Vickers Viscount Network
February 2011 Newsletter
Welcome to the first Vickers Viscount Network Newsletter for 2011 - The webmasters and newsletter
production team trust that the Christmas and New Year Seasons have been pleasant for Viscount enthusiasts. No
Viscounts have flown in recent times, which really would have made it Christmas for us. If you are in the market
for a Viscount then you had better look at this site sent to us by Simon Elwood
Putting a spin on it
In recent weeks several e-mails circulated discussing Viscount propeller sizes. Paul Harrison measured the Duxford
V.701 Viscount c/n 5 G-ALWF and reported, "Diameter is approx. 9' 6" and blade length 4' 6" approx. A bit difficult
to measure with the spinner still on."
Denys Coulter-Jones at the Ferrymead Aeronautical Society measured the propellers on their V.807 Viscount c/n 283
ZK-BRF and advised, "The removable front of the spinner is 22in deep and where it locks over the back-plate it is
18.5in in diameter (external). The blades measure 51.5in from their cuffs where they exit the spinner down to their
tips. They are 7in wide at the cuff and 11in at the tip. So the prop is 121.5in in diameter give or take a smidgen
for quick measuring!"
Stopping the spin!
While on the subject of propellers we should mention an e-mail and photo from Jamie Guille of Maidenhead, England.
He says, "I wondered if you would be interested in this photo taken on-board G-AOHV in 1978 en-route from Heathrow,
London, England to Guernsey, Channel Islands? I used a very fast film to "stop" the props as I'd always been curious
to know the pitch angle in flight!"
Thanks Jamie. A drop of brandy in that glass may be needed if he stopped all
Royal send off
We all know the British Royal family (male members at least) are keen on aviation. Mike Sessions received this
letter from HRH Prince Philip when he was the Finance Director at BWA - British World Airlines, on the 18 February
1996, the date of special retirement celebration at Heathrow, London, England that marked the withdrawal of the
Viscount from passenger use in the United Kingdom.
His Royal Highness Prince Phillip certainly appreciated the Viscount.
Which Viscount was that?
Steve Scullion flew with Air Canada on 16 August 1966 from Chicago O`Hare International Airport, Illinois, USA to
Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Canada and is trying to determine the registration markings of the aircraft
involved. The only clue he has is the record of autographs given to him by the two pilots.
So far the team at the Vickers Viscount Network has been able to identify the pilots as Captain W J (Jim) Videto
and First Officer J N Williamson. Does anyone know whether these men are still alive or where their families may be
contacted? If either of their log-books are accessible then we should be able to solve the mystery. If you can help
please reply to Steve at
Yuri Gagarin's Viscount flight
Most of our readers will remember the beginning of the space age when Yuri Gagarin blasted off into space. Gurbir
Singh, who is preparing a history on Gagarin`s space flight reminds us that Gagarin flew to London, England on 11th
July 1961. Next day, he flew on-board Viscount c/n 263 G-AOYN to Manchester returning to London later in the day,
returning to Moscow on 15th July 1961.
Remember to look at the grey panel on the right hand side of every page on our website for details of new
information, photos and pages recently added. The website now has over 3,800 photos loaded with the photograph
total soaring as more people are contributing photos either from their own collection or those of other people.
A special mention must be made of the efforts of Ed Jones and George Stringer who have been submitting photographs
by the 'truckload' in recent times. Please let us know who has contributed what you are offering so to best keep
our records accurate. Obviously we would like to know, where possible, the date the photograph was taken and the
location. Just as important please, for copyright purposes, name the photographer or, if unknown, put via yourself
or the collection from which it was sourced. While on this subject, please note that photos on the website are not
Also look at the 'JOIN THE VICKERS VISCOUNT NETWORK FOR FREE' page on the grey panel which explains in some detail
benefits to be gained from joining our membership. We have two tiers of membership 'General' and 'Core'. 'General'
members are those who receive our newsletters and may be inspired to contribute information or photographs.
'Core' members are those who in addition to the above have a more 'hands on' involvement with the website. These
are the researchers, (photo collection research, archive searching, website maintenance, newsletter) and so on.
The Vickers Viscount Network is rapidly gaining ground to become one of the most respected aviation websites
anywhere. We have members in over 20 countries and with a growing momentum, is going to increase. If you would
like to help when time permits send an e-mail to
and you will be contacted. Remember, membership to the Network is free to all comers.
Passenger cabin layouts
Jose De Virgiliis is making a 1-24 scale model Viscount. Here is his request, "I would appreciate if you could send
me details of passenger cabin layouts of V.700 and V.800 series Viscounts to help me build a 1-24 scale model.
Thanks a lot. Jose De Virgiliis"
If anyone can assist, please contact Jose at
Where was Viscount c/n 3 G-AMAV?
Many of you will be aware that Viscount c/n 3 G-AMAV was the Viscount which participated in the London, England to
Christchurch, New Zealand Air Race in 1953. Ed Jones has found this picture but wants to know where it was taken.
Ron Brazier has kindly supplied the Network with some pictures of G-AMAV on arrival in Christchurch at the conclusion of
the Air Race. G-AMAV spent over a week in New Zealand landing also at Paraparaumu north of Wellington and also at
Whenuapai where it was on display at an air show. At that time Whenuapai was being used both by the Royal New Zealand
Air Force and also by all airlines serving Auckland; a situation that remained until November 1965 when Auckland
International Airport opened at Mangere allowing Whenuapai to become a fully dedicated Air Force base once more.
It would not be considered unlikely to find an aircraft model in a cupboard, wardrobe, attic etc. but few would
expect to find one when digging a fence post in their backyard in Dorval, Quebec, Canada but yes; that was the
experience of Marc Bessette. He didn't give it too much thought but put it away somewhere. Years later he stumbled
upon our Viscount website and decided to compare the model to Viscounts and sure enough he was the proud owner of
one damaged Viscount model.
He contacted the Network and supplied photos for us to admire. These have caused a bit of excitement and 'core'
member Jan-Luc Ganivet confirms it to be a TCA - Trans-Canada Airlines promotional model. Can anyone tell us more
about these models such as when they were produced, possibly how many and in what circumstances? Can someone supply
a photo of a complete one? Can Marc's example be repaired? Let us hear your views on this project.
Brian Staines collection
Nicolas Cox of Bien Hoa, Dong Nai, Vietnam enquires as to who owns the rights to Brian Stainer's photos. He has
about 300 assorted Viscount pictures that he purchased from him many years ago and would like to maybe use some of
them on the Internet, however, he would obviously like to ask permission first before doing so. If anyone can answer
his question, or make any practical suggestions, please contact him at
It would be wonderful to see more of this extensive collection on our website.
Terry Baker sent this in from the TCA - Trans-Canada Airlines 'Netletter' issued in November 1961:
Under the title 'Engines achieve phenomenal life' is the story of the Rolls-Royce Dart engine that powers the TCA
Viscount aircraft are now operating at 3,500 hours between overhauls, thus becoming the most reliable engine ever
employed in commercial airline operations. The 3,500 hour life between overhauls represents approximately 15 months
of flying without having to take the engine off its mountings.
TCA has some 235 Model 506 Dart engines for its 49 strong fleet of Viscounts. Dart engines have logged 17,000,000
hours in service, the majority of this total on the 430 Viscounts now in service around the world, but TCA is the
first operator to achieve 3,500 hours engine life.
Surprised that the Viscount has a fan-base and website
Peter Norton expressed surprise that one aircraft should have its own fan-base and a website to boot. He goes on to
say, "For myself, my interest is due to the Viscount and Dart being the first on my Licensed Aircraft Maintenance
Engineer's Licence way back in the 60s.
I spent many happy hours working on this airplane type, first when it was in for Major Maintenance and after that,
carrying out the pre-flight/post-maintenance systems checks - ground running the engines (that high pitched whine
was really penetrating), pressurisation testing, genny balances, taxi tests, air test preparation, etc, etc.
The Dart engine found its way into the Argosy, another type on which I spent many hours tweaking fuel and RPM to
wring out as much power as the engines could deliver - as a freighter it was a bit underpowered. When the Viscount
gave way to the Vanguard, the BAC 1-11, the Trident and then the Lockheed Tri Star I did, of course, find myself
working on all those too. And then the 747 and Concorde.
But the Viscount was my first licence type so retains a special place for me.
Ed Jones has thrown a mystery into the ring for us.
Says Ed, "Something to get us thinking over the next few days. I recently received the attached photo with a batch
of old photos. Can anyone recognise either the location (Weybridge?) or the airline livery? Unfortunately the
aircraft is devoid of any marks."
ANA - All Nippon Airways
Viscount c/n 88 G-APKJ
In response, Brian Burrage says, "Super sleuth Peter Upton has identified Ed's mystery photo as being either
Viscount c/n 88 G-APKJ or c/n 89 G-APKK. Both these V.744 aircraft were leased to ANA - All Nippon Airways in 1960.
The photo was obviously taken before the sign-writing phase. I will put it on the website as G-APKJ with a comment
that it could be G-APKK. Thanks Peter."
Is there someone out there who can positively identify the Viscount and where the photograph was taken? Maybe
someone has a copy of the photograph or can remember. A bit of team work might solve this one.
Please when sending e-mails include a subject line. Many, if not most, recipients discard emails from sources they
do not recognize when there is no subject line included. They consider there is a chance of a virus or unwelcome
message lurking. Thanks readers for your co-operation with this simple request.
Where on Earth are you?
Many interesting e-mails come in from around the world. Often these are just signed off with
only a name but it may not be readily apparent as to where the sender is based. We would
like to know; not to be nosey but to get an idea where the membership is spread and what
areas are active. Sign your e-mail off in the normal way and then just add your location
i.e. Christchurch, New Zealand. We would love to make contact with more of our American
and Australian based readers.
Editorial and Production Team
Peter Layne - Chief Editor, Wellington, New Zealand.
Ed Jones - Editor, Manchester, England.
Dave Robinson - Production, Nottinghamshire, England.