Vickers VIM stbd side
Thirty-five Vickers VIM aircraft were built for China, powered by the Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII.
The Vickers Aviation VIM (Vickers Instructional Machine) was trainer aircraft based on a revised Royal Aircraft Factory FE2d fitted with a Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engine which was purchased from the Aircraft Disposal Co. The type was sometimes referred to (for example, in ‘Flight’ magazine) as the VIM ‘School Machine’.
Thirty-five VIM aircraft were ordered by the Chinese Government in 1919, alongside other types including 40 Vickers Vimy Commercial (delivered between April 1920 and February 1921) and 20 Avro 504Ks.
The intent was to establish civil aircraft operations with the Avro 504K as a primary trainer, the VIM as an advance trainer and the Vimy Commercial for passenger operations.
The FE2d armament was removed and a newly designed nacelle fitted. It featured two cockpits set in tandem and provided with dual controls, with the instructor occupying the rear cockpit. The use of the Eagle VIII engine provided commonality with that used in the Vimy Commercial, giving both air and ground crews familiarity with its operation and maintenance.
These orders for the VIM and Vimy Commercial must have been welcome, given the immense contraction within the Royal Air Force following the end of the First World War. Little is known of the aircraft usage in China but comments made by Cecil Lewis in his book ‘Sagittarius Rising’ suggest that many of the Vimy Commercials actually remained unused.
Vickers VIM Instructional Aircraft 1920
The Vickers Instructional Machine (VIM) was built for China in 1920 using surplus FE2d airframe parts.


Variants & Numbers

Vickers VIM
35 production aircraft marked X41 to X75


One 360 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII
47 ft 8 in
Maximum Weight
3,645 lb
Instructor and student
Maximum Speed
100 mph
2 hr 45 min




Other information

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