26 June 2019
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Viscount history


Discover the history of the Viscount with film, video, contemporary reports from the pages of Flight Magazine, our newsletters, and aircraft operational records and photos from our database.


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Established 2005
Vickers Viscount Network
A Virtual Museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs VC2 Viscount


Magazine Report
22 July 1948

Discover the history of the Viscount with these contemporary reports from the pages of Flight Magazine

Another British first

Initial flight of Vickers Viscount with transport turboprop

The Viscount prototype, showing the slim nacelles for the Rolls-Royce Dart turboprops

The Viscount prototype, showing the slim nacelles for the Rolls-Royce Dart turboprops

A remark by Captain J. Summers, Vickers' chief test pilot, that the new Viscount transport, powered by four Rolls-Royce Dart turboprop units, is "the smoothest and best" machine he has ever flown, can well be believed. He commented in this vein after landing from the initial flight of the Viscount prototype on July 16th, having been airborne for some 20 minutes.

Features of the Viscount - the world's first airliner to be driven by turboprops - were discussed in Flight of November 20th, 1947, and the latest technical data, rela­tive to both the Dart and Naiad-powered versions, appear on this page. Planned from the outset as a successor to the Viking, the Viscount can be arranged as a 32 - or 36 - seater. In the former case the cabin is divided into two saloons, the forward seating 12, and the aft seating 20, passengers. Between the saloons is the pantry. A large door is provided at each end of the cabin, and adjacent to each door is a cloakroom for clothing and hand baggage. There are two toilet compartments, one at each end of the cabin. Provision is made for a crew of four, including a steward, and for full radio and navigational aids.

With the exception of the extreme tail and nose-wheel housing the entire fuselage is pressurized to a differential of 6½ lb/sq in. This pressure maintains ground level con­ditions up to a height of 15,000 ft.

It will be seen in the accompanying photograph that the cabin has large elliptical windows, the Vickers technical staff having found that an elliptical hole requires the smallest weight replacement to make an effective seal for a pressurized fuselage. A single reinforced member around each window has proved adequate. Another unusual fea­ture, considering the civil nature of the aircraft, is the form of the pilot's cockpit enclosure, resulting in an un­usually wide field of view, despite pressurizing.

In the Viscount Great Britain possesses a medium airliner of exceptional promise. Due to the adoption of the Ambassador by BEA, however, no decision has yet been made concerning production.

The Viscount is one of a number of new civil aircraft scheduled to appear at Farnborough during September.


VICKERS VISCOUNT DATA

Dimensions Power Plant
Dart
Power Plant
Naiad
Span 89ft 0in 89ft 0in
Length 74ft 6in 74ft 6in
Height 26ft 3in 26ft 3in
Wing area 885 sq ft 885 sq ft
Weights
Normal all-up weight 40,500 lb 43,500 lb
Empty or basic 27,450 lb 27,700 lb
Disposable load 13,050 lb 15,800 lb
Landing weight (maximum) 39,000 lb 39,000 lb
Loadings
Wing loading 45.75 lb/sq ft 49.10 lb/sq ft
Capacitics
Fuel 1,200 gal. 1,200 gal.
Oil 14 gal. 14 gal.
Performance
Maximum speed 331 m.p.h. 370 m.p.h.
...............at heights 20,000 ft 25,000 ft
Recommended crusing 276 m.p.h. 316 m.p.h.
...............at heights 20,000 ft 25,000 ft
Rate of climb at sea level 1,675 ft/min. 1,850 ft/min.
Rate of climb at sea level (one engine stopped) 950 ft/min. 1,150 ft/min.
Service ceiling 30,000 ft 30,000 ft
Take-off to 50 ft (minimum) at maximum weight 950 yds 950 yds
Landing from 50 ft (minimum) at maximum weight 900 yds 900 yds
Still-air range 1,725 miles 1,725 miles
...............at height of 20,000 ft 25,000 ft
Fuel Consumption
Cruising consumption 192 gal./hr 220 gal./hr.


Napier Naiad advert

History and photos of Viscount c/n 1 G-AHRF




Photo of BEA - British European Airways Viscount G-AOJC

The Vickers Viscount Network is always interested to hear from anyone who has information or photographs to help complete the story of the Viscount. If you can help please contact us at
Information@VickersViscount.net.


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This website has been designed, built and is maintained by Geoff Blampied, Norwich, Norfolk, England.