- Vickers VC.1 Viking
name = VC.1 Viking
type = airliner
manufacturer = Vickers-Armstrongs Limited
caption = Vickers Viking 1A, G-AGRN
designer = R K Pierson
first flight =
22 June 1945
introduced = 1946
primary user =
British European Airways
more users =
number built = 163
unit cost =
variants with their own articles =
Vickers Valetta Vickers Varsity
VickersVC.1 Viking was a British twin-engined piston-engined short-range airlinerderived from the Vickers Wellingtonbomber and built by Vickers Armstrongs Limited. In the aftermath of the war the Viking was an important airliner with British airlines pending the development of turboprop aircraft like the Vickers Viscount. A non-standard variant fitted with Rolls-Royce Neneturbojets and first flown in 1948 was the first British pure jet transport aircraft.
Design and development
Ministry of Aircraft Productionordered three prototype "Wellington Transport Aircraft" to Air Ministry Specification17/44 from Vickers-Armstrong Limited. The specification was for a peacetime requirement for a medium-short haul passenger aircraft. To speed development the aircraft used the wing and undercarriage design from the Vickers Wellingtonbut the fuselage was a new. Although the original contract referred to Wellington Transport Aircraft, on completion, the name Viking was chosen.
The prototype (designated the Type 491 and registered "G-AGOK") first flew at
Wisley Aerodromeon 22 June1945. Andrews and Morgan 1988, p.398.] Following successful trials of the three prototypes the British Overseas Airways Corporation(BOAC) ordered 19 aircraft. The first BOAC aircraft flew on 23 March1946. The prototypes were then used for trials with the Royal Air Forcewhich lead to orders for military versions (the Viking C2 (12 ordered as freighter/transports) and modified Valetta C1).
The initial nineteen production aircraft (later designated the Viking 1A) carried 21 passengers, they had metal fuselages and fabric clad
geodeticwings and tail units. Following feedback from customers the next 14 examples, known as the Viking 1, featured stressed metal wings and tail units. The next variant, the Viking 1B, was 28 inches (710 mm) longer, carrying 24 passengers with up-rated Bristol Herculespiston engines, achieved a production run of 115. One of this batch was changed during production to be fitted with two Rolls-Royce Neneturbojet engines and upon its first flight on 6 April1948 became the world's first entirely jet-powered airliner (albeit only a prototype). The Type 618 Nene-Viking flew Heathrow- Parison the anniversary of Blériot's crossing of the Channel, 1948 taking only 34 minutes (c.210 miles, 370.6 mph). Some six years later it was converted to a piston engined Viking. [http://avia.russian.ee/air/england/vickers_neneviking.php Avia.russia.ee accessed 24 October 2007]
Production finished in 1948, including sixteen for the RAF and the King's Flight, but in 1952 BEA adapted some to a 38-passenger layout, taking the maximum payload up from 5,500 to 7,200 pounds (2,500 to 3,300 kg). All Vikings featured a tailwheel undercarriage.
The 158th Viking became the prototype of the military Valetta of which 261 were sold. When production of this strengthened but externally-similar type ended in 1951, a flying classroom version with tricycle undercarriage was already being delivered to the
Royal Air Force(RAF), called the Varsity. [Green and Pollinger 1955, p. 184.] All but one of those entered RAF service, the other example going to the Swedish Air Force. The production of 161 Varsities kept the Hurn works busy until January 1954 and they enjoyed a long service life. An example is preserved at the Newark Air Museum.
After a trial flight from Northolt to Oslo on
20 August 1946by the newly formed British European Airways Corporation the first regular Viking service started between Northolt and Copenhagen on 1 September1946.
The first of this batch flew on
22 June, 1945 and the third was delivered to British Overseas Airways Corporation(BOAC) at Hurn near Bournemouth on 20 April, 1946. Upon the delivery of nine examples to BOAC, including the two remaining prototypes, British European Airwayswas established on 1 August, 1946to operate airliners within Europe and these first VC.1 Vikings were transferred to the new airline. Taylor 1983, p.39.] In all 163 Vikings were built. The initials "VC" stood for "Vickers Civil", echoing the "DC" precedent set by the Douglas Aircraft Companyof the USA, builders of the DC-1, DC-2 and DC-3 Douglas Dakotathe latter also bought by BEA, and of a similar configuration to the Viking.
;Viking:Prototypes with two 1,675hp
Bristol Hercules130 engines, three built.;Viking 1A:Initial production version with geodetic wings and two 1,690hp Bristol Hercules630 engines.;Viking 1:Production aircraft with stressed skin mainplanes and two 1,690hp Bristol Hercules634 engines.;Viking 1B:Viking 1 with "long nose", 113 built.;Nene Viking:One Viking 1B aircraft modified for trials with two 5,000lb Rolls-Royce Nene I turbojets.;Viking C2:British military designation of the Viking 1. VIP transport aircraft for the King's Flightof the RAF.;Valetta C2:Modified design with strengthened floor and large freight door.;Varsity T1:Modified Valletta design with tri-cycle undercarriage for navigation and crew training.
* Argentine Civil Aeronautics Board
* Flota Aerea Mercante Argentina; AUT
* Aero Transport; DEN
* Misrair; FRA
Europe Aero Service
Transportes Aeriens Reunis; GER
* Aero Express Flug
* Colombus Luftreederei
* Condor Flugdienst
* Deutsche Flugdienst
* Transavia Flug; IND
Indian Airlines Corporation
Indian National Airways; IRQ
* Iraq Petroleum Transport Company; IRL
Aer Lingus; KUW
Kuwait Oil Company; MEX
* Bernado Pasquelle
* Government of Mexico; POR (
Transportes Aéreos da Índia Portuguesa; flag|South Africa|1928
South African Airways
Suldair International Airways
United Airways; flag|Southern Rhodesia
Central African Airways; SUI
British West Indian Airways; GBR
* African Air Safaris
* Air Ferry
* Air Safaris
* Airwork Limited
* Bembridge Air Hire Limited
* BKS Air Transport
* Blue Air
British European Airways
* British Overseas Airways Corporation
* Eagle Aviation/Eagle Airways
* British International Airlines
* British Nederland Airservices
British South American Airways
* Channel Airways
* Continental Air Services
* Crewsair Limited
* Decca Navigator Company
* Dragon Airways
* Eros Airlines (UK)
* Field Aircraft Services
* First Air Trading Company
* Hunting Air Transport
* Hunting Clan Air Transport
* Invicta Airways / Invicta International Airways
* Independent Air Travel
* James Stuart Travel Limited
* Maitland Drewery Aviation
* Meredith Air Transport
* Orion Airways
* Overseas Aviation
* Pegasus Airlines
* Tradair Limited
* Trans World Charter
* United Airways Limited
* Vendair Limited
Argentine Air Force; AUS
Royal Australian Air Force.; JOR
* Arab Legion Air Force
Royal Jordanian Air Force; PAK
Pakistan Air Force; UK
Royal Air Force
Empire Test Pilots' School
** The King's Flight, RAF
Accidents and incidents
Of the 163 aircraft built 56 aircraft were lost in accidents – the following were the notable accidents:
8 February1949 – "OY-DLU" operated by DDLcrashed into the sea off Oresund, Denmark, with the loss of all 27 occupants.
31 October1950 – "G-AHPN" operated by British European Airwayscrashed on landing in bad visibility at London-Heathrow Airport, England, 25 passengers and three crew died.
17 February1952 – "G-AHPI" operated by Hunting Air Travel flew into the La Cinta mountain range, Italy, with the loss of all 31 occupants.
5 January1953 – "G-AJDL" operated by British European Airways crashed on approach at Belfast-Nutts Corner Airport, Northern Ireland, three crew and 24 passengers died.
1 May1957 – "G-AJBO" operated by Eagle Aviation crashed after engine failure near Blackbushe Airport, England, five crew and 29 passengers died.
9 August1961 – "G-AHPM" operated by Cunard Eagle Airways crashed into a hill on approach to StavangerAirport with the loss of all 39 occupants.
11 September1963 – "F-BJER" operated by Airnautic crashed into a mountain in the Pyrennes with the loss of all 40 occupants, the worst Viking accident.
* Viking 1A "G-AGRU" - On display at the
Brooklands Museum, Surrey, England
* Viking 1A "G-AGRW" - On display near Vienna Schwechat airport, Austria
* Viking 1 "G-AHPB" - On display in Switzerland
* Viking 1 "ZS-DKH" - Preserved in South Africa
* Viking 1B "T-29" - On display in Argentina
* Viking 1B "J-750" - On display at the Pakistan Air Force Museum Karachi, Pakistan.
pecifications (Viking 1B)
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
ref=Vickers Aircraft since 1908 Andrews and Morgan 1988, p.416.]
length main=65 ft 2 in
length alt=19.86 m
span main=89 ft 3 in
span alt=27.20 m
height main=19 ft 7 in
height alt=5.97 m
area main=882 ft²
area alt= 82.0 m²
empty weight main=23,000 lb
empty weight alt=10,430 kg
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
max takeoff weight main=34,000 lb
max takeoff weight alt=15,420 kg
type of prop= 14-cylinder two-row radial engine
number of props=2
power main=1,690 hp
power alt=1,260 kW
max speed main=263 mph
max speed alt=229 knots, 423 km/h
cruise speed main=210 mph Jackson 1988, p.221.]
cruise speed alt=183 knots, 338 km/h
range main=1,700 miles
range alt=1,478 NM, 2,740 km
ceiling main=25,000 ft
ceiling alt= 7,600 m
climb rate main=1,500 ft/min
climb rate alt=7.6 m/s
loading main=38.5 lb/ft²
loading alt= 127 kg/m²
power/mass main= 0.099 hp/lb
power/mass alt= 0.16 kW/kg
Vickers Wellington- Vickers Valetta- Vickers Varsity
* Andrews, C.F. and E.B. Morgan. "Vickers Aircraft since 1908". London:Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-815-1.
* Green, William and Gerald Pollinger. "The Aircraft of the World". London: Macdonald, 1955.
* Jackson, A.J. "British Civil Aircraft 1919-1972: Volume III". London: Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-818-6.
* Taylor, H.A. "The Viking...Vickers Commercial One". "
Air Enthusiast", No. 21, April-July 1983, pp. 38–48. ISSN 0143-5450.
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