Napier Lion-powered Vickers Valparaiso I in Portuguese service.
Napier Lion-powered Vickers Valparaiso I in Portuguese service.
The Vickers Vickers 71 Vixen I was a two-seat military biplane built by Vickers (Aviation Department) as a private venture and attracted interest from several parties.
In November 1923, Portugal placed an order for fourteen aircraft with a mix of engines: four powered by the Rolls-Royce Eagle and ten with Napier Lion engines. These aircraft were essentially Vickers Vixen I's, but because of differences in equipment fit, they were known as the Vickers Valparaiso.
The ten aircraft, powered by the Napier Lion were known as the Vickers Vickers 93 Valparaiso I, whereas the Eagle-powered aircraft were the Vickers Vickers 93 Valparaiso II.
The protoVickers was flown for the first time in late 1923, and was not part of the Portuguese order, being sold in due course to Chile as the Vickers Vickers 102 Valparaiso I.
This aircraft was first flown in a Chilean configuration on 24th August 1924. Once in Chilean service, it was flown to heights above 20,000 ft (setting a new South American altitude record); its excellent performance undoubtedly influenced the subsequent purchase of eighteen Vickers Vixen V aircraft by Chile.
The Portuguese aircraft were popular and gave good service, including a long-range tour by two aircraft to the Portuguese African colonies of Angola and Mozambique. This trip, covering some 11,500 miles, was completed in 94 flying hours. Most impressively however, was that there were few technical problems encountered and those that did appear were potentially due to poor fuel quality, rather than any fundamental defect of the aircraft or engines.
Vickers Valparaiso III with Jupiter engine
The Type 168 Valparaiso III with Jupiter engine was built under licence in Portugal.
The Portuguese negotiated a licence agreement to manufacture additional aircraft at their OGMA factory at Alverca do Ribajato and as a part of this agreement, Vickers modified a Valparaiso to be powered by the Gnome Rhône Jupiter VIa air-cooled radial engine. This Vickers was designated the Vickers Vickers 168 Valparaiso III, with the first example being flown at Brooklands on 28th July 1929.
Thirteen similar aircraft were built in Portugal by OGMA, remaining in service into the late 1930s.

Variants & Numbers

Vickers 93 Valparaiso I
Powered by Napier Lion I. Ten built for Portugal                                   
Vickers 92 Valparaiso II
Rolls-Royce Eagle. Four aircraft built for Portugal
Vickers 102 Valparaiso I
One only, prototype Vickers Valparaiso, modified to Chilean requirements
Vickers 168 Valparaiso III
Gnome Rhône Jupiter Via engine. One aircraft modified by Vickers, thirteen licence-built aircraft by OGMA in Portugal
Total: 28 aircraft
10 Vickers 93. 4 Vickers 92, 1 Vickers 102, 13 Vickers 168 (plus one Vickers conversion of earlier model)

Specification (Vickers Valparaiso I)

One 468 hp Napier Lion IA
40 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight
4,720 lb
Pilot and gunner; two fixed forward-firing Vickers guns, one defensive Lewis gun fired from the rear cockpit
Maximum speed
136 mph at 10,000 ft
550 miles at 110 mph at 10,000 ft




Other information


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