The Wibault system of metal airframe construction, with which Vickers had gained experience in building the Type 121 Wibault Scout, was utilised for a low-powered shipboard fighter to Specification 17/25. Submitted to the Air Ministry on 15 December 1925, this type, to be named Vireo, was awarded a one-aircraft contract. Intended to use either wheel or float undercarriage, and suitable for launching from a catapult, the Vireo was powered by a 230hp supercharged Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IV seven-cylinder radial air-cooled engine and had provision for two wing-mounted 7.7mm machine guns firing outside the propeller disc. The structural design of the Vireo followed closely that of the Type 121, with the airframe virtually entirely covered by corrugated metal skinning. Flown early in March 1928 - flight testing having been delayed by extensive aerodynamic and structural tests undertaken at the Royal Aircraft Establishment - the Vireo was evaluated at Martlesham Heath in April and deck trials then took place aboard HMS Furious on 12 July. The Vireo was fitted with a twin-float undercarriage, but, in the event, seaplane trials that were to have taken place at the MAEE, Felixstowe, were not proceeded with. The speed performance of the Vireo was inevitably poor owing to the combination of low engine power and high drag resulting from the corrugated surfaces, and it suffered extremely unpleasant stalling characteristics. In consequence, development was terminated.
|A three-view drawing (1280 x 952)|
| Take-off weight||1157 kg||2551 lb|
| Empty weight||885 kg||1951 lb|
| Wingspan||10.67 m||35 ft 0 in|
| Length||8.43 m||28 ft 8 in|
| Height||3.48 m||11 ft 5 in|
| Wing area||19.88 m2||213.99 sq ft|
| Max. speed||193 km/h||120 mph|
| Ceiling||4495 m||14750 ft|
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