The revolutionary Vickers Viscount first flew from Wisley in England on 16 July 1948. Powered by the Rolls-Royce Dart engine, it became the first turboprop powered airliner in the world. Regular airline service commenced with British European Airways on 18 April 1953.

Turboprop power resulted in very little vibration from the engines. This, coupled with the large panoramic windows, meant the Viscount had great passenger appeal. Produced between 1948 and 1963, the aircraft was a major sales success with 445 built during its production run.

Capital Airlines Vickers Viscount Video

Following on from last weeks video about the forgotten Douglas DC-5, this week there is a video from Capital Airlines about their Vickers Viscount. Capital introduced the Viscount to the United States and this promotional film dates from 1955, running around 25 minutes.

If you’re time poor, there is a shorter video of around six minutes on a post I wrote early last year at this link. A chunk of the below video – up to about 11:40 – is devoted to the Rolls-Royce Dart engines which were technologically advanced for the time.

Next, the video shows some of the Vickers production line, and then from around 16 minutes you go on a Capital Airlines flight. Unfortunately, the sound drops out several times in this part – 16:24 to 17:28, 17:50 to 18:00 and then 18:42 to 19:56.

From 20:30 the video heads over to Europe, showing London, an Air France Vickers Viscount in Paris, and an Aer Lingus one in Dublin. Finally it finishes with a Capital Airlines pilot explaining some of the features of the aircraft.

Overall Thoughts

The Vickers Viscount had a long career, with its last passenger flights taking place in the UK in April 1996. It remains the most commercially successful British built aircraft and saw service throughout the world.

Having a seat on one of these would have been some experience, with the 48 by 66 centimetre (19 x 26 inches) windows providing an excellent outside view. By comparison, the Boeing 787 windows are 28 by 47 centimetres and they’re the largest around today.

Have you been on board a Vickers Viscount? Perhaps you remember the distinctive sound of the Rolls-Royce Dart? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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