Vickers
Vulcan

An eight passenger commercial transport biplane that met with limited success in service.
Vickers Vulcan Instone G-EBBL City of Antwerp The first Vickers Vulcan for Instone Air Line Ltd G-EBBL City of Antwerp.
 
The Vickers Vulcan was designed by Rex Pierson, Chief Designer at Vickers (Aviation Department) and featured an enclosed cabin for eight passengers within a deep fuselage of elliptical cross-section. This fuselage was influenced by the design of the earlier Vickers Vimy Commercial and Vickers Vernon but unfortunately it earned the aircraft the unflattering nickname of 'The Flying Pig'.
 
The first Vickers Type 61 Vulcan (G-EBLL) was ordered by Instone Air Line Ltd and flew for the first time in April 1922, at Brooklands, Weybridge. Power was provided by a 360 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII, supplied by the Aircraft Disposal Co. (Airdisco) and it was expected that the provision of eight passenger seats, combined with a single engine would result in low operating costs and make it very profitable for commercial operations.
 
Instone had initially ordered four aircraft ‘off the drawing board’. Two were to be built for passenger operations (G-EBLL & G-EBDH) with a second pair (G-EBEA & G-EBEM) intended for cargo operations.
 
The first aircraft (G-EBLL) was delivered on 30th May 1922, and it was followed by the second delivery (G-EBDH) on 15th July. The first aircraft immediately entered into service on the London to Paris route on 1st June 1922, subsequently being mainly used flying between London and Brussels. It was soon joined by 2 others (G-EBDH) and the first of the cargo variants (G-EBEA) on this important passenger and trade route.
 
In the event, the initial cargo aircraft was converted to the passenger configuration and entered service with Instone. Meanwhile, the second cargo variant (G-EBEM) was actually cancelled by Instone prior to delivery and it was retained by Vickers.
 
The unsold aircraft took part in the 1922 King’s Cup Air Race before it was ultimately acquired by Leslie Hamilton for air charter operations in January 1926. This aircraft disappeared off the coast of Italy on 7th May 1926, with no trace of wreckage or its crew found.
 
One aircraft (G-EBEK) was ordered by the Air Ministry to investigate freight operations and it was designated as the Vickers Type 63. It was delivered on 30th October 1922, powered by a new Rolls-Royce Eagle IX engine.  It was subsequently converted to passenger configuration and made available to Imperial Airways.
 
Two aircraft were also ordered by QANTAS in Australia. The first of the order (G-EBET), was delivered to the airline for acceptance trials, but was rejected as being unable to meet the required specification under the severe climatic conditions experienced. Construction of the second QANTAS aircraft was then abandoned. 
 
Vickers Vulcan G-EBET QANTAS Vickers Vulcan G-EBET in Australia for its unsuccessful trials with QANTAS.
 
Two further aircraft (G-EBFC and G-EBLB) were built for Imperial Airways as the Vickers Type 74, powered by the 450 hp Napier Lion engine.
 
These aircraft were delivered in December 1924 and May 1925, and were used mainly on the London to Brussels route, occasionally operating as far as Cologne.  The second aircraft (G-EBLB) proved to be the last Vickers Vulcan still flying when it was destroyed in an accident during a test flight in July 1928.
 

Variants & Number Built


Vickers Type 61
Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII, passenger configuration: Five built plus one airframe not completed
Vickers Type 63
One aircraft G-EBEK, freight configuration, Rolls-Royce Eagle IX. Subsequently converted to passenger configuration for Imperial Airways
Vickers Type 74
Napier Lion engine, passenger configuration for Imperial Airways, two built
Total built
8 aircraft, plus one airframe not completed
 

Specifications


 
Vickers Type 61 Vulcan
Vickers Type 74 Vulcan
Powerplant
One 360 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII
One 450 hp Napier Lion
Span
49 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight
6,150 lb
6,750 lb
Capacity
Pilot, up to eight passengers
Maximum Speed
105 mph at sea level
112 mph at sea level
Range
360 miles
430 miles

 

Survivors


None.
 

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