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The Vickers Viscount (Paperback)

The World's First Turboprop Airliner

Aviation Military > Modelling

By Nick Stroud
Imprint: Air World
Series: World's Greatest Airliners
Pages: 120
Illustrations: 100
ISBN: 9781526701954
Published: 8th May 2018



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By some margin the most successful British medium-range airliner ever produced, the world-beating Viscount was a sublime combination of Vickers’ state-of-the-art post-war design and Rolls-Royce’s cutting-edge power-plant technology, both companies being at the very peak of their powers during the type’s genesis and evolution.

Tracing its origins back to the wartime Brabazon Committee, the Viscount was one of several designs from various British aircraft manufacturers produced to fulfill the committee’s specifications for a fast, economical short- to medium-range airliner to satisfy the demands of the burgeoning post-war civil aviation market, which was predicted to grow at a healthy rate over the following decades. Vickers’ chief designer and Managing Director George Edwards was quick to respond, the result being the Dart turboprop-powered Vickers V.630, which made its first flight in July 1948, despite its future looking uncertain after British European Airways having twenty examples of ordered its chief rival, Airspeed’s Ambassador, six months before. The Viscount nevertheless entered full service with BEA in 1953, much to the relief of its manufacturer, orders flooding in thereafter from numerous airlines — and air forces — all over the world. Ultimately, some 200 individual airlines, companies and organisations in more than eighty countries operated the dependable and, crucially, development-friendly Viscount over its long and distinguished career.

This book tells the full story of the world’s first turboprop airliner, from its Brabazon Committee beginnings, through its early flight trials programme and entry into service, to its almost unassailable position as the world’s number one medium-haul turboprop, including its astonishing breakthrough in the USA, where it single-handedly broke the big American manufacturers’ stranglehold on the airliner market. The type’s military career is also covered, as is its construction; also included in this volume are details of the numerous variants produced and those of the 444 built still surviving as exhibits today, along with twenty-four superb artworks by world-renowned aviation illustrator Juanita Franzi.

This is a niche book for the serious aviation enthusiast or aircraft modeler who is looking for an attractive, well done book on an iconic aircraft.

Air Power History

An authoritative text with outstanding illustration.

Pilot, October 2018

★★★★★ Delightful

My wife got this as a surprise. As a avid plane collector, I thought I had a decent knowledge of planes. No, as I found out and what I learnt from reading this. Fantastic interesting book that arrived quickly and is highly recommended.

Amazon review

★★★★★ Concise & compact coverage of a classic

For a concise, compact and affordable reference on the Viscount, this book comes highly recommended and sets a promising standard. It will be good to see additional titles as they are added - the Comet is next for the treatment.

Read the complete review online here.

Amazon Reviewer, R. H. Vandervord

★★★★★ Highly recommended for any Viscount fan...

Amazon Reviewer, D Johnson

Five Stars

Excellent book.

Amazon review

Excellent for civil aviation fan

I didn't want this book to end. I feel it could have been longer but it was an excellent account of the Vickers Viscount. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the crash of the Viscount in Australia. I had not heard of this crash and think the inclusion of this account enhanced the book.

Amazon review


Great book, excellent photos and artwork. It's always difficult to present stuff on something that's been around for many years so congrats to Nick Stroud for doing just that. It was certainly worth the wait. Although there's only 120 pages, this book is a gem - beautifully written, fine binding, with copious photographs and a set of truly superb artwork. Yes, there's quite a few books about the Viscount but this is, in my opinion, the very best. A real treasure.

Amazon review

About Nick Stroud

Nick Stroud, son of Mike Stroud (Founding Editor of IATA News Review and Founding Assistant Editor of Aircraft Illustrated), has worked full-time in aviation publishing since 1994, when he began his career working on Aerospace Publishing’s highly-respected titles World Air Power Journal and Wings of Fame. During 2000–2010 Nick realised a lifelong ambition to work for another highly-regarded aviation publication, IPC’s award-winning Aeroplane Monthly, with which he rose to the position of Deputy Editor. In 2012 Nick and Aeroplane Editor Michael Oakey launched The Aviation Historian, a fiercely independent quarterly journal, which continues to grow and has established a reputation as the UK's most authoritative independent publication on the subject. Nick is also the UK Editor for Challenge Publications’ Air Classics and Warbirds International in the USA, and a regular feature writer for numerous aviation publications.

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