Vickers
Vincent

RAF general purpose biplane developed from the Vickers Vildebeest.
Vickers Vincent Prototype S1714 01-12-1932 S1714 was the prototype Vickers Vincent and was converted from a Vildebeest MkI.
 
The Vickers Type 266 Vincent was developed as a modification of the Vickers Vildebeest Torpedo Bomber and was intended to meet the requirements of Specification G.4/31. The specification sought a three-crew general purpose aircraft capable of operating in several roles although it is probably perhaps best summed up as 'Light Bombing and Ground Support' aircraft.
 
The Vincent was designed by Vickers Chief Designer Rex Pierson with the prototype (S1714) being converted from a Vildebeest I that came from the production line. It was flown for the first time on 24th November 1932 at Brooklands Aerodrome and around a month later it was sent for service trials in East Africa and Egypt, as well as other RAF Stations throughout the Middle East.
 
The Vincent was intended for use in these areas of operations where the huge distance between airfields, coupled with very unfavourable terrain put premium importance on the range of air transport. This was achieved by removal of the Vildebeest’s torpedo gear thus making provision for the carriage of a 100-gallon fuel tank mounted between the undercarriage legs. This then enabled the aircraft to have a maximum range of 1,250 miles as and when required.
 
As a general-purpose machine, a range of specialist equipment was also carried which (including in addition to an underwing bomb load of 1,056 lb) certain desert survival gear, wireless equipment and a message pick-up hook. Defensive firepower was provided in the form of a fixed forward-firing Vickers MkII machine gun plus a Lewis gun, fired from the rear cockpit.  Following the operational trials, a new Production Specification (21/33) was written around the type and an initial production contract placed.
 
The first production aircraft (K4105) was retained for trials purposes in the UK where it remained operational until 1940.
 
Vickers Vincent K4105 1st prodn K4105, the first production Vickers Vildebeest, fitted with the optional long-range fuel tank.
 
During its service, the Vincent operated with a number of RAF squadrons in Iraq, Aden, Kenya, Abyssinia and the Sudan from 1935 onwards.
 
By the outbreak of the Second World War, the type remained in service with 8 Sqn in Aden, 244 Sqn in Iraq and 47 Sqn in Sudan, remaining with them until around 1941. Some 22 surplus RAF aircraft were delivered to the Royal New Zealand Air Force whilst another four aircraft went to Iraq to supplement those already purchased by that nation.
 
Vickers Vincent K4712 of 8 Sqn RAF in flight An air-to-air photograph of Vickers Vincent K4712 of 8 Sqn RAF.
 
Total production comprised the prototype and 197 production aircraft in the following batches:
1 Prototype (S1714). 
51 aircraft (K4105 to K4155) of which four were supplied to New Zealand and one to Iraq.
5 aircraft (K4615 to K4619) delivered to store, of which 1 (K4617) was later delivered to RNZAF. 
95 aircraft (K4656 to K5750) of which 17 went to New Zealand and three aircraft to Iraq.
3 for the RAF (K4883 – K4885).
43 for the RAF (K6326 to K6368).
 

Numbers built

Prototype
S1714 one-off conversion from Vildebeest I
197 production
Batches of 51, 5, 95, 3 and 43 aircraft, as detailed above.
Total built
198 aircraft
 

Specification 

Powerplant
One 635 hp Bristol Pegasus IIM.3 engine
Span
49 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight
8,100 lb
Capacity and armament
Pilot, gunner and observer; One fixed forward-firing Vickers Mk II machine gun, one Lewis gun fired from rear cockpit, bomb load of eight 112lb bombs and eight 20 lb bombs.
Maximum Speed
142 mph at 5,000 ft
Cruising Speed
133 mph
Range
625 miles (normal); 1,250 miles (maximum)
 

Survivors

No examples of the Vickers Vincent survive.

Other information

www.brooklandsmuseum.com