Vickers Vendace I N208
The Vickers Vendace I N208 at Brooklands prior to delivery to Martlesham for trials.
The Vickers Type 120 Vendace was originally built against Specification 5A/24 which sought a training floatplane. The design produced by Vickers Ltd (Aviation Department) was a conventional, tractor biplane of mixed construction materials. It featured folding wooden wings and a steel tube fuselage. An interesting feature of the design was an undercarriage that could rapidly be converted from wheel to float operation, The company claimed that this operation 'could be completed by just two engineers in around ten minutes'.
Another well-thought-out design feature was that the two crew were provided with seats that could be raised to provide improved visibility for take-off and landing, then lowered for more comfortable wind-reduced operation in normal flight. Power was provided by a 270 hp Rolls-Royce Falcon III engine.
The new design was first flown at Brooklands in March 1926, given the name Vickers Vendace (N208).
In April 1926, the Vickers Vendace was flown to Gosport and where it was fitted with an arrester hook, prior to deck operation trials on HMS Furious. These were deemed as very successful with the aircraft being praised for its light and effective controls, rapid throttle response, ease of take-off and landing and low stall speed. Its recorded a maximum speed of 102 kt.
Landplane tests were also conducted at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Martlesham Heath during August 1926, following which a larger radiator was fitted and the aircraft further prepared for seaplane trials at RNAS Felixstowe. These commenced on 25th March 1927, the aircraft being retained at Felixstowe thereafter.
Sadly, a production order was never received for the Vickers Vendace, despite  the performance and characteristics of the type being sufficiently promising that Vickers decided to build another aircraft on a private venture basis, designated as the Vickers Type  133 Vendace II.
The Vickers Vendace II was powered by a 300 hp ADC Nimbus six-cylinder inline engine and received a civil registration (G-EBPX). It was registered as such in early January 1927, receiving its Certificate of Airworthiness shortly afterwards, assisted by the prior evaluation of the Vendace I N208.
Vickers Vendace II G-EBPX Nimbus
The Nimbus-powered Vendace II G-EBPX in its original configuration.
Despite this, the Vickers Vendace II did not make its first flight until November 1927, as the company was busily occupied with other official contracts.
The Vickers Vendace II was primarily used as a demonstrator although it was tested on floats at Hamble, with trials being conducted on 22nd May 1928.
Vickers Vendace II G-EBPX survey floatplane
The Vendace II G-EBPX after adaptation for aerial survey work in South America.
Eventually, it was sold to The Aircraft Operating Company for use as a photographic survey aircraft in South America, with modifications introduced to equip the aircraft for this role with the camera operator occupying the rear cockpit. It was shipped to Rio de Janeiro and commenced aerial mapping operations. In this form, the aircraft received a new Vickers designation as the Type 157.
Vickers Vendace III Bolivian Purchase Commission Brooklands c1926
Members of the Bolivian Purchase Commission with Vickers staff at Brooklands circa 1926.
The Vickers Vendace had also attracted the attention of the Bolivian Government, which placed an order for three further developed aircraft, the Vickers Type 155 Vendace III. The main design change was the fitting of a 300 hp Hispano Suiza engine and the Vickers Vendace III flew well in Bolivia. Unfortunately, after a period they encountered engine problems due to the extremely dusty conditions of the airfields.
Their main use was to provide training for the pilots prior to their transition to the Vickers-supplied Vickers Vespas and Vickers Type 143 Scouts, with which the Bolivian Air Force was also equipped.


Variants & Number Built

Vickers Type 120
Vendace I
Prototype. Rolls-Royce Falcon III engine. One only N208.
Vickers Type 133
Vendace II
One only G-EBPX. ADC Nimbus engine. Modified for aerial survey work as the Type 157 Vendace II.
Vickers Type 155
Vendace III
Three aircraft supplied to the Bolivian Air Force. Powered by 300 hp Hispano Suiza engine.
Total: 5 aircraft
N208, G-EBPX and three Vendace III aircraft for Bolivia


Vendace I
Vendace III
One 270 hp Rolls-Royce Falcon III
One 300 hp Hispano Suiza 8F
44 ft 7 in
44 ft 7 in
Maximum Weight
2,585 lb
2,604 lb
Instructor and pupil
Maximum Speed
117 mph
119 mph at 13,000 ft




More information

12 Default Profile Image
BAE Systems
The information shown is based on that available at the time of the content creation. If you have any additions or corrections then please contact us via email - All images BAE Systems / Ron Smith copyright unless otherwise shown.