Vickers Type 57 Virginia
Прототип довольно большого биплана Type 57 Virginia, мало отличавшегося по конструкции от Vimy, совершил первый полет 24 ноября 1922 года. Этот самолет стал основой сил тяжелых ночных бомбардировщиков Королевских
ВВС Великобритании (RAF) в годы между двумя мировыми войнами. Virginia несли службу в боевых частях с 1924 года до середины 1930-х годов, а затем использовались для подготовки парашютистов на авиабазе Хенлоу. Ко времени завершения производства ВВС получили 124 самолета.
Первым из 10 вариантов стал опытный Virginia Mk I, оснащенный парой ПД Napier Lion по 450 л. с. (336 кВт), которые позднее заменили на 650-сильные (485 кВт) ПД Rolls-Royce Condor III, присвоив новое обозначение Type 96 Virginia Mk I.
В дальнейшем самолет получил новый удлиненный фюзеляж с доработанной носовой частью, стрелковые точки на задних частях крыла и сменил обозначение на Type 115 Virginia Mk VIII. Позднее самолет прошел доработку до стандарта Type 129 Virginia Mk VII и, наконец, до Virginia Mk X.
Второй прототип, Type 76 Virginia Mk II, отличался двигателями Napier Lion и удлиненной носовой частью, облегчавшей работу бомбардира. После испытаний эта машина, как и первый прототип, сначала была доработана до стандарта Mk VII, а затем и до стандарта Virginia Mk X.
Type 79 Virginia Mk III, построенный по контракту с Министерством авиации от 1922 года, был близок по конструкции Virginia Mk II, но имел сдвоенное управление, бомбодержатели под крылом и был оснащен двигателями Napier Lion II по 468 л. с. (349 кВт).
Практически идентичный Mk III, вариант Type 99 Virginia Mk IV получил дополнительное оборудование и увеличенную бомбовую нагрузку. Один из этих самолетов использовался для испытаний бипланного хвостового оперения с третьим (центральным) рулем направления.
Такое же оперение получил первый основной серийный вариант Type 100 Virginia Mk V (построено 22). Вариант Type 108 Virginia Mk VI (построено 25) получил доработанное крыло, и до этого стандарта доработали еще шесть Virginia Mk V.
Второй выпущенный Virginia Mk III был возвращен компании "Vickers" для установки новой носовой части, улучшавшей обзор пилота, одновременно получив все доработки, введенные на Mk VI, а также удлиненную заднюю часть фюзеляжа и небольшую стреловидность крыла для повышения устойчивости. В таком виде он послужил прототипом для варианта Type 112 Virginia Mk VII, построенного в количестве 11 машин. До этого стандарта доработали еще 38 самолетов ранних модификаций.
На Type 128 Virginia Mk IX (построено 8, доработано 27 самолетов) ввели автоматические предкрылки и хвостовую стрелковую точку, а последний вариант Type 139 Virginia Mk X (построено 50, доработано 53) получил цельнометаллический каркас.
Сыгравшие важную роль в становлении будущего Бомбардировочного командования, многие самолеты Virginia продолжали использоваться для различных экспериментов до 1941 года, в основном в качестве летающих лабораторий для испытаний двигателей.
Vickers Virginia Mk X
Тип: тяжелый ночной бомбардировщик-биплан
Силовая установка: два 12-цилиндровых ПД Napier Lion VB мощностью по 580 л. с. (433 кВт)
Летные характеристики: максимальная скорость на высоте 1525 м - 174 км/ч; потолок 4725 м; дальность полета 1585 км
Масса: пустого 4377 кг; максимальная взлетная 7983 кг
Размеры: размах крыла 26,72 м; длина 18,97 м; высота 5,54 м; площадь крыла 202,34 м2
Вооружение: один 7,7-мм пулемет Lewis в носовой части и сдвоенный Lewis в хвостовой, до 1361 кг бомб
The prototype Vickers Virginia long-distance bomber, two Napier "Lion" engines. It was first flown on November 24, 1922, from Brooklands by Capt Stan Cockerell.
THE VICKERS "VIRGINIA": These four views have been passed for publication by the Air Ministry, but no detail description may be given. The machine is fitted with two Napier "Lion" engines. The motor-car and men in the photographs give a good idea of the size of the machine.
J6856, the first Virginia, just before the maiden flight. Note the small rudders, which gave a lack of directional control.
The prototype again, with serial number J6856 painted on the fuselage and rudders. This photograph was probably taken at Martlesham Heath during the winter of 1922-23.
J6856 fitted with fore-and-aft ‘fighting tops’.
A Virginia Mk III fitted with two Napier Lions. This dual-control version had provision for a downward-firing gun in the front fuselage.
Virginia 'Polaris' probably a Mk III of 7 Squadron.
The second Virginia III, J6993, as it appeared at the Hendon Air Pageant in June 1923. It was shown in the new types park as No 7.
J7275 the second Mk IV and generally similar to the Mk III.
Visiting Stag Lane also in 1925 was this Vickers Virginia V heavy night bomber. The type entered service with the RAF in 1924, with Nos 7 and 58 Sqns. J7426 is painted in standard dark green night bomber camouflage
Virginia V identified by the third rudder and NIVO paint scheme.
This Virginia, possibly a Mk V, has a flat upper wing and 4° dihedral on the bottom wing only.
The Mk VI prototype, J7425, was originally built as a Mk V production aircraft.
The Virginia VI - note equal dihedral but no sweepback on the wings.
Virginia VI, the equal dihedral on the wings is evident.
Mk VI J7438 outside the hangars at Brooklands.
A Mk VII attached to a wheeled tail trolley for ease of ground handling. The short nose of this version is apparent.
J7427, built as a Virginia Mk V, after conversion to Mk VII with lengthened fuselage, sweptback wings and reprofiled front fuselage.
J6856 the first Virginia converted into a Mk VII, with ‘fighting tops’ for rear defence.
Virginia VIIs of 7 Squadron, note J6856 with ‘fighting tops’ second from right.
Another view of J6856, taken during 1927, during trials with 7 Squadron. The gunners are demonstrating the route to the ‘fighting tops’.
Mk VIII of 7 Squadron ‘B’ Flight.
The sole Virginia Mk VIII, J6856, fitted with Rolls-Royce Condors and “fighting tops” on the wing trailing edge only.
Mk IX J7715 carrying a full under wing load of eight bombs - nine more could be carried internally.
Virginia IX J7715, showing the newly-introduced tail turret.
Virginia IX J7716 flew with Nos 7, 58 and 9 Sqns and was originally built as a Mk VI.
Trials underway using Virginia IX J8236 into the use of land catapults for launching heavily-laden bombers.
Первый британский стратегический бомбардировщик межвоенного периода Vickers Virginia состоял на вооружении с 1924 до 1937 года. На снимке: версия Mk VII, такие машины служили в 58-й эскадрилье, которой Харрис командовал в 1925 году.
Virginia IX J8236, fitted with geared Gnome-Rhone Jupiter engines, July 1928. Built originally as a Mk VII, this aircraft was later used for catapult trials with winch accelerator, and for locust spraying!
Vickers Virginia X J7130 fitted with Bristol Pegasus radials, circa 1934. Note the automatic slats fitted to the wings.
Mk X J7130, used for Bristol Pegasus engine testing, probably in connection with the Vickers Valentia.
Virginia X J7711 of 9 Sqn. In mid-1934 it passed to 500 Sqn.
Mk X ‘Isle of Thanet’ of 500 (Kent) Squadron at Mauston.
SLOTTED WINGS: Two views of the Vickers "Virginia" bomber fitted with the Handley-Page slotted wings. On the left, the slots are shown closed, and on the right, open.
A LINE-UP: Six Vickers "Virginia" night bombers (twin Napier "Lions") of No. 502 (Ulster) (Bomber) Squadron at Aldergrove Aerodrome.
An impressive line-up of Virginia Xs of 502 (Ulster) Squadron at RAF Aldergrove in November 1933.
AT THE R.A.F. PAGEANT: One of the larger machines which took part in the "Fly Past": The Handley Page "Hyderabad" and the Vickers "Virginia," twin-engined (Napier "Lions") bombers.
Hooton Air Pageant: This Vickers "Virginia" was very useful to many spectators for sheltering from the incessant rain that tried its hardest to wash out the Pageant, but failed.
With parachutist on the port wing, a Virginia taxies out at one of the pre-war RAF Displays at Hendon.
An atmospheric view of a Virginia X warming up its Lion engines at night on April 7, 1932 at RAF Worthy Down, the home of Nos 7 and 5 Sqn’s Virginias, showing excellent detail of the engine installation, radiators, undercarriage and flares under the wing.
A view of the Control Tower at Croydon lit by their own floodlight. The aircraft on the left are the two Vickers "Virginia" night-bombers.
No. 500 (County of Kent) (Bomber) Squadron. The first "Virginia" of the new Cadre Squadron at Manston was christened "Isle of Thanet" by the Mayors of Margate and Ramsgate on June 4.
Mr. Scullin inspects the Vickers "Virginia" Mark X.
Virginia X ‘Aries’ showing front fuselage detail.
THE SPECIAL RESERVE FLIGHT: Names, left to right: (in pilot's cockpit) Flt. Lt. R. C. Newton, S.R., and F/O. C. W. Lindsay, S.R.; (on ground) Flt. Lt. H. K. Goode, D.S.O., D.F.C., Adjt.; Wing Com. L. T. N. Gould, M.C., Commanding Officer; Flt. Lt. J. H. Sender; P/O. R. T. Corry, S.R.; F/O. J. K. Brew; P/O. B. G. Corry, S.R.; P/O. F. F. Rainsford, S.R.; P/O. J. L. C. Newton, S.R., and P/O. J. A. Robinson, S.R.
Men and machine of 9 Sqn, probably at either RAF Mansion or Boscombe Down, homes of the squadron’s Virginias during the late Twenties and early Thirties. The Virginia is J8912, which spent its entire service with 9 Sqn.
Officers and Pilots of No. 7 B.S. with the Minor Trophy.
Officers and Pilots of No. 58 B.S.
Virginia Xs of 58 Sqn, with K2676 in the foreground. It was finally struck off RAF charge in 1938.
The Vickers Virginia was produced in wood and metal.
CATAPULTED: A "VIRGINIA" NIGHT-BOMBER IS SHOT INTO THE AIR BY A 4,000 H.P. ENGINE AFTER A 100 FEET RUN.
Mk X of 9 Squadron on its way to the RAF Pageant at Hendon, 1935.
Virginia J7438 of 500 Sqn was built as a Mk V, became a VI in 1925, a Mk VII in 1927, a Mk IX later the same year and in 1930 was upgraded to Mk X.
The faithful "Virginia" is a heavy bomber with two water-cooled "Lions.'' The type is being replaced.
HOOKED! There is a certain grotesquely helpless appearance about this aircraftsman as he is jerked off the wing of the Vickers "Virginia" during practice near Henlow.
RAF airmen being trained in the use of parachutes by means of the "pull-off" method at RAF Henlow. The pupil stood on the little platform at the base of outer rear interplane strut, pulled his ripcord and the opening parachute carried him away from the machine - provided he let go of the strut!
Mk X of the Home Aircraft Depot, Henlow. A parachutist has just been pulled off, while another awaits his turn on the starboard side.
Two parachutists are pulled from a Mk X.
A 9 Sqn Vickers Virginia X in the circuit at RAF Hendon at the time of the 1935 RAF Pageant in July. The squadron took delivery of its Mk Xs in May 1930, and by May 1936 they had been phased out and replaced by Heyford IIIs.
В ранний межвоенный период самолет Virginia был основным тяжелым бомбардировщиком британских ВВС. Вариант Mk X состоял на вооружении 7-й, 9-й, 10-й, 51-й, 58-й, 214-й, 215-й, 500-й и 502-й бомбардировочных эскадрилий до конца 1927 года.
"F.F.V.": A Vickers "Virginia" surveys Central London during the Great Strike.
Vickers "Virginia" (Two Napier "Lions") It is now six years since the late Sir John Alcock and Sir Arthur Whitten Brown flew across the Atlantic in a Vickers "Vimy" with two Rolls-Royce "Eagle" engines, a type similar to that on which the late Sir Ross Smith, and his brother, Sir Keith Smith, flew from London to Australia. The "Vimy" may be said to have been the prototype of the Vickers "Virginia" four-seater long-distance bomber which will take part in the Display. The "Virginia" is, however, fitted with more powerful engines (Napier "Lions"). The "Virginia" forms the standard equipment of Bombing Squadrons No.7, Bircham Newton, 9 (Manston), and 58 (Worthy Down).
Mk X, probably of 58 Squadron.
An evocative view of a Virginia X under full sail. The 87ft 8in-span bomber normally carried a pilot, navigator and two gunners. Two 580 h.p. Napier Lion VBs gave the biplane a maximum speed of 108 m.p.h. at 5,000ft and a ceiling of 15,530ft.
Over the bombing target. Night bombers do not bomb from such a low altitude but no picture could be made from their normal height.
AERIAL SKITTLES: An amusing and original event was that in which Vickers "Virginia" bombers of No. 99 (Bomber) Squadron flew low over a row of big skittles and endeavoured to "bowl" them over with their bombs. Here we see what was almost a direct hit.
An evocative photograph of Virginias parachute training, presumably at RAF Henlow. One wonders what the chap with the Lewis gun mounted on the tender is potting at; not, hopefully, drifting parachutists.
VICKERS "VIRGINIA": Night Bomber, with two Napier "Lion" Engines.
A "Virginia " stunting, while under it and in the background may be seen a "Gloster Gamecock."
Vickers Virginia bombers.
Four Virginias in loose formation - possibly reflecting the unstable characteristics of the early versions!
A loose formation of Virginia Xs on exercise. By the time Virginia production ceased in December 1932, the RAF had received 124 aircraft of which 50 were Mk Xs.
THE BANKS OF LOUGH NEAGH: Three Vickers "Virginias" (twin "Lions" ) of No. 502 (Ulster) (Bomber) Squadron in formation above the great lough, by whose shores lies Aldergrove Aerodrome.
No. 58 (Bomber) Squadron: A Flight above the clouds.
THE "VIRGINIAS" DROP SMOKE BOMBS.
No.7 (Bomber) Squadron: Three "Virginias" in formation.
Three "Virginias" of No. 58 (Bomber) Squadron on day raid.
A Flight of No. 7 (Bomber) Squadron.
NO. 7 (BOMBER) SQUADRON OUT FOR BLOOD.
LOW BOMBING: Three Vickers "Virginias" ("Lions") of No. 9 (Bomber) Squadron dropping smoke bombs on a ground target.
Picturesque, if not exciting - sixteen Irvin parachutes, carrying 200-lb. weights, being dropped from Vickers "Virginias" of the Home Aircraft Depot.
SAFETY FIRST: All R.A.F. pilots and observers are equipped with Irvin parachutes, and here we see a demonstration of a simultaneous drop from Vickers "Virginias" by the Parachute Section of the Home Aircraft Depot.
The trusty old Virginias' only (and probably last) Hendon Display item - parachute escapes by the "crews" of bombers attacked and set on fire by Gauntlets of No. 111 (F) Squadron; note the war-time S.E.5a on the ground.
Virginia night bombers taking off en masse from RAF Hendon on the occasion of the 1928 Royal Air Force Display.
In early November ‘AE’ contributor and stalwart Paddy Porter died at his home in Boston, Lincs. Paddy contributed several features to ‘AE’ and countless photographs and comments. We miss him greatly. As a tribute to a rare kind herewith a photograph from his archives showing not just four Vickers Virginias in the air in ‘loose’ formation - as shown in the January-February 1997 issue on page 18 within ‘Enduring Nocturnal’ - but five in what is perhaps best described as a ‘generous vic’. They were performing at the Hendon Air Pageant of 1928 and were on their way up to execute an ‘air raid’.
VICKERS "VIRGINIAS" (NAPIER "LIONS") HELPING TO MAKE NORWICH "AIR MINDED": Formation flying over Mousehold Aerodrome.
80 TONS OF MATTER IN THE AIR: A squadron of Vickers "Virginia" night-bombers flying over the Croydon aerodrome in formation.
THE GRANDE FINALE AT THE R.A.F. DISPLAY: (4) Nine Vickers "Virginia" dittoes arrive from a base thoughtfully provided near by, loaded with a few best-quality pills
AT THE R.A.F. DISPLAY: Proceedings opened at Hendon on Saturday with a long distance (500 miles) race for Night-Bombing Squadrons, two of which are shown leaving the aerodrome. Top No. 9 Manston and bottom No. 7 Bircham Newton (Vickers "Virginias")
IMPUDENCE AND DIGNITY AT THE CROYDON DEMONSTRATION: This photograph shows the Hawker "Cygnet" light 'plane taking off, with the Armstrong-Whitworth "Argosy" three-engined commercial aeroplane flying above it and a squadron of Vickers "Virginia" night bombers in the distance.
DEPARTURE OF THE NIGHT BOMBERS: Below some of the "Virginias" taxying up for event 7. On the right, the three squadrons in flight, No. 7 (Worthydown) in the lead, followed by No. 9 (Manston) and No. 58 (Worthydown).
EVENT 9, AN AIR ATTACK ON LONDON: An "enemy" squadron of day-bombers (D.H.9's) are followed by another squadron of "enemy" machines (Vickers "Virginias" night-bombers), which are being attacked by defending single-seater fighters (Gloster "Grebes"), and one is seen "in flames."
REFUELLING IN MID-AIR. TWO "VIRGINIAS" GIVING A DEMONSTRATION OF REFUELLING IN THE AIR: THE TOP MACHINE HAS JUST MADE CONTACT WITH THE LOWER. THE MAN IN THE TAIL COCKPIT HAVING SECURED THE END OF THE PIPE-LINE.
Mk X in the foreground refuelling a Mk IX during early trials, shown to the public at the 1931 Hendon display.
REFUELLING: A demonstration of mid-air fuel supply. The "Tanker," a Vickers "Virginia," has dropped its pipe line, and the observer of the "Wapiti" has just secured the end.
Virginia J7275 demonstrating flight refuelling with Westland Wapiti K1142 at a 1930s RAF Display at Hendon.
RAF Vickers Virginia VIII J7275 refuels Westland Wapiti IIA K1142 during the first public demonstration of the technique at the 1931 Hendon Air Pageant by RAE pilots.
A NIGHT RAID: A "Virginia" making its way to its objective. The photograph is taken from the cockpit in the tail of the bomber.
A stunning Charles E. Brown photograph taken from the rear turret of a Vickers Virginia approaching Brooklands early in May 1935. Note the Vickers Company's Weybridge works, visible between the wings on the left.
Photograph taken from a Vickers Virginia of 10 Sqn in the dusk light at the start of a night exercise in 1930.
A classic view taken from the tail turret of a Virginia high over cloud on an evening flight.
Flying Londonward in the twilight. - A Flight photographer's impression from the tail cockpit of a "Virginia" of No. 502 B. Squadron.
The pilot's view of "Air skittles" - an ever-popular item carried out by "Virginias." The smoke from the bomb which has just burst can be seen.
A beautiful picture taken from a No. 9 Sqn Virginia dropping practice bombs on skittles from 400ft at the 1935 pageant.
Two photographs taken from the cockpit of a 9 Sqn Virginia X during “skittle-bombing” at the RAF Display at Hendon in 1935. The bombers dropped 8 1/2 lb practice bombs from a height of 400ft
WHAT THEY CAN'T BE SHOWN: Empire Air Day is on May 23. Every effort is being made to show the taxpayer and his family how the R.A.F. keeps in training, and the various units are organising some magnificent shows for the occasion. The thrills of actual Service flying must perforce remain untasted, but an admirable impression is given by such photographs as this one, which, taken at Martlesham, shows the R.A.F.'s newest army co-operation machine - the Hawker Hector with 725/805 h.p. Napier Dagger - on the tail of a Pegasus-Virginia.
SOME OF THE MACHINES AT NORWICH: The photograph shows a Vickers "Virginia" coming in to land over a line of "Moths" which are having their tanks filled.
Mk VII making a landing, a variety of DH Moths in the foreground.
One of types seen at Brooklands - the Vickers "Virginia" Bomber.
A panoramic view of Brooklands taken in May 1930 at the BARC Aerial Pageant. Note the Vickers Virginia dwarfing the small fry and the nine windsocks!
Evocative view of the aircraft taking part in the 1932 Hendon Air Pageant. The NIVO-painted Virginia X were putting on a display of skittle bombing.
This photograph, taken at Hendon before the last R.A.F. display, is a history of production in itself, for the types shown range from the Virginia to modern Expansion bombers.
"BOMBING UP." Fitting a heavy bomb to a rack beneath the wing of a Vickers "Virginia" night bomber.
Bombing up: Fixing a 550-lb. bomb in its rack.
INSTRUCTION: A sergeant teaching airmen to suspend bombs in the racks under the nose of a "Virginia."
Night view of Mk X ‘Deal Castle’ of 500 Squadron being loaded with 112lb (50kg) inert bombs.
MECHANISATION: A "Virginia" is easily moved about when the tail has been raised on to a Shelvoke and Drury trolley.
The "Virginia" and engines before the start.
The compressed air engines are at work. A cloud of steam rises overhead. The "Virginia" has already lifted off the ground, slightly right wing down owing to the side wind. The tail is clear of the trolley, which has stopped running. We rejoice that we cannot reproduce the noise of the engines.
The wheeled trolley on which the tail of the machine is supported in flying position.
This photograph shows the point at which the cable is attached by a hook to the fuselage.
THE BOMB-AIMER: The critical moment of a raid, when the nose is opened and aim is taken at the target
The view from the pilot’s cockpit of a Virginia X across the nose gunner’s position. This photograph was taken at RAF Hendon during the rehearsal for the 1935 RAF Pageant.
GUARDING THE TAIL: This composite photograph shows a rear gunner in the tail of a Vickers "Virginia" ready for any attacks by enemy fighters.
A puzzle picture. What is the purpose of the wheel the occupant of this Virginia turret is holding? We think it’s probably the steering wheel from his car and he’s just holding it thus as a joke.
A rod with an upturned end beneath the tail of a Vickers Virginia Mk X, evidently being used for experimental work at Boscombe Down circa 1934.