25 May 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

'Deafening Silence'

An original Michael Short painting

Michael Short 'Deafening Silence' painting

'Deafening Silence' - Michael Short

'Deafening Silence'

The lack of international disapproval

Michael Short is an aviation artist born in what was then Rhodesia. For many years he has painted on the whole WW2 topics but has recently decided to focus on Rhodesian subjects.

His first Rhodesian subject depicts one of his favourite aeroplanes, the Viscount. The aircraft in the painting is VP-WAS that was named 'Hunyani' the first of 2 Viscounts shot down during the troubles of the late 1970s.

On 3 September 1978 Air Rhodesia Viscount 'Hunyani' took off from Kariba Airport, Rhodesia on scheduled flight RH825 to Salisbury, Rhodesia at 17:10. Shortly after take-off, the starboard wing was hit by a SAM-7 Strella missile.

An emergency descent was carried out and the crew tried to make a landing in a large clearing in the bush in the Whamira Hills, near Karoi, 16km from the southern shores of Lake Kariba. The aircraft crash-landed, striking an irrigation ditch, cart-wheeled, broke up and caught fire. All 4 crew and 34 of the 52 passengers died in the crash.

Fighters from Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe Peoples Revolution Army (ZIPRA) were responsible for shooting down the aircraft and later killed 10 of the 18 survivors. The remaining 8 survivors were rescued the next day.

The Viscount Memorial

On 2 September 2012 a memorial dedicated to all those killed on this aircraft and also those who were killed during the second attack to VP-YND was unveiled in the gardens of the South African Voortrekker Monument at Pretoria, South Africa and then consecrated. A number of family members laid wreaths around the base of the two granite plaques which has rolls of honour listing all the names of those who sadly lost their lives.

There are still strong feelings amongst the Rhodesian communities relating to these atrocities and a general consensus of opinion that the then free-world did little to acknowledge or condemn the actions taken by the rebels. At long last there is a fitting tribute to the innocent victims of these events that occurred over thirty years ago. Long may we remember them.

'Deafening Silence'

Mike chose the name of the painting to be 'Deafening Silence' as it is a reference to a comment made by the then Dean of the Anglican Cathedral in Salisbury during the memorial service in response to the lack of international disapproval to the downing of the Viscount.

The print is limited to 107 giclée canvas prints (there were 107 victims total in the loss of the two aircraft) and 400 paper prints.

Giclée canvas print (unstretched), edition size 107, image size: 16” x 24” US$85

Paper print: 100% cotton rag, heavy weight and acid free, edition size 400, image size 12” x 18”, paper size 17” x 22” US$60

Handling (packaging) US$4 + shipping which will vary according to destination.

Examples of shipping costs:
to the UK usually works out to about US$16.75
to Australia US$16.75
to the United Stated about US$6
to South Africa US$16.25

Click here to email Mike Short - viscountprint@gmail.com
History and photos of Viscount c/n 101 VP-YND
History and photos of Viscount c/n 297 VP-WAS
'Viscount Down' a review of Keith Nell's book about these tragic events

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

Click here for more details about the Vickers Viscount Network

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