The Vickers Viking was a British built airliner powered by two Bristol Hercules piston engines. First flying on 22 June 1945, it was designed as an interim aircraft to bridge the gap until the turboprop Vickers Viscount and the pure jet de Havilland Comet were ready for service.
Originally planned as a derivative of the Wellington bomber, eventually only the wings and undercarriage were carried over. A completely new fuselage was designed for the airliner.
Vickers Viking Videos
Following on from the last video about the VFW-Fokker 614, this time we stay in Europe and look at the Vickers Viking. Hailing from 1945, it is a short look at how the first flight was presented to the public.
You can clearly see how important aviation is considered in the immediate post-war period. Much is made of how Britain did not focus on building civil types during the war and there seems to be a concern about catching up.
What amused me most about the video is how it is described as a “medium-sized” airliner that can seat 24 passengers in comfort. Today this would be an extremely small plane indeed. The second video is silent and runs for eight minutes.
From about two minutes in, it’s worth seeing as there are great ground to air and air to air shots of the aeroplane flying around. From six minutes, you can see it flying with one engine stopped.
There are also some cabin shots – those seats have an interesting design, don’t they? People are also smoking pretty much everywhere they want, something that is now a thing of the past.
The Vickers Viking was produced from 1945 to 1954 and most were out of service by the mid-1960s. 163 aircraft were produced during the production run and a few survive today in museums.
BEA commenced passenger flights with the Viking on 1 September 1946, flying to Copenhagen. Other operators included Aer Lingus, South African Airways and the Royal Air Force among others.
Did you ever have the opportunity to fly on a Vickers Viking and what did you think of the videos? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by RuthAS via Wikimedia Commons.