Vickers Venture side on Brooklands
J7277 is the first of six Vickers Type 94 Venture army cooperation aircraft built for the RAF.
The Vickers Type 94 Venture two-seat reconnaissance aircraft was derived from the Vickers Vixen II following successful trials of the latter at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Martlesham Heath, in February 1924.  As a result, Vickers Ltd (Aviation Department) received a contract to build six modified aircraft against Specification 45 / 23, as army co-operation development aircraft.
These aircraft were something of a hybrid between the Vickers Vixen II and Vickers Vixen III designs, having Vickers Vixen II wings, combined with the lengthened fuselage and engine installation of the Vickers Vixen III, which was being developed in parallel.
All six aircraft were built in a single batch, with the first example (J7277) flying for the first time at Brooklands on 3rd June 1924.
The Vickers Venture was a conventional single-bay biplane, powered by a Napier Lion I engine. The crew comprised a pilot and a gunner / observer and the aircraft was armed with two fixed, forward-firing Vickers guns, a defensive Lewis gun and provision for the underwing carriage of four 112 lb bombs.
Vickers Venture J7278 front stbd
The second Vickers Venture showing its similarity to the Vixen II from which it was developed.
The trials at Martlesham from 17th June, established a maximum speed of 135 mph. However, they also revealed several deficiencies which included poor forward and downward view for the pilot, a lengthy landing run and poor longitudinal stability. The aircraft was also regarded as being ‘too large’.
Army co-operation and reconnaissance flying benefit from a stable platform and the ability to operate well forward from small, relatively unprepared fields. Consequently, these criticisms were serious enough to prevent the type receiving a production order and achieving large scale operations.
Squadron service trials were conducted, but the six aircraft built were destined to spend most of their lives at the Royal Aircraft Establishment and at Martlesham, as the subject of further stability and fuel economy trials. The last example was struck off RAF charge in January 1933.

Variants & Number Built

Six aircraft only (J7277 to J7282).


One 450 hp Napier Lion I twelve cylinder engine
40 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight
4,890 lb
Two crew pilot and gunner; two fixed forward firing Vickers guns and Lewis gun on Scarff ring in rear cockpit, provision for the underwing carriage of four 112 lb bombs
Maximum Speed
129 mph at 10,000 ft





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