conversions from Type 498 for BSAAC.

Operators[edit] Civil operators[edit]

Vickers Viking
Vickers Viking
1 of Aero-Transport (Austria) in 1958

 Argentina

Aerolíneas Argentinas Argentine Civil Aeronautics Board Flota Aérea Mercante Argentina LADE

 Austria

Aero Transport

 Denmark

DDL

 Egypt

Misrair

 France

Airnautic Air Dauphine Air Inter Air Sahara Europe Aero Service Transportes Aeriens Reunis

 Germany

Aero Express Flug Aerotour Colombus Luftreederei Condor Deutsche Flugdienst LTU International Transavia Flug

 India

Air India Indian Airlines Corporation Indian National Airways

 Iraq

Iraqi Airways Iraq
Iraq
Petroleum Transport Company

 Ireland

Aer Lingus

 Kuwait

Kuwait
Kuwait
Oil Company

 Mexico

Bernado Pasquelle Government of Mexico

  Portugal
Portugal
(Portuguese India)

Transportes Aéreos da Índia Portuguesa

 Pakistan

It was In personal use of first Governor General of Pakistan
Pakistan
Quaid E Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah

 South Africa

Protea Airways South African Airways Suldair International Airways Trek Airways United Airways

Central African Airways
Central African Airways
Vickers Viking
Vickers Viking
at London Heathrow
Heathrow
in May 1953

 Southern Rhodesia

Central African Airways

  Switzerland

Balair

 Trinidad and Tobago

British West Indian Airways

Viking C.2 of Channel Airways
Channel Airways
at Manchester Ringway on 25 July 1964

Viking 1B of Eagle Airways at Manchester Ringway in July 1959

 United Kingdom

African Air Safaris Air Ferry Air Safaris Airwork Services Autair Bembridge Air Hire Limited BKS Air Transport British European Airways British Overseas Airways Corporation
British Overseas Airways Corporation
(used only by BOAC development flight) Eagle Aviation/Eagle Airways British International Airlines British Nederland Airservices Channel Airways Continental Air Services Crewsair Limited Decca Navigator Company Dragon Airways Eros Airlines (UK) Falcon Airways Field Aircraft Services First Air Trading Company Hunting Air Transport Hunting-Clan Air Transport Invicta Airways / Invicta International Airways Independent Air Travel James Stuart Travel Limited Maitland Drewery Aviation Meredith Air Transport Orion Airways Overseas Aviation Pegasus Airlines Tradair Limited Trans World Charter Vendair Limited

Military operators[edit]

 Argentina

Argentine Air Force

 Australia

Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
- One Viking C2 in service from 1947 to 1951.

No. 2 Squadron RAAF No. 34 Squadron RAAF

 Jordan

Arab Legion
Arab Legion
Air Force Royal Jordanian Air Force

 Pakistan

Pakistan
Pakistan
Air Force

 United Kingdom

Royal Air Force

Empire Test Pilots' School The King's Flight, RAF

Accidents and incidents[edit] Main article: List of accidents and incidents involving the Vickers VC.1 Viking Of the 163 aircraft built 56 aircraft were lost in accidents – the following were some notable accidents:

5 April 1948 (1948-04-05): G-AIVP operated by British European Airways collided with a Soviet Yak-3
Yak-3
near Berlin, 15 killed. 21 April 1948 (1948-04-21): British European Airways Flight S200P (G-AIVE) crashed on approach to Glasgow-Renfrew Airport. No one was killed but 14 were injured.

Remains of 21 April 1948 G-AIVE crash

8 February 1949 (1949-02-08): OY-DLU operated by Det Danske Luftfartselskab (DDL) crashed into the sea off Copenhagen, Denmark, with the loss of all 27 occupants.[10] 31 October 1950 (1950-10-31): G-AHPN operated by British European Airways
British European Airways
crashed during a Ground Control Approach landing in bad visibility (40-50 yd) at London Northolt airport, England. The pilot failed to overshoot and 25 passengers and three crew died. It was subsequently recommended that it be an offence for aircraft to go below a minimum height when ground visibility was low.[11] 17 February 1952 (1952-02-17): G-AHPI operated by Hunting Air Travel flew into the La Cinta mountain range, Italy, with the loss of all 31 occupants.[12] 5 January 1953 (1953-01-05): G-AJDL operated by British European Airways crashed on approach at Belfast-Nutts Corner Airport, Northern Ireland, three crew and 24 passengers died.[13][14] 12 August 1953 (1953-08-12): G-AIVG operated by British European Airways crashed on take-off at Le Bourget-Paris, France, four crew and 30 passengers injured but survived.[15] 1 May 1957 (1957-05-01): G-AJBO operated by Eagle Aviation crashed after engine failure near Blackbushe Airport, England, five crew and 29 passengers died. 2 September 1958 (1958-09-02): G-AIJE operated by Independent Air Travel crashed into a house as the flight crew were trying to return to London Heathrow
Heathrow
Airport after reporting engine problems. All three crew died and four on the ground also died.[16] 9 August 1961 (1961-08-09): G-AHPM operated by Cunard Eagle Airways crashed into a mountainside near Holta
Holta
on approach to Stavanger Airport, Sola in Norway with the loss of all 39 occupants.[17] The Norwegian report on the incident[18][19] concluded that the pilot was off-course for unknown reasons. The 50th anniversary was marked by a book published in summer 2011, The Lanfranc Boys by Rosalind Jones, sister of Quentin Green, one of the victims.[20] The aircraft carried 34 boys and 2 members of staff from The Archbishop Lanfranc School in Croydon 11 September 1963 (1963-09-11): F-BJER operated by Airnautic crashed into a mountain in the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
with the loss of all 40 occupants, the worst Viking accident.[21]

Aircraft on display[edit]

T-9, ex Argentine Air Force, Museo Nacional de Aeronáutica de Argentina

G-AGRU under restoration at the Brooklands
Brooklands
Museum in 2009

Several Viking aircraft are on public display in aerospace museums worldwide, they include:

Argentina

T-9 – Viking 1B on static display at the Museo Nacional de Aeronáutica de Argentina
Argentina
in Morón, Buenos Aires.[22]

Austria

G-AGRW – Viking 1A on static display at Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Vienna.[23]

Pakistan

J-750 – Viking 1B on static display at the Pakistan
Pakistan
Air Force Museum in Karachi, Sindh.[24]

Switzerland

G-AIVG – Viking 1B under restoration to static display by the Vintage Aircraft Club at EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg
EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg
in Basel.[25] It crashed at Le Bourget
Le Bourget
Airport on 12 August 1958.[26] It uses undercarriage and other parts from Vickers Valetta
Vickers Valetta
VX577 destroyed by fire 24 January 1997.[27][not in citation given]

South Africa

ZS-DKH – Viking 1A under restoration to static display at the South African Airways Museum Society in Germiston, Gauteng.[28]

United Kingdom

G-AGRU – Viking 1A under restoration to static display at the Brooklands
Brooklands
Museum in Weybridge, Surrey.[29]

Specifications (Viking 1B)[edit]

Vickers Viking
Vickers Viking
1B

Data from Vickers Aircraft since 1908 [30] General characteristics

Crew: Two pilots Capacity: 36 passengers Length: 65 ft 2 in (19.86 m) Wingspan: 89 ft 3 in (27.20 m) Height: 19 ft 7 in (5.97 m) Wing area: 882 ft² (82.0 m²) Empty weight: 23,000 lb (10,430 kg) Max. takeoff weight: 34,000 lb (15,420 kg) Powerplant: 2 × Bristol Hercules
Bristol Hercules
634 14-cylinder two-row radial engine, 1,690 hp (1,260 kW) each

Performance

Maximum speed: 263 mph (229 kn, 423 km/h) Cruise speed: 210 mph[31] (183 kn, 338 km/h) Range: 1,700 mi (1,478 nmi, 2,740 km) Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m) Rate of climb: 1,500 ft/min (7.6 m/s) Wing loading: 38.5 lb/ft² (127 kg/m²) Power/mass: 0.099 hp/lb (0.16 kW/kg) Take-off distance to 50 ft (15 m): 2,550 ft (777 m)[32] Landing distance from 50 ft (15 m): 3900 ft (1,189 m)[32]

See also[edit]

Related development

Vickers Valetta Vickers Varsity Vickers Wellington

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Douglas DC-3

References[edit]

Notes

^ Andrews and Morgan 1988, p. 398. ^ "First Jet Transport", Flight: 134, 29 July 1948  ^ "From Jets to Pistons", Flight: 464, 17 September 1954  ^ Owen Thetford 'Aircraft of the Royal Air Force' 1988 8th Ed, p. 649. ^ Green and Pollinger 1955, p. 184. ^ Taylor 1983, p. 39. ^ Chorlton Aeroplane Monthly
Aeroplane Monthly
Winter 2013, p. 81. ^ Flight 24 May 1945 ^ Martin 1975, p. 26. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Vickers 628 Viking 1B OY-DLU Barsebäck (Öresund)" aviation-safety.net. ^ "Lessons from an Accident." Flight, 19 October 1951, pp. 218–219. Retrieved: 6 August 2011. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Vickers 614 Viking 1 G-AHPI Monte la Cinta" aviation-safety.net. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Vickers 610 Viking 1B G-AJDL Belfast-Nutts Corner Airport" aviation-safety.net. ^ "Finding of the Nutt's Corner Inquiry". Flight, 31 July 1953, p. 153. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Vickers 610 Viking 1B G-AIVG Paris
Paris
Le Bourget Airport" aviation-safety.net. ^ Flight 21 August 1959, p. 58. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Vickers 610 Viking 3B G-AHPM Stavanger" aviation-safety.net. ^ Flight International 4 October 1962 "Stavanger Accident Report" ^ British Pathe News ^ http://lanfranc-holtaheia.co.uk/ ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Vickers 610 Viking 1B F-BJER Pic de la Roquette" aviation-safety.net. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Vickers Viking
Vickers Viking
1B, s/n T-9 ARA, c/n 163, c/r LV-XET". Aerial Visuals. AerialVisuals.ca. Retrieved 6 June 2017.  ^ "Airframe Dossier - Vickers Viking
Vickers Viking
1B, s/n XF640 RAF, c/r G-AGRW". Aerial Visuals. AerialVisuals.ca. Retrieved 6 June 2017.  ^ "THE QUAID'S AIRCRAFT". Pakistan
Pakistan
Air Force Museum. Pakistan
Pakistan
Air Force Museum. Retrieved 6 June 2017.  ^ "Das Projekt "Save-a-Viking"". Save-a-Viking (in German). Retrieved 6 June 2017.  ^ "Der Unfall der "G-AIVG"". Save-a-Viking (in German). Retrieved 6 June 2017.  ^ "Was im Jahr 2010 bei "Save-a-Viking" geschah:". Save-a-Viking (in German). Retrieved 6 June 2017.  ^ " Vickers Viking
Vickers Viking
VC.1A". SAA Museum Society. Retrieved 6 June 2017.  ^ "Vickers 498 Viking 1A". Brooklands
Brooklands
Museum. Brooklands
Brooklands
Museum Trust Ltd. Retrieved 6 June 2017.  ^ Andrews and Morgan 1988, p. 416. ^ Jackson 1988, p. 221. ^ a b Bridgman 1951, p. 92c.

Bibliography

"Air Commerce: The Southall Accident: Report of the Public Inquiry". Flight, 21 August 1959, p. 58. Andrews, C.F. and E.B. Morgan. Vickers Aircraft since 1908. London:Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-815-1. Bailey-Watson, C. B. "Vickers Viking". Flight, Vol. XLVII, No. 1900, 24 May 1945. pp. 556a–d, 557. Bridgman, Leonard. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1951–52. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd, 1951. Chorlton, Martyn. "Database: Vickers VC.1 Viking". Aeroplane, Vol. 41, No. 12, Winter 2013. pp. 74–87. ISSN 0143-7240. Green, William and Gerald Pollinger. The Aircraft of the World. London: Macdonald, 1955. Jackson, A.J. British Civil Aircraft 1919–1972: Volume III. London: Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-818-6. Martin, Bernard. The Viking, Valetta and Varsity. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1975. ISBN 0-85130-038-3. Taylor, H.A. "The Viking... Vickers Commercial One". Air Enthusiast, No. 21, April–July 1983, pp. 38–48. ISSN 0143-5450.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vickers Viking.

"First Jet Transport" a 1948 article in Flight Progress - The Vickers "Nene/Viking" a 1949 advertisement in Flight for Rolls-Royce engines

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Type C

Early types

Hydravion

Monoplane No.1 Monoplane No.2 Monoplane No.3 Monoplane No.4 Monoplane No.5 Monoplane No.6 Monoplane No.7 Monoplane No.8

Tractor Biplane Tractor Scout

HM Airship No. 1 HM Airship No. 9r

Civilian

Merchantman Vimy Commercial Vulture Viget Vagabond Vulcan 170 Vanguard Vellox VC.1 Viking VC.2 VC.3 Viscount Vanguard VC10

Airships: R80 R100

Military

C.O.W. Gun Fighter E.F.B.1 E.F.B.2 E.F.B.3 E.F.B.4 F.B.5 F.B.6 E.F.B.7 E.F.B.8 F.B.9 F.B.11 F.B.12 F.B.14 F.B.16 F.B.19 F.B.23 F.B.24 F.B.25 F.B.26 (Vampire)

F.B.27 E.S.1 E.S.2

Vimy Viking Vivid Vixen Valparaiso Venture Wibault Scout 123 Valiant 141 143 161 162 163 177 207 253 581 C Jockey Vespa Wibault Viastra Vellore Virginia Vanox Valentia (flying boat) Valentia (Type 264) Vampire Vanellus Vendace Venom Vernon Victoria Vildebeest V.I.M Vincent Vireo Vulture Wellesley Wellington Warwick Windsor Valetta Varsity Valian

.