Vickers
Vendace

A single-engine training biplane intended for land or seaplane operation.
Vickers Vendace I N208 The Vickers Vendace I N208 at Brooklands prior to delivery to Martlesham for trials.
 
The Vickers Type 120 was built against Specification 5A/24 which sought a training floatplane. The design produced by Vickers 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 and 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 and 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 and was given the name Vendace and allocated the serial number N208.
 
In April 1926, the Vendance 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 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 and the aircraft was retained at Felixstowe thereafter.
 
Sadly, a production order was never received for the 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 Type  133 Vendace II.
 
The 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 Vendace II did not make its first flight until November 1927, as the company was busily occupied with other official contracts.
 
 
The 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 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 Vendace III flew well in Bolivia although 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 Vespas and Type 143 Scouts, with which the Bolivian Air Force was also equipped.

 

Variants & Numbers

 
Type 120 Vendace I
Prototype. Rolls-Royce Falcon III engine. One only N208.
Type 133 Vendace II
One only G-EBPX. ADC Nimbus engine. Modified for aerial survey work as the Type 157 Vendace II.
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
 
 

Specifications

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

Survivors

 

No examples of the Vickers Vendace survive.

Other information

www.brooklandsmuseum.com