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

Move delayed by appalling weather

Servicable cockpit glazing. Label on crate states destination was to be Indian Airlines Corporation, Calcutta, India.
Servicable cockpit glazing. Label on crate states destination was to be Indian Airlines Corporation, Calcutta, India.

Update by Martin Garrett

The hired panel van fully loaded with Viscount parts. The hired panel van fully loaded.

The big news we were hoping to kick off with this month was that the fuselage and wings had been transported successfully to Coventry. Unfortunately the move had to be cancelled due to the unseasonal wet weather that caused the land we had to go over to get the Viscount out of the Skypsort site becoming soft and muddy. The haulage companies were concerned that their wagons would get bogged down. This would have been a big problem when you consider that one of the vehicles being used weighs in excess of 30 tonnes unloaded. Its hugely disappointing to have everything in place ready for the move only to have it called off by mother nature. The move date has been rearranged but again we are dependant upon the weather being kind.

Undercarriage doors. Undercarriage doors.

On Monday 9th July we still visited the aircraft to prepare her for the move. To transport the airframe it needs to be loaded safely and securly and the best way to do this is to pack the load tightly using old car tyres. We hired a large panel van for the day and took up a load of tyres of various sizes. On the return journey we loaded the van with as many items as we could get in.

As the van was much larger than my Saab we were able to bring back bigger items. We spent a good couple of hours working out how and what would fit in the van and by the end of the day we had loaded various fairings, undercarriage doors, spare transparencies, flaps and a number of other smaller items. All that was now left at Hatch was the three remaining engines, fuselage, main wings and tail feathers.

Rudder & tailplane incuding elevator. Rudder & tailplane incuding elevator.

Mark also managed to work out how the two locks on the nose wheel undercarriage worked and proved that it can be retracted back into the wheel bay. Unfortunately Mark and I were not strong enough to retract the gear fully but were able to prove that it does swing so that on the day of the move, when we have more man power on site, we know that we will be able to retract it fully and secure it safely.

Fin & tailplane including elevator. Fin & tailplane including elevator.

When I wrote last month the construction of the concrete pads for the Viscount to stand on at Coventry had just been started. The foundations had been laid and we were waiting for the concrete to be added, a task that had been delayed by, yes you’ve guessed it, the weather. Well, the beginning of July saw the builders come back and finish the job. I know its hard to get excited about three rectangular squares of concrete but as far as concrete goes they do look rather nice and are a vital part of 'Victoria Lynnes' long term preservation. It also shows that owning an aircraft can be satisfying and at times exciting but it also shows that investment is required in other mundane areas that don’t immediately spring to mind.

Innards of one of the tailplanes. Innards of one of the tailplanes.

Friday 20th, a very wet morning, saw Tim Moore once again arrive at Coventry with more Viscount parts, this time the fin, rudder, tail planes and elevators. As soon as we had started unloading the parts from the trailer the rain turned into what must have been the hardest downpour ever. After a short break undercover waiting for it to ease we continued unloading. Thankfully the task didn’t take that long as the structures were surprisingly light and not overly large. A big thank you to Mark, Barry, Malcolm, Dave and of course Tim for helping in such appalling weather.

For more information about this project please e-mail the 'Viscount 35 Association', or visit the Viscount 35 Association’s web site and also watch the news pages here at the Vickers Viscount Network for further developments.

Some of the fairings brought back to Coventry.
Some of the fairings brought back to Coventry.

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.