VICKERS TURNED the 1942 Brabazon Committee's requirement for a postwar Brabazon IIB into the winning VC2 design. Originally, it was to have Napier Naiad, Armstrong Siddeley Mamba or Rolls-Royce Dart engines, but it went into service with the Dart. The prototype V630 was flown on 16 July 1948, and was eventually used on trial passenger flights in British European Airways (BEA) colours in July 1950. The second prototype was flown with Tay turbojets on 15 March 1950, but was only ever an experimental machine.

BEA placed an order in February for an improved 700 model, the prototype of which was flown on 19 April 1950. The Viscount 701, which entered service on a Cyprus flight on 18 April 1953, carried a radio operator. On 11 January 1957, the 52-71 seat two-crew 802, stretched by 1.2m, was brought into service.

Viscount production ended in 1964. A total of 438 were built, plus six prototype/demonstrators, including 287 of the 44-63 passenger 700 series. By mid-1995, the number still registered as being in service had dropped to 30.

Source: Flight International