Vickers
Valentia

A development of the Vickers Victoria VI to allow greater operating weights.
Vickers Valentia K3599 K3599 is the first production Vickers Valentia Mk I.
 
The Vickers Victoria troop transport (described separately) was developed through a series of variants, with the initial production models (Mk III and Mk V) being powered by various models of the Napier Lion engine. The final variant of the Victoria (Mk VI) was powered by two Bristol Pegasus engines and cleared to a maximum take-off weight of 17,600 lb.
 
Vickers recognised that with this powerplant there was scope for development to higher-weights following relatively modest structural improvements. The main external changes were the strengthening of the undercarriage by the introduction of a diagonal bracing strut (in place of the previous wire bracing) and the fitting of a tailwheel, rather than a skid.
 
The presence of a tailwheel, together with the diagonal bracing strut in the undercarriage are the main external distinguishing features between the Vickers Valentia and the Vickers Victoria VI, which also used the Pegasus engine. With these changes the operating weight was increased to a maximum of 19,500 lb.
 
Although externally similar to the Victoria, the Air Ministry decided that a new type name was justified, not least to reduce the risk of the earlier types being loaded to the new weight. This resulted in an initial production order for what now became the Vickers Type 264 Valentia I, with the first example being given a military registration (K3599).
 
Vickers Valentia K2797 in flight K2797 was converted from a Victoria V to a Valentia I by Vickers at Brooklands.
 
In total, 28 new build aircraft were ordered in four batches, delivered between May 1934 and May 1936. Because of the relatively modest changes from the later marks of Victoria, a total of 54 additional aircraft were produced by conversion, many of these being completed by the RAF in the Middle East.
 
Experimental developments included installation of a sky-shouting public address system on one aircraft (K4632) and the development of defensive gun positions on another (K4633). Several 'in-service' aircraft were subsequently converted in this way.
 
One aircraft (K3168) was converted as an air-to-air refuelling tanker and used for trials to deliver inflight fuel to an Airspeed Courier, this in support of a proposed non-stop flight to India to be carried out by Sir Alan Cobham.
 
Vickers Valentia K3167 Cairo-Nairobi flight Apr 1937 Vickers Valentia K3167 on its Cairo-Nairobi-Cairo flight in April 1937.
 
Despite their apparent obsolescence, the RAF had 60 Valentia aircraft on strength in September 1939.
 
Eleven Valentia aircraft were transferred to the South African Air Force in 1940.
 
The type remained in service on communication duties in North Africa and the Middle East with the last operational examples (K1311 and K3600) still in use with the Iraq and Persia Communications Flight in May 1944.
 

Variants & Numbers

 
Valentia Mk I
28 new-build aircraft and 54 conversions from Vickers Victoria.
Total built
82 aircraft (including conversions)
 

Specification

 
Powerplant
Two 650 hp Bristol Pegasus IIL.3
Span
87 ft 4 in
Maximum Weight
19,500 lb
Capacity and armament
Two crew and 22 fully armed troops; in bombing role capable of carrying 2,200 lb of bombs on underwing racks
Maximum Speed
120 mph at 5,000 ft
Cruise speed
117 mph
Range
800 miles
 

Survivors

 

No examples of the Vickers Valentia survive.

Other information

www.brooklandsmuseum.com