Vickers No 1 monoplane left front view Joyce Green
The Vickers No 1 monoplane was built at Erith and first flown at Joyce Green.
The Vickers company decided in 1911 to set up an aviation department. The first step was to take out a licence for the manufacture and sale of the Robert Esnault-Pelterie (REP) monoplane. One complete aircraft was purchased from France, together with an additional rear fuselage.
The Vickers No.1 Monoplane was a modified version of the REP design, making use of the French rear fuselage. It incorporated detailed changes to the rudder with a new, stronger undercarriage described as Farman-inspired, plus twin skids and two wheels on each skid. The fuselage structure was of steel tube construction and the tapered wings, with square-cut tips, featured tubular steel spars with wooden ribs and were covered with fabric. The two occupants were seated in tandem cockpits and power was provided by a five-cylinder 60 hp REP semi-radial engine.
Vickers No 1 REP monoplane
The Vickers No 1 monoplane made us of an REP engine and steel tube fuselage design.
The Vickers No.1 Monoplane was built in the Erith Works of Vickers, Sons and Maxim in July 1911 and flown from the new Vickers Aerodrome at Joyce Green, near Dartford, Kent. It was then moved to Brooklands  where sadly, the aircraft crashed whilst being flown by Robert Fenwick.
It is worth commenting that these aircraft, like many others of their time, were difficult to fly with poor stability and limited power, resulting in a relatively small margin between their flying speed and stalling speed.
The Vickers No.2 Monoplane was essentially identical to the Vickers Monoplane No.1 and once repaired it was shipped to Australia for use by Dr Douglas Mawson on his 1912 Antarctic expedition. Unfortunately, it crashed once again during a trial flight at Adelaide during October 1911. Nevertheless, the aircraft was taken to Antarctica with a view to being used (wingless) as a propeller-driven sledge! 
Even this ambition was frustrated by the extreme cold which solidified the lubrication oil and which resulted in the engine becoming seized.
Vickers No 2 monoplane at Brooklands c1911
The Vickers No 2 monoplane was similar to No 1 and is seen here at Brooklands in 1911.

Variants & Numbers

Two only, Vickers No.1 and No.2 Monoplanes.


One 60 hp REP or (No.2) Vickers-REP semi-radial engine
47 ft 6 in
Maximum Weight
1,000 lb
Pilot and passenger
Maximum Speed
56 mph


No examples of the Vickers No.1 and No.2 Monoplanes survive.


Other information

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