13 June 2024
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Viscount Survivors

59 of the 444 Viscounts built survive as complete airframes or major components. Some are in very good condition and are looked after by museums while others are just wrecks. They can be found in 24 countries.

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

Viscount c/n 82

Operational Record

Photo of Viscount c/n 82
Hughes Tool Corporation

United States flag United States

This V.763D series Viscount was built for
Hughes Tool Corporation as YS-09C

It first flew on Tuesday, 7 October 1958 at Weybridge, Surrey, England powered by Rolls-Royce Dart 510 engines.

Photo of Viscount c/n 82
Transportes Aereos Centro Americanos (TACA)

El Salvador flag El Salvador

Its final owner/operator was
Transportes Aereos Centro Americanos (TACA) as YS-09C.

Its fate:-
Crashed on takeoff from Las Mercedes Airport, Managua, Nicaragua 5 March 1959.

The Viscount took off for a flight to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Shortly after take-off the No.1 Rolls-Royce Dart engine was observed to have stopped. The aircraft started an abrupt left turn followed by an excessive bank to the left, lost height, collided with a tree and crashed inverted.

Operational record
Photo of Hughes Tool Corporation Viscount N

Country of Registration United States

June 1955 to January 1958

Hughes Tool Corporation

N - c/n 82 - a V.763D series Viscount
United States registered

June 1955
An order was placed by Howard Hughes for one Type 763D for operations by the Hughes Tool Corporation.

It is not known if a US registration was ever reserved for this aircraft.

Production Aircraft No. 161 - the 161st production Type 700 series Viscount built,
the 85th Viscount fuselage assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England,
and the 44th Viscount assembled at Weybridge, Surrey, England.

Production Order No. F01/763. Sales Order No. F01/77B. Stock Order No. F45/27B.

5 January 1956
Fuselage assembly commenced at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

25 March 1956
Fuselage transported by road from Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England to Erecting Shop 'E' at Weybridge, Surrey, England.

During the assembly the aircraft suffered from the scrutiny of virtually every nut and bolt by no less than four engineers sent over by Howard Hughes. Due to his totally pedantic attention to detail and the fact that the entire production line was being held up, the aircraft was shunted aside at various phases of the build which caused Vickers a lot of logistical problems. One of the things that Hughes objected to was the polishing of the alloy skin as he said that it would weaken it.

November 1956
The aircraft was ready for engine runs but Howard Hughes refused to let anyone but himself carry out the initial ground runs.

Howard Hughes never came over to carry out the engine ground runs and the aircraft was put into storage pending further instructions.

Hughes also thought about setting up a Viscount production line in the USA so that he could then supply them to Trans World Airlines (TWA) and other operators.

Hughes was also offered 15 700D series Viscounts at a special price of £400,000 each, but nothing came of this either.

February 1957
Noted in the production building covered with white cotton sheets pending instructions from Howard Hughes.

August 1957
Vickers produced a TWA Type 745D manual with the hope that an order from TWA would eventually materialise. Howard Hughes had other ideas.

The sale to Howard Hughes was eventually cancelled.

A possible sale to the Florida International Corporation was also not completed.

circa January 1958
Purchased by Transportes Aereos Centro Americanos (TACA).

Photo of Transportes Aereos Centro Americanos (TACA) Viscount YS-09C

Country of Registration El Salvador

January 1958 to March 1959

Transportes Aereos Centro Americanos (TACA)

YS-09C - c/n 82 - a V.763D series Viscount
El Salvador registered

circa January 1958
Purchased by Transportes Aereos Centro Americanos (TACA) retaining the Type 763D designation originally assigned to the Hughes Tool Corporation.

7 October 1958
First flight from Brooklands Airfield, Weybridge, Surrey, England.

It landed at Wisley Airfield, Surrey, England for fitting out and test flying.

30 October 1958
Noted at Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire, England carrying out instrument landing system (ILS) approaches.

31 October 1958
Registered to Transportes Aereos Centro Americanos (TACA). It then departed from Wisley Airfield, Surrey, England on delivery to El Salvador.

5 March 1959
Crashed on takeoff from Las Mercedes Airport, Managua, Nicaragua.

Total time 819 hours and 600 total landings.

The Viscount took off at 19:35 local time for a flight to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Shortly after take-off the No.1 (port outer) Rolls-Royce Dart engine was observed to have stopped.

The aircraft turned abruptly to the left with a high angle of bank and immediately lost height and collided with some trees and crashed inverted.

2 of the 4 crew including Captain Marcus Dalenn and 13 of the 15 passengers sadly died in the accident.

PROBABLE CAUSE: In accordance with the documentation obtained and data collected during the inquiry, the Investigating Board reached the following conclusions:
The accident was caused by the following factors: 1) Failure of No.1 Rolls-Royce Dart engine at the end of runway 29 during takeoff and before reaching V2 speed. 2) The non-retraction of the landing gear immediately after the aircraft reached V2 speed; 3) Failure of the No.2 (port inner) Rolls-Royce Dart engine a few seconds later, during a climb with insufficient speed to maintain control which resulted in an enforced turn to the left that became tighter and tighter; the aircraft finally rolled into an inverted position and hit trees with its port wing.

Several possible reasons for the failure of the two engines and the non-retraction of the landing gear were considered, however the Board found no substantiating evidence or proof in the various tests carried out on the aircraft's parts to support any one of them. The Board was therefore, unable positively to attribute the accident to any mechanical or electrical failure or to any piloting error.

Photo of BEA - British European Airways Viscount G-AOJC

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