The British built Vickers Vanguard was a short to medium range airliner produced in the United Kingdom. As a successor to the very popular Vickers Viscount, it first flew on 20 January 1959.
Seating up to 139 passengers, it was powered by four Rolls-Royce Tyne turboprops and proved very fast. It first entered service with BEA on 17 December 1960, followed by Trans-Canada Airlines on 1 February 1961. Today, these airlines are known as British Airways and Air Canada.
Vickers Vanguard Video
Following on from the last video about the Soviet Ilyushin IL-18, this time we head over to the UK for a look at the Vickers Vanguard. Featuring a double bubble fuselage like the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, it had a large amount of passenger and cargo space.
The first video below is a short 38 second presentation of the aircraft at Farnborough in 1959. Featuring a posh British voiceover, there are some good air-to-air shots of the plane in flight.
Next up, running for about three minutes is a black and white presentation with no sound from British Pathé. It shows the delivery of the first Trans-Canada Airlines machine in 1960. Watch out for the air stairs, cockpit shots and more!
Finally, a five minute video of the final Vickers Vanguard landing at Brooklands Museum in 1996. By this time, the runway there had been shortened, so it was a challenge to get it down in the length remaining.
On this one you get to hear the sound of the aircraft, in both a flyby and landing. Seeing how short of the runway they actually landed indicates to me that they were quite concerned about stopping it successfully!
Just 44 examples of the Vickers Vanguard were produced, with all going to the two original airlines. The turboprop was one of the fastest produced, faster than modern fast turboprops like the De Havilland Canada Dash 8.
Unfortunately, the advent of jet airliners spelled a fast end for the Vanguard. It finished passenger services with British Airways on 16 June 1974 and continued on carrying cargo as the Merchantman. In fact, it continued in this role until Hunting Cargo Airlines retired the final one in 1996, whereupon it was donated to Brooklands Museum at Weybridge in Surrey, where it can be seen today.
Did you ever have a chance to fly on a Vickers Vanguard and what was it like? Did you enjoy the videos? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by Gabriel Desmond via Airliners.net.