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Vickers Varsity Aircraft Information

Vickers Varsity

Varsity

Vickers Varsity

Role: military trainer
Manufacturer: Vickers-Armstrong
First flight: 17 July 1949
Introduced: 1951
Primary user: RAF
Number built: 160
Developed from: Vickers VC.1 Viking

The Vickers Varsity T.Mk 1 was a British twin-engine crew trainer operated by the Royal Air Force for 25 years from 1951.

Design and development

The Varsity was developed by Vickers and based on the Viking and Valetta to meet Air Ministry Specification T.13/48 for a twin-engined training aircraft to replace the Wellington T10 and the Valetta T3 and T4. The main differences were the wider-span wings, longer fuselage and tricycle undercarriage; and a ventral pannier to allow a trainee bomb aimer to be in a prone position. The prototype Type 668 first flew from Wisley on 17 July 1949.

A civil version the VC.3 was planned but with the success of the VC.2 Viscount the idea was abandoned.

Operational history

Airplane Picture - Varsity T1 on display at the Newark Air Museum

Picture - Varsity T1 on display at the Newark Air Museum

The Varsity was introduced to replace the Wellington T10 trainer, following deliveries to trials units the first production aircraft were delivered for operational use in 1951 to No. 201 Advanced Flying School at RAF Swinderby.

The Swedish Air Force operated a single Varsity from January 1953 to 1973 mainly for electronic intelligence missions. The Swedish military designation was Tp 82.

The Varsity was withdrawn from service with the RAF in May 1976, its role as a pilot and navigation trainer taken over by the Scottish Aviation Jetstream T1.

The last flying example (Serial WL679) was operated by the Royal Aircraft Establishment; it was retired into preservation at the RAF Museum in 1992.

Operators

Jordan

Royal Jordanian Air Force

Sweden

Royal Swedish Air Force

Airplane Picture - Varsity T1 on display at the Newark Air Museum

Picture - Varsity T1 on display at the Newark Air Museum

United Kingdom

Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment
Royal Air Force
No. 51 Squadron RAF
No. 97 Squadron RAF
No. 115 Squadron RAF
No. 116 Squadron RAF
No. 151 Squadron RAF
No. 173 Squadron RAF
No. 187 Squadron RAF
No. 192 Squadron RAF
No. 204 Squadron RAF
No. 527 Squadron RAF
Bomber Command Bombing School RAF
No. 4 Flying Training School RAF
No. 5 Flying Training School RAF
No. 6 Flying Training School RAF
No. 201 Advanced Flying School RAF later named No. 11 Flying Training School RAF
No. 1 Air Navigation School RAF
No. 2 Air Navigation School RAF
No. 3 Air Navigation School RAF
No. 6 Air Navigation School RAF
Royal Aircraft Establishment
Empire Test Pilot's School

Survivors

Germany

On display

Royal Air Force Varsity T1 WF382 at the Allied Museum, Berlin-Tegel.

Sweden

On display

Tp 82 Varsity, c/n 622, SwAF serial 82001, outside the Swedish Air Force Museum, Linkxping.

United Kingdom

On display

Varsity T1 WF369 at the Newark Air Museum.
Varsity T1 WF372 at Brooklands Museum.
Varsity T1 WJ945 at Imperial War Museum Duxford.
Varsity T1 WL626 at East Midlands Airport Aeropark.
Varsity T1 WL679 at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, part of the Transport and Training Collection in Hangar 1.

United States

Stored or under restoration

Varsity T1 N65558 the former WJ948 is in external storage at El Paso - West Texas Airport still in Royal Air Force colour scheme .

Specifications (T.Mk I)

Data from Vickers Aircraft since 1908

General characteristics

Crew: four
Length: 67 ft 6 in (20.57 m)
Wingspan: 95 ft 7 in (29.13 m)
Height: 23 ft 11 in (7.29 m)
Wing area: 974 ft (90.5 m)
Empty weight: 27,040 lb (12 265 kg)
Loaded weight: 37,500 lb (17,010 kg)
Powerplant: 2x Bristol Hercules 264 14-cylinder radial engines, 1,950 hp (1,455 kW) each

Performance

Maximum speed: 250 kn (288 mph, 464 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3,000 m)
Range: 2,302 nmi (2,648 mi, 4,263 km)
Service ceiling: 28,700 ft (8,750 m)
Rate of climb: 1,400 ft/min (426.72 m/min)

Armament

Bombs: 600 lb (272 kg) practice bombs in an external pannier

Bibliography

Andrews, C.F. and E.B. Morgan. Vickers Aircraft since 1908. London: Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-815-1.
Ellis, Ken. Wrecks & Relics. Manchester, UK: Crecy Publishing, 21st edition, 2008. ISBN 9-780859-791342.
Martin, Bernard. The Viking, Valetta and Varsity. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1975. ISBN 0-05130-038-3.
Rawlings, J.D.R. "Vickers Varsity". Air Pictorial, May 1971, Vol 33 No 5. pp. 172-176.
Thetford, Owen. Aircraft of the Royal Aircraft 1918-57. London: Putnam, 1st edition, 1957.

Vickers Varsity Pictures

Living Warbirds: The best warbirds DVD series.

Source: WikiPedia

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