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Vickers Viscount

The Vickers Viscount was the first successful passenger transport aircraft with turbo­prop engines, developed just after the Second World War. It has a classical configura­tion of that time with low mounted straight wings, a tricycle landing gear and engines in the wing's leading edge. The engine nacelles are slender, and have circular air intakes around the prop spinners, typical for the Rolls Royce Darts, with an exhaust at the back. The vertical stabiliser is curved from the dorsal fin all the way to the trailing edge. The horizontal stabilisers have significant dihedral. Typical for the Viscount is further­more the cockpit that pops a bit out of the forward fuselage; it seems "added" later. Large oval cabin windows complete the picture. 

The nose with cockpit windows is the key feature to recognise the Vickers Viscount. Note the extra window at the back! The cockpit is not flush with the rest of the fuselage: it pops out a bit.

Like other designs of the era the vertical stabiliser curves nicely from the dorsal fin all the way over the top. The horizontal stabilisers have a significant dihedral.

The long, slender engine nacelles with ring shaped air intakes around the propeller spinners and exhausts at the back are characteristic for Rolls Royce Dart engines and thus also for the Viscount.

Different versions

The different versions of the Vickers Viscount can be distinguish by

  • the length of the fuselage
  • the shape of the cabin doors
  • the shape of the cockpit side windows

Details will follow later. 

Confusion possible with

Lockheed L-188 Electra

l 188af

Like the Viscount the Lockheed Electra has a curved vertical stabiliser. For the rest it is diffe­rent with a larger diameter fuse­lage, round nose, rectangular cabin windows, eyebrow cockpit windows and nacelles above the wings with intakes at the top, and more. 

Lockheed P-3 Orion

l 285 p 3c

The Orion is a maritime patrol aircraft derived from the Electra, which is clearly visible in the curved vertical stabiliser, wings and nacelles above the wings with intakes at the top. So these are also the way to distinguish it from the Viscount. 

Vickers Vanguard

vanguard 953c

The Vanguard was the successor of the Viscount. It retains the oval cabin windows and stabi­lisers with dihedral. The nacelles have ring shaped air intakes as well. Contrary to the Viscount it has a more streamlined nose with a heavily framed cockpit. The vertical stabiliser is more angular. 

Ilyushin Il-18

il 18d

The Soviet counterpart of the Electra and Vanguard can best be recognised by the round cabin windows and four wheels on the main landing gear, apart from other differences. It is also bigger than the Viscount.