Vickers Type 89 Viget

Vickers’ entrant in the 1923 Lympne single-seat light aeroplane competition.
Vickers Viget next to Virginia The Vickers Viget G-EBHN parked next to a Vickers Virginia to provide a size comparison.
 
In October 1923, the Royal Aero Club held a competition at Lympne for ‘motor gliders’ which is generally known as the 1923 Light Aeroplane Trials. The rules stipulated that single-seat aircraft that should be capable of having folded wings for storage and should be powered by engines of no more than 750 cc capacity. The aim was said to be to encourage the development of small and affordable aircraft for the private owner.
 
Vickers Aviation entered the competition with a small biplane known as the Type 89 Viget. Other entrants at the trials included the de Havilland  DH53 Humming Bird and the Gloster Gannet.
 
Vickers Viget ground handling The small size and light weight of the Type 89 Viget is apparent from this photograph.
 
The Viget was a conventional single-bay biplane with constant chord wings of no stagger. Full span ailerons were fitted on both the upper and lower wings. Power was provided by a twin-cylinder 750 cc Douglas motorcycle engine mounted below the propeller and driving it via a chain reduction gear.
 
The Viget flew well during the trials but failed to win any awards. It gained notoriety however, when after a rocker arm failure and forced landing, the pilot Stan Cockerell simply folded the wings and pushed the aircraft back to Lympne.  Cockerell stopped at a pub for 'refreshment along the way' and ‘The Aeroplane’ magazine reported that when he emerged, he found a group of people who had gathered thinking that the folded aircraft was actually a traveling Punch and Judy show!
 
During the Lympne Trials, the Viget carried competition number 10 with a cockerel painted on the fuselage side, this being an allusion to the pilot’s surname. It was  the only example to be built, receiving a civil registration (G-EBHN) on 3rd August 1923. The registration was not cancelled until January 1929 and despite it being advertised for sale, it does not appear to have been very active during this period.
 
Vickers Viget G-EBHN by hangar The Type 89 Viget was Vickers' entry in the 1923 Lympne light aeroplane competition..
 

Variants & Numbers

Type 89 Viget
One only, G-EBHN, competition number 10.
 

Specification

Powerplant
One 750 cc Douglas motorcycle engine
Span
25 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight
570 lb
Capacity
Pilot only
Maximum Speed
58 mph
 

Survivors

No examples of the Vickers Viget survive.

 

Other information