Vickers Vulture
1923
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Vickers Vulture II

During 1918 Vickers designed a light amphibian with biplane wings and tail unit, its Consuta plywood hull being built by the company's S. E. Saunders subsidiary and incorporating an enclosed cabin seating four passengers. Its powerplant, a 205kW Rolls-Royce Falcon, was strut-mounted below the upper wing to drive a pusher propeller. Designated Vickers Viking, it was flown for the first time in late 1919. It was in a forced landing with this aircraft, on 18 December 1919, that the company's famous chief pilot, Sir John Alcock, was killed. From this Viking I was developed a series of aircraft with progressive improvements, especially to the hull (some of which had open cockpits), and differing powerplant. They comprised the one-off Viking II (268kW Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII) and Viking III (336kW Napier Lion), followed by the production Type 54 Viking IV. Of the 26 that were sold, examples in several type numbers went to the armed services of Argentina, Canada, France, Japan and the Netherlands, and for civil use in Argentina, Canada, the Soviet Union and the USA. Ironically, Sir Ross Smith, knighted like Sir John Alcock for a Vickers Vimy pioneering flight, was killed in an accident with a Viking IV on 13 April 1922. The final version was the Viking V with Napier Lion engine, two built for service with the RAF in Iraq.

The aircraft that was to have been the Viking VI, with redesigned wing structure and Napier Lion engine, was designated Type 78 Vulture I; a second example with a 268kW Rolls-Royce Eagle IX had the designation Type 95 Vulture II but was later re-engined with a Napier Lion. These two aircraft were used during 1924 in an unsuccessful round-the-world flight attempt. Last of the Viking series, at first designated Viking VII but later named Type 83 Vanellus, was a single aircraft for evaluation by the RAF as a three-seat (pilot, observer/gunner and gunner) open-cockpit fleet-spotter; it differed primarily from its predecessors by having a monoplane tail unit. The 15.24m span Viking IV with Napier Lion powerplant had a maximum speed of 182km/h at sea level.

3-View 
Type 78 Vulture IA three-view drawing of Type 78 Vulture I (800 x 679)

Comments
baodaoya, 21.06.2011

If anyone has any knowledge about the plane, or information about the flight, I would be very pleased if you would contact me.

, polo, 21.06.2011

Vickers Vulture

Ed Wolf, eswolf=optusnet.com.au, 05.08.2010

I have been researching MacLaren from his first flights in 1918 and his subsequent work on Aerial Route 1 in 1919.I would love to contribute to your Grandfather's history.
Please get in touch.

tom, washieisledge=hotmail.co.uk, 18.05.2009

is it possible you could send more photos of this aircraft to me as i am deeply interested

tom, washieisledge=hotmail.co.uk, 18.05.2009

is it possible you could send more photos of this aircraft to me as i am deeply interested

Derek O'Connor, derektricia.oconnor=virgin.net, 29.03.2008

Please may I have Vanessa Ascough's contact e-mail address. Thanks.

anne ward, anneward1=gmail.com, 30.12.2007

I have a photograph of this plane when it landed in Egypt as my father was stationed there at the time and it is in his own album recording his stay there. He has the caption 'World Flight April 1924'.
If you think it would be of interest to you I can send you a copy via email although I expect by now you have finished your memoirs.

Vanessa Ascough, Vanessa.Ascough=virgin.net, 05.12.2006

I am the granddaughter of Squadron Leader Archibald Stuart MacLaren who attempted to fly round the world in 1924. THis Vickers Vulture was a Mark V1 powered by a single 450 HP Napier Lion engine with a four blade pusher propellor.

I am anxious to write the memoirs of my grandfather, especially while his daughter, my mother, is still living.

If anyone has any knowledge about the plane, or information about the flight, I would be very pleased if you would contact me.

Thank you

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