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Vickers VC-7 and V-1000

Caravellarella

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I thought it would be interesting to consider which airlines would have been in the market for the VC-7; or which airlines Vickers thought they could sell VC-7s to. So the VC-7 was offered to airlines in the Spring of 1954, was originally scheduled to fly in December 1955 (for service entry in late 1959) and cancelled on 11th November 1955. Apart from the obvious customer B.O.A.C, other commonwealth potential airline customers were......

Trans-Canada Air Lines (Air Canada after 1st June 1964) - expressed a well known interest in the VC-7 - first order for four Douglas DC-8-41s placed on 9th May 1956 (entered service 1st April 1960). Trans-Canada was a major Viscount operator and later became a Vanguard operator too.

Qantas - the sole customer for the short fuselage Boeing 707-138 variant (same fuselage length as the KC-135) because of their specific airfield requirements on the Sydney-Los Angeles/San Francisco route - first order for seven Boeing 707-138s placed 6th September 1956 (entered service 29th July 1959). Qantas never ordered another all-British airliner after their abortive Avro Tudor 2 experience.

Air India International - had never operated a Vickers type and had been disillusioned by the loss of their DH106 Comet 3 order - first order for three Boeing 707-437s placed 31st August 1956 (entered service 19th April 1960). Air India never ordered another all-British airliner.

South African Airways - a Viscount operator - first order for three Boeing 707-344s placed 21st February 1958 (entered service 2nd October 1960).

Pakistan International - a Viscount operator - did not order its own jet airliners until an order for three Boeing 720-040Bs was placed on 17th April 1961.

Ghana Airways - first order for two Boeing 707-463s placed 16th March 1961 and cancelled in September the same year.

Canadian Pacific Air Lines - disillusioned by the non-delivery of its fleet of DH106 Comet 1 & 2 aircraft and the late delivery of Britannia 314 aircraft - first order for four DC-8-41s placed in October 1959 (entered service 30th May 1961).


I wonder how Vickers would have been able to meet any of those service entry dates. As Commonwealth airlines would have been the more natural customers, would it be interesting to see how other World Airlines ordered their big-jet airliners?

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

royabulgaf

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Tony, that comes to 22 airliners. This is assuming that Vickers would run the table. Not the kind of production run to base one's corporate future on.
 

Spark

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royabulgaf said:
Tony, that comes to 22 airliners. This is assuming that Vickers would run the table. Not the kind of production run to base one's corporate future on.
Hi
How many did boeing have for the B737 at the start? was it just Lufthansa?
 

Spark

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Caravellarella said:
I thought it would be interesting to consider which airlines would have been in the market for the VC-7; or which airlines Vickers thought they could sell VC-7s to. So the VC-7 was offered to airlines in the Spring of 1954, was originally scheduled to fly in December 1955 (for service entry in late 1959) and cancelled on 11th November 1955. Apart from the obvious customer B.O.A.C, other commonwealth potential airline customers were......

Trans-Canada Air Lines (Air Canada after 1st June 1964) - expressed a well known interest in the VC-7 - first order for four Douglas DC-8-41s placed on 9th May 1956 (entered service 1st April 1960). Trans-Canada was a major Viscount operator and later became a Vanguard operator too.

Qantas - the sole customer for the short fuselage Boeing 707-138 variant (same fuselage length as the KC-135) because of their specific airfield requirements on the Sydney-Los Angeles/San Francisco route - first order for seven Boeing 707-138s placed 6th September 1956 (entered service 29th July 1959). Qantas never ordered another all-British airliner after their abortive Avro Tudor 2 experience.

Air India International - had never operated a Vickers type and had been disillusioned by the loss of their DH106 Comet 3 order - first order for three Boeing 707-437s placed 31st August 1956 (entered service 19th April 1960). Air India never ordered another all-British airliner.

South African Airways - a Viscount operator - first order for three Boeing 707-344s placed 21st February 1958 (entered service 2nd October 1960).

Pakistan International - a Viscount operator - did not order its own jet airliners until an order for three Boeing 720-040Bs was placed on 17th April 1961.

Ghana Airways - first order for two Boeing 707-463s placed 16th March 1961 and cancelled in September the same year.

Canadian Pacific Air Lines - disillusioned by the non-delivery of its fleet of DH106 Comet 1 & 2 aircraft and the late delivery of Britannia 314 aircraft - first order for four DC-8-41s placed in October 1959 (entered service 30th May 1961).


I wonder how Vickers would have been able to meet any of those service entry dates. As Commonwealth airlines would have been the more natural customers, would it be interesting to see how other World Airlines ordered their big-jet airliners?

Terry (Caravellarella)
Hi
Many thanks with these 22 from a common V1000/VC7 Intercontinental/VC7Domestic production line we now have a potential initial run of +93 aircraft.
Add KLM and do not forget all the runways had to be lengthened to accommodate the poor performance of the Competitors. Aeroplane published an annual league table of airports that were “improved” to cater for inferior performance of the Boeing and Douglas aircraft. The standard Intercontinental VC7 could be expected to operate the Pacific run for Qantas.
 

Caravellarella

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Sorry, the point I was trying to make was that Vickers' Commonwealth customers (ie those most likely to order a British built aircraft for Commonwealth Preference Trading reasons) did not place orders for VC-7s or did not express any interest in the aircraft (B.O.A.C and Trans-Canada excepted).

I have only listed the initial orders placed for the other big-jets, do you want to see the total and complete follow-up orders?

Other world airlines would have been even less inclined to order this aircraft I'm sure......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

Spark

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Caravellarella said:
Sorry, the point I was trying to make was that Vickers' Commonwealth customers (ie those most likely to order a British built aircraft for Commonwealth Preference Trading reasons) did not place orders for VC-7s or did not express any interest in the aircraft (B.O.A.C and Trans-Canada excepted).

I have only listed the initial orders placed for the other big-jets, do you want to see the total and complete follow-up orders?

Other world airlines would have been even less inclined to order this aircraft I'm sure......

Terry (Caravellarella)

Hi,Based on technical and commercial merit
RAF orders 23
BOAC orders15
BEA orders 23
TCA orders ….
KLM orders….


From KEW,…..

“ It is clear from the Air Council record that the lateness of the aircraft was not considered in itself to be unacceptable if other wise the operational requirement were met”

When the contract was being discussed for the first six V1000 aircraft it was fully understood what the delivery date would be however it was this factor that was settled on as a political contrived reason for cancellation.

All other reasons given were spin lies and half truths. It was the cancellation that put paid to commercial interest. One thinks that the Vanguard contract was a cancellation sop to shut the company up. There seems little reason to think the aircraft would not be a technical and commercial success.

MoS, Government was desperate for an excuse.

“……the best line to take would be that the delivery date of the aircraft had slipped back unacceptably. This line could not be disputed by the firm and it should carry conviction with the public”.


As for the ability of Vickers to mass produce aircraft, remind me how many Viscounts did they sell at that time?


IT the V1000/VC7 was the cheaper better value option.
 

JFC Fuller

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Spark,

You are being deliberately misleading: The RAF only wanted 12 aircraft and they cancelled those, thus they are not an order. And BEA was never a serious contender. inventing customers will not make the VC-7 a viable concept. The simple fact is that the type had few if any commercial prospects and was unaffordable to the RAF. The fact that the government was the one justifying its cancellation is demonstrative of how flawed the entire programme was, it should have been sufficiently commercially viable to allow Vickers to sustain it on its own; but it was not so it died.
 

Caravellarella

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Why would K.L.M have ordered VC-7s? K.L.M had been firmly wedded to Douglas Aircraft since 1934 and to a lesser degree Lockheed Aircraft since 1939. K.L.M was the first non-USA customer for the DC-8; it's first order seven aircraft placed on 16th November 1955 (entering service on 16th April 1960). In fact K.L.M had operated all production Douglas airliners and was probably the most loyal "DC" customer of all......

K.L.M had operated a fleet of nine Viscounts to remain competitive until delivery of ordered Lockheed Electras; so K.L.M was not a particularly "Vickers" customer......

Why would BEA have ordered VC-7s? The contemporary DH120 (a 4 Avon Comet 5/DH118 hybrid) was deemed to large and heavy for BEA's routes. The Comet 4B was ordered for longer range routes to remain competitive with Caravelle 3s and 6s. The later Airco DH121 was also deemed too large (albeit for different reasons); so a BEA operated VC-7 would have suffered from/for having a heavy duty intercontinental (military airlifter) airframe. This would probably have prevented any operator making a profit on regional/intra-European routes......

Trans-Canada Air Lines (Air Canada) placed the following DC-8-41/42/43 orders......

4 aircraft on 9th May 1956.
2 aircraft on 2nd May 1957.
4 aircraft in November 1959.
1 aircraft on 29th December 1961.

and the following DC-8-54F/53 orders.

4 aircraft on 29th December 1961.
2 aircraft in January 1963.
2 aircraft in July 1965.
3 aircraft in March 1967.

Just a thought,

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

alertken

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The shade of GRE may welcome your valiant effort to substantiate his "blunder" point, but why do you persevere with this? He did not. As SLL implies, it was open to him, at 11/55 V.1000 chop, to go to the Vickers and RR Boards for in-house funds. He did just that for his Viscount Major, to be Vanguard, which was uniquely PV financed. If he felt that real sales prospects existed, that's what he should have done. Instead he moved on to the political opportunity of the replacement for BOAC's 707-420 order, 24/10/56. For that, DH bid D.H.118, Avro bid Vulcan-derived Atlantic, HP bid Victor-derived HP.97, all Conway, all deemed by BOAC to be uneconomical. He won, with Standard VC10; we in the 1960s had to ladle vast operating subsidies to BOAC to compensate its cost uncompetitiveness.

Earlied than 11/55, any airline interest in jets was in Comets 2/3. VC7 had nothing of distinction.
 

Caravellarella

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Dear Alertken, I love your analysis; its FABE! :D

I have often wondered; if George Edwards and the Vickers Board had the faith in their VC-7/V1000 (as he often professed), then why were they not able to fund it to production. Revenues from sales of Viscounts and Varsities must have counted for something......

Digressing, I wonder what kind of loss Vickers took on the Vanguard, and what was their projected break-even sales figure? Anyone out there know please?

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

alertken

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T: Vickers Against the Odds has a Vanguard liability in the set up of BAC, of £16.7Mn. I know not what GRE may have said to his Board of sales prospects/ breakeven.

Maybe A to my own Q to Spark (why persevere?), focussing on his uncovering at Kew ("the best line to take") on chop. Ministers are seldom transparent; not devious or suborned, but facing conflicting agendas. Put yourself in MoS Maudling's boots. He has 2 polar opposite responsibilities: to Supply to the Services; and to "sponsor" UK Aero industry. His colleague at the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation "owned" BOAC/BEAC: BOAC's Ch.Exec.Sir M.Thomas was to quit 7/3/56: “(You can) have an airline run as a competitive, keen commercial concern using the best available equipment, or you can have it as a shop window for aircraft you would not normally purchase” H.Penrose,Wings Across the World,Cassell,1980,P195. That resignation forced Govt. to allow them to buy what they saw fit, which on 24/10/56 was 15 707-420; to help to spare $, BOAC was resigned to having them assembled at Weybridge (what fun to watch them take off), but Govt. chose to spend a BOAC-peculiar cost increment as £, fitting Conway. Later: “To expect a Co.to do something (not) wholly commercial {=feed the natives}, then, when it has lost money doing it, to expect to pay interest on that money is bloody crazy.” 9/62, BOAC Chairman Sir M.Slattery of £14Mn.loss (Penrose, P223). That led to Govt. instructions to Sir Giles Guthrie that he was to operate with the intent of profit; he extracted the VC10 operating subsidy, unloaded a bunch onto RAF; his airline ultimately took 32 707s, 17/12 (Super)VC10.

So: upto March,1954 UK was doing fine, Britannia, Comet, Viscount sales/enquiries/licence assembly contacts. In April Comet was grounded.
On 12/2/55 the RAE/Cohen J. Report put UK Aero back in business. MTCA funded 19 Comet 4 for BOAC on 17/3/55, which deferred any need for a VC7 (airlines then perceived purejets as low volume, "Concordes" of the day - F-only, turboprops for cattle class); MoS funded rebuild of 13 Comet 2 as T.2/C.2/R.2 - which deleted the need for V.1000. DH was given all this manna for 2 reasons: to restore public faith in British-is-best (we all loved Comet); and to preserve them financially to do the IRBM. We didn't need to "preserve" any of the V-craft teams, each pitching a civil variant. MoS could not chop V.1000 then, as they should have, as Valiant was the only Deterrent type near-Service - no tarnishing, please. That's all. No conspiracy.
 

Caravellarella

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Delicious analysis Alertken; thank you......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

Spark

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Hood said:
Sealordlawrence,

You seem somewhat biased in favour of the 707 over the VC-7 and somewhat pessimistic about the entire British aircraft industry. If the government was as disturbed as you claim about the state of the industry then why didn't they do more to enforce logical planning and resource management on a wider scale. I don't doubt your arguments over scale of the potential British orders over US, that is what made making export-worthy aircraft more essential if the British firms were to survive.

Your argument that BOAC as a profit-making company chose the 707 purely for commercial reasons because it was the best choice seems rather false when you look at the timeframe. Likewise the development of the 707 does not show a risk-free development and does not seem to indicate that Boeing was confident over its success. At one point it thought the airlines would never buy the 707.

TWA's president was quoted as saying around 1954, "Civil jets? Not for another ten years." PanAm's Trippe was also pessimistic "Passengers are unlikely to be attracted by jets." The American outlook at the time was that the Comet was uneconomic and that in general all jet-powered airliners would be. Although that attitude soon changed it shows not all airlines were intially happy about jet liners and I guess BOAC was not over-enthusiastic either.

Now lets look at some dates. The VC.7 cancellation was 11th Nov 1955, at that time the planned first flight was June 56 with entry into service late 1959/60.

The Boeing 367-80 prototype first flew on 15 July 1954 and although configured for cargo could fit 130 passenger seats on rails in the cabin and had a range of 3,530 miles.
On 5th October 1954 the USAF ordered 29 KC-135A. The fuselage had to be widened from the 367-80 diameter and the first KC-135A first flew 31 August 1956. That is nine months after the VC.7 was cancelled.

It was not until 13 July 1955 that the USAF cleared Boeing to develop the commercial 707, only four months before the VC-7 was cancelled.
Douglas already had the DC-8 planned on paper and had 132in dia body and was bigger, faster and longer-ranged than the 707. In September 1955 PanAm signed for 25 DC-8. Boeing was forced by PanAm and American to widen the fuselage a second time from the KC-135 diameter to 138in (the VC-7 was designed with 150in diameter) and Panam in October signed for 6 707-21 but still felt the DC-8 was superior. In November 1955 American signed for 30 but the DC-8 had transatlantic range and the 707 did not (without stopping). So ironically only at the same time as the VC.7 was cancelled did Boeing begin developing the Intercontinental and on 24 Dec 1955 PanAm signed for 15 Intercontientals. Only then did the orders flood in for the 707 (7 airlines for 98 DC-8 and 6 airlines for 75 707 by the end of 1955). FAA certification for 707-100 was 18 Sept 1958.

The first Intercontential (189 pass) with JT4A jets flew 11 Jan 59 and in August entered PanAm service.

BOAC ordered 15 (later inc 16 plus 2 for BOAC-Cunard) Interconitentials with 17,500lb Mk 508 Conway engines on 24 April 1956 as " an exceptional measure" due to having "no alternative". Very odd when you consider Vickers had a transatlantic Conway powered airliner under construction only four months earlier and when the DC-8 was also able to fit the bill.
BOAC suddenly changed their position, the Interconential was only developed from November 1955 so BOAC knew that there was no alternative to the VC.7 before that date and surely couldn't have known the 707 would be a success when the basic 707-100 wouldn't enter service until late 1958 and when the Intercontinental was still on paper (and awaiting more powerful JT4A turbojets). Indeed the first commerical-variant 707-100 didn't fly for the first time until 20 December 1957, two years after the VC.7 was cancelled. As we have seen the 367-80 was no more than a flying shell and not even to the same standards as the KC-135 or 707, both of which were successively larger variants. Boeing found it embarrassing to have to redesign and retool twice and indeed hadn't built an airliner since the 377 Stratoliner. BOAC was following the Boeing bandwagon that eventually overtook DC-8 orders but Boeing was scared the DC-8 would scupper the 707. The existence of a third long-range airliner like the VC.7 might have tipped the balance with some of the other foreign exports, airlines that brought British over American etc, history isn't written in stone. Events have impacts on other events, it is likely Boeing and Douglas breathed sighs of relief when it was a two-way struggle.

The first BOAC 707 flew 20 May 1959 but was refused British certification due to possible over-rotation and inadequate directional stability and despite the potential political embarrassment Boeing was forced to raise the fin and add a ventral fin to all 707s. Finally on 27 April 1960 UK certification was issued.

Hi Hood,

Have read with interest your incisive scholarly contribution.
I am not sure about BOAC not trusting RR to deliver the Conway with higher enough thrust?
Bristol considered that the competition would need six engine aircraft to make them viable that was true if one did not have to lengthen every civil runway in the world bar two.

Originally I thought the Continental/Domestic variant too large but on reflection comparing with the Third generation Boeing 727-200 is very revealing.
What you may not have been aware off was that the VC 7 Continental (BEA) could have operated from smaller airfields than the 727. The VC7 (BEA) only needed 4,500ft to fifty feet take-off giving greater flexibility of operation from available airfields.
Its large wing was an asset allowing for air frame growth or enabled it to reach an economical cruising altitude more quickly and with a very high cruising speed some 517 knots at 25,000ft at maximum continuous cruise power to have a shorter block time. With the later marks of engine one assumes potentially slightly higher?
The original Boeing 727 -100 was very heavily influenced by UK work but it was soon realised on the question of size that even greater capacity was useful.
The standard VC7 fuselage with 40inch pitch seating is shown in drawings for the BEA variant to accommodate 155 passengers. A high density version no doubt could have accommodated 180~190 passengers for package holiday flights.
The VC7 aircraft variants were basically the same except the variant offered to BEA needed less fuel because of its lesser range requirement so with capacity load and maximum range it’s
weight was about the same as the Boeing 727-200.
One could imagine that with an airframe already designed to cope with a maximum potential
290,000lb when the market developed a “simple” stretched version could have doubled the passenger capacity of the first VC7 this is why I was originally drawing a comparison with the VC10.
The weight issue was never a problem. It was presented as such by the engine performance constraints imposed by the MoS at the behest of the “masters” to justify cancellation.
Derek Wood refers to it but he wrote before the thirty year rule revealed the truth.
With the MoS contrived figures the V1000 was expected to reach just over 230,000lb AUW.
Vickers did request a mere 3,500lb increase to allow a common airframe for all the variants giving maximum increase in all up weight to some 290,000lb.

Given this fact the figures in the archive give a range of 3,475 n.miles (30knot Headwind + 20% Reserve) one assumes with the maximum number of 151 passengers for the Trans -Atlantic route?

When in November 1955 Vickers Armstrong disclosed publically VC7 figures they gave appear to be limited to 247,000lb maximum AUW and give a still air range of 4,800 nautical miles about 5,500 statute miles.
They had the carrot of the Vanguard contract and if you did not conform no more contracts.
Edwards toed the line again five years later when Macmillan wanted the Space Programme cut and so Vickers kept the VC10 contract.
In the archives Vickers are given positive encouragement at the start to make the payload range as large as possible for the V1000.
 

alertken

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spark: you are veering into conspiracy theory:
"They had the carrot of the Vanguard contract and if you did not conform no more contracts". BEAC defined Vanguard and Vickers funded it, with 20 BE and 23 TCA at 1955 launch - best ever at that stage for a Brit type. No doubt they hoped other V.700 customers would upgrade, but: V.800 cannibalised V.950; L-188 charged in; Oz lost yen for Britcraft whose wings fell off. I remind you who won the BOAC 707-420 rollover in 1957.
"Edwards toed the line again five years later when Macmillan wanted the Space Programme cut and so Vickers kept the VC10 contract". Do you allude to Blue Streak (no Vickers involvement)? Chopped as IRBM 4/60; invested by Mac into the European Launcher Development Organisation, UK-funded until 4/71. Vickers kept the BOAC VC10 order because of, not despite Govts.
BEAC took no interest in purejets until Caravelle competition strained the cartel revenue-pooling structure of routes v.AF,SAS,AZ. 1955 VC7 brochures, confusing V.800/V.950 sales, were not relevant to 1958 Comet 4B order.
 

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[/quote]


Hi
From Hansard
VICKERS V-1000 AIRCRAFT
HC Deb 08 December 1955 vol 547 cc665-96 665

Air Commodore Harvey
“I am told that it was required to take off within 2,000 yards in tropical conditions. I am assured by the firm making it that it still stands by the claim that the aircraft has that standard of performance.
While the weight of the military type has gone up, the all-out weight of the civil version, the V.C.7, has gone down from 250,000 lb. to 248,000 lb., whereas the Boeing 707 and the Douglas D.C.8 are considerably heavier. So far as speed is concerned, the V.C.7 is estimated to be about 10 knots slower, because of its increased wing area compared with the others. Only last week, Boeings announced that the wing area of their aircraft was increased by 700 square feet.
Do not let us assume that the Americans will go straight ahead and build two wonderful aeroplanes to fly by the time they say they will, because there are many problems to be overcome. I feel that what the firm says is correct, and I have yet to be told otherwise—that Vickers could be two years ahead of either Douglas or Boeing in this project. Nearly £3 million has been spent already, and for the sake of perhaps another £11 million, we should have a Transatlantic aeroplane flying in 1959 or 1960”.
 

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Spark said:
Hi
From Hansard
VICKERS V-1000 AIRCRAFT
HC Deb 08 December 1955 vol 547 cc665-96 665

Air Commodore Harvey
“I am told that it was required to take off within 2,000 yards in tropical conditions. I am assured by the firm making it that it still stands by the claim that the aircraft has that standard of performance.
While the weight of the military type has gone up, the all-out weight of the civil version, the V.C.7, has gone down from 250,000 lb. to 248,000 lb., whereas the Boeing 707 and the Douglas D.C.8 are considerably heavier. So far as speed is concerned, the V.C.7 is estimated to be about 10 knots slower, because of its increased wing area compared with the others. Only last week, Boeings announced that the wing area of their aircraft was increased by 700 square feet.
Do not let us assume that the Americans will go straight ahead and build two wonderful aeroplanes to fly by the time they say they will, because there are many problems to be overcome. I feel that what the firm says is correct, and I have yet to be told otherwise—that Vickers could be two years ahead of either Douglas or Boeing in this project. Nearly £3 million has been spent already, and for the sake of perhaps another £11 million, we should have a Transatlantic aeroplane flying in 1959 or 1960”.

So if it was so great why did Vickers not fund it? A viable British aviation industry would have been self-sustaining and would not have gone begging to parliament.
 

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It is interesting to see the long time lapse between the planned first flight of the VC-7/V1000 and the planned service entry date. Other manufacturers were speedier; would you all like to see a comparison?

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

Spark

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Caravellarella said:
It is interesting to the long time lapse between the planned first flight of the VC-7/V1000 and the planned service entry date. Other manufacturers weres speedier; would you all like to see a comparison?

Terry (Caravellarella)
Hi,
Yes , I am interested in what figures you have
 

alertken

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Harvey was Dep.Chairman of HP and Director of some vendors. If an increment from £3Mn. to £11Mn. (what basis for this?) was likely to produce a marketable Transatlantic type by 1959, it was for the Boards of Vickers+RR to do it. RAF had Comet 2+Civil tramps; BOAC had Comet 4, was looking at Comet 5 and other British schemes; Vickers soon won VC10, which a funded VC7 would have stifled.

Go back to a much earlier post, which noted no successful civil uses of a bomber wing. I ran through in my feeble mind...Viking (BEAC's "replacement" for Dak, which was long to outlast it), Argosy 100, C.102 Jetliner, Tu.104...he's not wrong. Go back to the pods point and list successful thick wing, "buried" engine types...he's not wrong either. Where, exactly, is your beef in all this? Dead horse, flog.
 

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Does anybody have a graphic / further details of the Comet 5?

Ignore the above as it is in stuck on the drawing board, I would love to see a graphical representation of the DH118 however.
 

royabulgaf

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Go back to a much earlier post, which noted no successful civil uses of a bomber wing. I ran through in my feeble mind...Viking (BEAC's "replacement" for Dak, which was long to outlast it), Argosy 100, C.102 Jetliner, Tu.104...he's not wrong. Go back to the pods point and list successful thick wing, "buried" engine types...he's not wrong either. Where, exactly, is your beef in all this? Dead horse, flog.

If you want to get pedantic, there was the Boeing B-50/Stratocruiser. However, that was not exactly a worldbeater in sales, and I doubt it would be as economically successful were the C-97 nonexistant. I didn't read the post you're referring to, however as a modeler, the VC-7 wing has no real resemblance to the Valiant wing.
 

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royabulgaf said:
Go back to a much earlier post, which noted no successful civil uses of a bomber wing. I ran through in my feeble mind...Viking (BEAC's "replacement" for Dak, which was long to outlast it), Argosy 100, C.102 Jetliner, Tu.104...he's not wrong. Go back to the pods point and list successful thick wing, "buried" engine types...he's not wrong either. Where, exactly, is your beef in all this? Dead horse, flog.

If you want to get pedantic, there was the Boeing B-50/Stratocruiser. However, that was not exactly a worldbeater in sales, and I doubt it would be as economically successful were the C-97 nonexistant. I didn't read the post you're referring to, however as a modeler, the VC-7 wing has no real resemblance to the Valiant wing.
Hi Folks,

Was the C.102 Jetliner derived from a bomber aircraft?
 

Caravellarella

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The Avro Canada Jetliner was a Lancaster/Lincoln/Tudor derivative. It certainly retained the same wing aerofoil section and I believe (please correct me if I'm wrong) it used the same fuselage cross-section as the wider-bodied Tudor 2/5/7. This probably explains why it is so similar to the Avro Ashton......

Dear moderators, doesn't the Avro Canada Jetliner justify its own message thread? It bears no relationship to the Vickers VC-7/V1000......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

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sealordlawrence said:
Does anybody have a graphic / further details of the Comet 5?

Ignore the above as it is in stuck on the drawing board, I would love to see a graphical representation of the DH118 however.

"Stuck on the drawing Board" includes an illustration of the Comet 5, also a three-view of the same aircraft.
There is also a plan and elevation of the DH.118.
 

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pf matthews said:
sealordlawrence said:
Does anybody have a graphic / further details of the Comet 5?

Ignore the above as it is in stuck on the drawing board, I would love to see a graphical representation of the DH118 however.

"Stuck on the drawing Board" includes an illustration of the Comet 5, also a three-view of the same aircraft.
There is also a plan and elevation of the DH.118.

What page is DH.118 graphic on? I seem unable to find it in my copy.
 

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Dear Boys & Girls, the image below of the VC-7 dates from at least 6 years before the planned first flight! Can anyone account for the very long gestation period?

The cutting is taken from the 14th March 1953 issue of Les Ailes......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

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T: the Putnam Vickers, P.462, has "V.1000 was scheduled to fly in the early months of 1956", which would be consistent with its 1952 ITP.
 

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Pg.41 of stuck on the drawing board mentions an engine under consideration alongside the Olympus and Conway as the RB.125, I can not find any reference to such an engine anywhere, does anyone have any ideas what this engine was?
 

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In 1955 Vickers was considering various engines for the VC7.
Vickers Aircraft since 1908, C F Andrews & E B Morgan, Putnam 1988, page 568
Vickers' proposals for possible engines now were: 1. Four developed Conway R.Co.5s (12,800 lb st); 2. Four developed R.Co.5s with reheat (14,500 lb st); 3. Six R.Co.5s (12,800 lb st); 4. Four Rolls-Royce RB125s (19,650 lb st); 5. Four Bristol developed BOL7s (17,300 lb st).

I have not been able to find anything else about the RB125.
 

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Pica,

Thank you very much for the reply, it is interesting that RB.125 is listed as having a comparatively high thrust for its time (1955), it is very strange that this is the only mention of it.
 

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~20,000 lb st seems like a lot for the period, I am also puzzled by the lack of information on the RB125.
 

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Vickers factory model of the V.1000 (military transport variant of the VC-7 airliner, itself derived from the Valiant bomber).

(courtesy Sir George Cox collection)
 

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Vickers V.1000 rendering on the cover of Flight magazine, October 1955.
 

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A three-view arrangement of the Vickers VC.7:
 

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This has proved a fascinating topic to read about, enough so that I actually have about a dozen or so tabs open in order to be able to comment on it with some knowledge.

It seems to me, though, that the reasons for the cancellation of this project were more political than economic. It isn't always true that the best aircraft of a series of choices is the one that gets built. I'd suspect that the U.S. SST program was another example of this. I'd like to see some of the things that Spark has alluded to concerning those politics, though.

If this aircraft turned out to be all that they said, it would have been, as jetliners go, pretty much the proverbial better mouse trap. This could have meant, like with the Comet initially, that everyone would have been beating down the doors at Vickers to buy the VC-7. Oddly, the Conway was the only way to have a turbofan engined jetliner before 1960, and the only one available that large before 1961. In other words, there would have been reasons to buy it on its own merits. If take off performance was that good, would it have been able to take off from La Guardia rather than Idlewild (JFK)? That could have been a useful selling point to some airlines.

In order for this project to have succeeded, it required a number of circumstances that were not present in Britain at that time. One was the conviction to see this through to completion. Most of the money required for its development was already spent. It's an odd choice to spend three million pounds to end up with scrap metal, rather than spend four or so million, and have a potentially competitive jetliner. The other would have required a government that put its foot down with BOAC with respect to buying an equivalent and domestically built aircraft. Buying DC-7Cs hardly saved BOAC any time compared to buying the Britannias they'd already ordered, and with the British certification of the 707-420 taking until March 1960, one could well argue that buying Boeing saved BOAC no time at all in putting a larger jetliner than the Comet into service.

As for marketing, I'd read elsewhere that marketing materials for the VC-7 were forbidden on security grounds until some time in 1954. I wonder what those looked like.

Once the government, which, after all, essentially owned BOAC, insisted on buying British, other sales were still possible. Any company that had bought aircraft powered by Conway engines could have done as well to buy the VC-7. Also, had they bought the VC-7 instead of the 707 and the VC-10, that alone would have accounted for over 50 aircraft. As for the RAF, if the VC-7 was actually cheaper, as Spark insists (again, I'd love to see figures), if it couldn't afford the VC-7, what business did it have buying the more expensive Britannia? At that rate, add the totals of the Britannia and VC-10 buys and you'd have an idea of how many VC-7s could have been bought in the end by the RAF.

I'd also add that at times, the Bank of England had been apparently operated in a manner like our own Export Import Bank. Somewhere (I should look for it again) I'd read that the Bank of England was Capital Airlines' sole remaining source of credit for aircraft purchases at one point. This included a requirement to buy British aircraft, and may have been partly the reason for the Viscount purchases, as well as their orders, later cancelled, for Comets and Britannias. While mentioning such things, it was also true that Northeast considered the idea of the Britannia, enough that one aircraft was painted in their colors. Capital's network was ill suited for the VC-7 in that there would have been few routes with enough density to justify the VC-7 (Richmond to Miami, anyone?), but Northeast had routes on which they used 707s before using Convair 880s, an uneconomic type if there ever was one. Would these not have been better served with a VC-7? Also, Pan American had shown some interest, if only to leverage some changes to the 707 design. After all, for some time the DC-8 was to be five abreast, and the 707 had started with four abreast. As for the 707 being de-risked, keep in mind that when the V.1000/VC-7 was cancelled, Boeing had yet to deliver a KC-135 to the USAF.

All told, a shame that the VC-7 wasn't privately funded, even if that doesn't seem to be the way it was generally done in Britain in those days. After all, only 44 of the Vanguard were built, so Vickers can't have received a good return on that investment. Sounds to me like GRE's protests lacked a certain conviction.

Oh, what the hell, I'd like to build this one as well for Flight Simulator X. And all I really need now is the same sort of information I lack on the NAC-60...
 

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