|First flight||17 July 1949|
|Developed from||Vickers VC.1 Viking|
Design and development[edit | edit source]
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 and a bomb bay with a capacity for 24 x 25 lb smoke & flash bombs. The prototype Type 668 first flew from Wisley on 17 July 1949.
Operational history[edit | edit source]
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, where it was used to train pilots in flying multiple-engined aircraft. It also equipped two Air Navigator Schools, in 1952, and the Bomber Command Bombing school, with the job of training crews for RAF Bomber-Commands V-bomber crews.
The Varsity was withdrawn from service with the RAF in May 1976, its role as a pilot and navigation trainer being taken over by the Scottish Aviation Jetstream T1.
Operators[edit | edit source]
- 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[edit | edit source]
Germany[edit | edit source]
- On display
- Royal Air Force Varsity T1 WF382 at the Allied Museum, Berlin-Tegel.
Sweden[edit | edit source]
- On display
- Tp 82 Varsity, c/n 622, SwAF serial 82001, outside the Swedish Air Force Museum, Linköping.
United Kingdom[edit | edit source]
- 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[edit | edit source]
- Stored or under restoration
- Varsity T1 N65558 the former WJ948 is in external storage at El Paso, Texas - Horizon Airport still in Royal Air Force colour scheme. Severely damaged in landing accident.
Specifications (T Mk 1)[edit | edit source]
Data from Vickers Aircraft since 1908 
- 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 ft² (90.5 m²)
- Empty weight: 27,040 lb (12 265 kg)
- Loaded weight: 37,500 lb (17,010 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × Bristol Hercules 264 14-cylinder radial engines, 1,950 hp (1,455 kW) each
- 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)
- Bombs: 600 lb (272 kg) practice bombs in an external pannier
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Thetford 1957, p. 448.
- Martin 1975, p. 9.
- Rawlings 1971, pp. 172–173.
- Ellis 2008, p. 170.
- Ellis 2008, p. 207.
- Ellis 2008, p. 22.
- Ellis 2008, p. 129.
- Ellis 2008, p. 175.
- Andrews and Morgan 1988, p. 416.
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- 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: Crécy Publishing, 21st edition, 2008. ISBN 978-0-85979-134-2.
- Martin, Bernard. The Viking, Valetta and Varsity. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1975. ISBN 0851300383.
- Rawlings, J.D.R. "Vickers Varsity". Air Pictorial, Vol. 33, No. 5, May 1971, pp. 172–176.
- Thetford, Owen. Aircraft of the Royal Aircraft 1918-57. London: Putnam, 1st edition, 1957.
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