Vickers
Viscount

The world's first turboprop airliner and one of Britain's most successful commercial aircraft.
 
Vickers Viscount 630 G-AHRF ground The prototype Type 630 Vickers Viscount at around the time of its first flight in July 1948.
 
The Vickers-Armstrong Viscount had its origins as the Brabazon Committee’s Type IIB. When introduced, it was a complete revolution on BEA’s European and domestic routes, compared with the Douglas DC-3s that it replaced.
 
Initially specified by the Brabazon Committee with only 24 seats, by the time of the prototype Vickers Viscount 630 (G-AHRF) first flight, on 16th July 1948, its capacity had been increased to 32 passengers. The fuselage length of the prototype was 74ft 6in.
 
Vickers Viscount 630 prototype G-AHRF BEA G-AHRF, the Viscount prototype, flying in BEA colours for publicity purposes.
 
A second prototype (VX217), designated the Vickers Viscount Type 663, was built powered by two Rolls-Royce Tay jet engines. This aircraft served as a test-bed for the Tay and was subsequently operated by Boulton Paul Aircraft, developing powered flight controls systems in support of the development of the Vickers Valiant.
 
Vickers Viscount Tay engines VX217 side view The second Viscount prototype (Type 633 VX217) was used as a test bed for the Rolls-Royce Tay jet engine.
 
Discussions with British European Airways and the availability of more powerful versions of the Rolls-Royce Dart engine resulted in the definition of the Vickers Viscount Type 700 production aircraft. BEA ordered 26 Vickers Viscount Type 701 with 47 to 53 seats. The increased seat capacity required an 88-inch increase in fuselage length to 81ft 10in. A single prototype of the Vickers Viscount Type 700 was built, (G-AMAV) flying on 28th August 1950.
 
Vickers Viscount 700 first aircraft BWIA G-AMAV The prototype Viscount 700 G-AMAV seen in the colours of British West Indian Airways (BWIA).
 
The first production Vickers Viscount Type 701 (G-ALWE) flew in August 1952, entering full passenger service on 18th April 1953. The type was an immediate success both in terms of economics, and passenger appeal and it was sold all over the world. It was popular not least for its superb passenger windows and smooth ride.
 
The proven success of the type in BEA service led to orders from Air France, Aer Lingus and Trans-Australian Airlines (TAA). These were followed by key orders for 15 aircraft for Trans-Canada Airlines and 60 aircraft for Capital Airlines. Ultimately, 147 of the 445 Vickers Viscounts sold were exported to the North American market.
 
Vickers Viscount 744 N7402 Capital The Viscount achieved notable success in the US market. This is N7402 in the colours of Capital Airlines, which operated 60 of the type.
 
This was followed by the Vickers Viscount Type 800, which was stretched to by a further 46 inches to 85ft 8in  to provide a capacity of 57 - 65 seats, dependent upon configuration. The rear bulkhead was also moved aft, resulting in an overall increase in the internal cabin length of no less than 111 inches.
 
Vickers Viscount 802 G-AOJA Take-off of G-AOJA, the first stretched Viscount 802 for BEA.
 
Once again, the lead customer was BEA, whose variant was designated as the Vickers Viscount Type 802. The first Vickers Viscount Type 802 (G-AOJA), flew at Weybridge on 17th July 1956. The Vickers Viscount Type 800 can readily be identified by an extra pair of passenger windows on each side, ahead of the plane of the propellers.
 
At its peak, BEA operated a fleet of no less than 77 Vickers Viscounts of various marques, their popularity and financial success contributing to sales of the type in the export market. Ultimately, more than 60 operators, in 40 countries purchased the type.
 
Vickers Viscount 818 Cubana CU-T622 The introduction of the more powerful Viscount 810 led to further sales, including this Viscount 818 CU-T622 of Cubana.
 
The Vickers Viscount Type 810 introduced a new variant of the Rolls-Royce Dart engine, the 1,990 ehp Dart 525. This provided improved 'hot and high' take-off performance which allowed an increase in maximum gross weight. Although not produced in the same numbers as the Vickers Viscount Type 700 series, additional export sales resulted to airlines such as All Nippon Airways, Cubana, Ghana Airways, Pakistan International, Lufthansa and VASP.
 
The success of the type resulted in Vickers-Armstrong opening a second production line at its Hurn Airport factory, to supplement production at their Weybridge site. The Hurn factory had previously been used for the production of the Vickers Varsity.
 
Overall production comprised three prototypes (one Vickers Viscount Type 630 (G-AMRF), one Rolls-Royce Tay-powered Vickers Viscount (VX217) and one prototype Vickers Viscount 700 (G-AMAV) plus some 445 production aircraft.
 
Vickers Viscount 810 G-AOYV with Vanguard fin Viscount 810 demonstrator G-AOYV was used to test ice protection of the Vanguard tail fin.
 
The Vickers Viscount Type 810 demonstrator (G-AOYV) was subsequently adapted and fitted with a icing spray rig to aid fin de-icing tests, in support of the development of the Vickers Vanguard.
 
The last Viscount passenger service in Britain was flown in April 1996.
 
Vickers Viscount 806 G-AOYN Aberdeen Viscount 806 G-AOYN of British Air Ferries, one of the last British operators of the type.
 

Variants & Numbers


Type 630      First prototype G-AHRF, with short fuselage, accommodating 32 passengers and powered by four 1,380 ehp Rolls-Royce Dart R.Da Mk 502 engines
Type 663 Second prototype VX217, testbed for Rolls-Royce Tay turbojet, subsequently used by Boulton Paul for the development of powered flight control systems
Type 700 Series First production version, prototype (G-AMAV), 1,547 ehp R-R Dart 506 engines, 287 built, the suffix ‘D’ indicated aircraft powered by 1,740 ehp R-R Dart 510 engines. Capacity 43 passengers.
Type 800 Series Improved variant with fuselage extended by 3 ft 10 in, increased passenger capacity up to 65 passengers, 67 built.
Type 810 Series More powerful and longer-range variant with 1,990 hp (1,485 kW) Dart 525 engines, 84 built.
Total built Three prototypes and 445 production aircraft

 

Specification


  Viscount Type 700D Viscount Type 810
Powerplant Four R-R 1,740ehp Dart 510 engines Four R-R 1,990ehp Dart 525 engines
Span 93ft 8.5in 93ft 8.5in
Maximum Weight 64,500 lb 72,500 lb
Capacity  3 crew, 2 stewards, 43 passengers 3 flight crew, 2 stewards and 57 to 65 passengers
Maximum Cruising Speed 334 mph 357 mph at 20,000ft
Economy Cruising Speed 317 mph 333 mph
Maximum Range 2,000 miles at 317 mph at 21,000ft 1,610 miles at 333 mph at 25,000ft
Range max payload 1,730 miles at 317 mph, 11,600 lb payload 1,587 miles at 333 mph, 14,000 lb payload

 

Survivors


Viscount 701
Vickers Viscount 701
(G-ALWF)
Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Oldest surviving aircraft.

www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford

Vickers Viscount 701
(G-AMOG)
National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-flight/

Vickers Viscount 708
(F-BGNR)
Air France, Midland Air Museum, Baginton, Coventry

www.midlandairmuseum.co.uk/

Vickers Viscount 708
(F-BGNU)
Air France, Auto und Technik Museum, Sinsheim, Germany www.sinsheim.technik-museum.de/en/
Vickers Viscount 724
(CF-TGI / N22SN) 
Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona www.pimaair.org
Vickers Viscount 724
(CF-TGQ / F-BMCF) 
IAAG - Institute Aéronautique Amaury de la Grange, Merville-Calonne, near Lille, France www.iaag-aero.com/en/
Vickers Viscount 701C
(G-ANHD / PP-SRO)
Museu Eduardo André Matarazzo, Bebedouro, São Paulo, Brasil www.bebedouro.sp.gov.br/portal/index.php/bebedouro/museu-de-bebedouro
Vickers Viscount 757
(CF-TGZ / N3832S)
Commemorative Air Force - Rio Grande Valley Wing, 955 South Minnesota Avenue, Brownsville, Texas, United States
Vickers Viscount 757 (CF-THG) Trans Canada Airlines, The British Columbia Aviation Museum, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada www.bcam.ne
Vickers Viscount 745D
(N7471 / N6591C / N555SL)
Capital Airlines, MAAM - Mid Atlantic Air Museum, Carl A Spaatz Field, Reading, Pennsylvania, USA N7471 / N555SL www.maam.org
Vickers Viscount 757 (CF-THI) Trans Canada Airlines, The Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada www.ingeniumcanada.org/aviation/index.php
Vickers Viscount 757
(CF-THS)
Air Canada, The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada www.royalaviationmuseum.com
Vickers Viscount 807
(ZK-BRF)
NZNAC, Ferrymead Aeronautical Society, Christchurch, New Zealand 
Vickers Viscount 818
(CU-T622 / VH-TVR)
TAA, The Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin near Melbourne, Victoria, Australia www.aarg.com.au
Vickers Viscount 789D
(FAB2101 / C-90 2101)
Brazilian Air Force, Força Aérea Brasileira Museu Aeroespacial, the Brasilian Air Force Museum, Campo dos Afonsos, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil  www2.fab.mil.br/musal/
Vickers Viscount 814
(D-ANAM)
Lufthansa, Flugausstellung Aviation Museum, Hermeskeil, near Trier, Germany www.flugausstellung.de
Vickers Viscount 814
(D-ANAB)
Ex-Lufthansa, Flugzeug Restaurant Silbervogel, Hanover, Germany www.restaurant-silbervogel.de
Vickers Viscount 815
(AP-AJF / SE-IVY)
Ex-PIA, High Chaparral AB - Wild West Theme Park, near Kulltorp, Sweden  www.highchaparral.se/sv
Vickers Viscount 806
(G-APIM)
British Air Ferries, Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, Surrey, England 

www.brooklandsmuseum.com

Vickers Viscount
(D-ANAF)
Lufthansa, Technik Museum Speyer, near Heidelberg, Germany  www.speyer.technik-museum.de/en/aviation
Vickers Viscount 843
(G-ASDS / 50258)
CAAC, China Aviation Museum - near Beijing, China is the home of V.843 Viscount c/n 453 (G-ASDS / 406 / B-406 / 50258). www.china.org.cn/english/kuaixun/72761.htm

 

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