Vickers Vagabond 1924 16 stbd front Brooklands
The Vickers Vagabond took part in the 1924 Lympne two seat light aeroplane competition.
Following the first Lympne trials held in 1923 for single-seat motor-gliders, the Air Ministry organised a further trial in 1924, this time for two-seat light aircraft.
The aircraft wings had to fold for transport and storage and engine power was limited to a maximum engine capacity of 1,100 cc. The trials took place between 29th September and 4th October 1924.
The Vickers Type 98 Vagabond was the Vickers (Aviation Department) entry and it was a single-bay, biplane of equal span rectangular wings, rounded at their tips. Ailerons were fitted on both the upper and lower wings, with hinged panels inboard on the lower wings which could be folded forward to assist wing-folding.
The pilot and passenger sat in tandem in open cockpits and power was initially provided by a 32 hp Bristol Cherub III horizontally opposed twin-cylinder air cooled engine. This was replaced prior to the trials by a three-cylinder 1,095 cc Blackburne Thrush radial engine.
The most novel feature of the Vickers Vagabond was that longitudinal trim was achieved by using a hinged rear fuselage. The 'hinge-point' was just behind the rear cockpit with the tail position being controlled by a handwheel between the two cockpits. This was a similar trim arrangement to that used on the early models of the Mooney light aircraft from the USA, although in that case the hinge point is just forward of the tailplane.
Early flight trials revealed the need to stiffen the engine mountings, although the Vickers Vagabond flew quite well with the Blackburne Thrush engine. Unfortunately however, it was eliminated in the preliminary trials. Nevertheless, the aircraft and engine performance were improved once it had been eliminated from the main event and it subsequently took part in the 100-mile Grosvenor Challenge Cup Race, which was won by Bert Hinkler flying the Avro Avis.
Only one Vickers Vagabond was built (G-EBJF), being registered on 1st July 1924. Unfortunately, its registration was later cancelled on 24th January 1928.
Vickers Vagabond wings folding
The two-seat Vickers Vagabond G-EBJF had folding wings, as demonstrated here.

Variants & Number built

Type 98 Vagabond
One only, G-EBJF, competition number 16.


One 32 hp Bristol Cherub, later one 1,095 cc Blackburne Thrush engine
28 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight
887 lb
Pilot and passenger
Maximum Speed
77 mph




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