Air Enthusiast 1997-01
J.Goulding - Enduring Nocturnal
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.
Virginia I J6856. The engine nacelles on this aircraft differed from all other Virginias. J6856 was converted to Mk III status in late 1924.
Virginia VII J8329 of ‘A’ Flight, 7 Squadron. Issued to the unit in June 1927, it was briefly away for tail modifications in early 1928 before rejoining. J8329 transferred to 58 Squadron in September 1928.
Virginia X J7438 of 500 (County of Kent) Special Reserve Squadron. Built in 1925 as a Mk V, J7438 became, in sequence a Mk VI, VII and IX before being converted to a Mk X in early 1931 joining 500 Squadron in January 1934. It served with 58 Squadron from 1936 to 1938.
Virginia IV J7275. Issued initially to 7 Squadron in September 1924, it was retired from service (by then with the Royal Aircraft Establishment) in October 1935. The Mk IV was outwardly similar to the Mk III.
Virginia VI J7423 in NIVO finish. Built as a Mk V, it was converted to Mk VI status during late 1925 and went on to serve with 7 Squadron, 58 Squadron and 9 Squadron, retiring in August 1930.
Virginia X K2329 of the Parachute Training Flight, Home Aircraft Depot, Henlow. The aircraft was one of four that took part in the last Hendon Air Pageant, 1937. Built in late 1931, it was resident at Henlow from 1932 until it was written off in a crash on take-off March 21,1940.
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.
Virginia VI, the equal dihedral on the wings is evident.
Mk VIII of 7 Squadron ‘B’ Flight.
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.
Virginia X ‘Aries’ showing front fuselage detail.
Mk X of 9 Squadron on its way to the RAF Pageant at Hendon, 1935.
Mk X of the Home Aircraft Depot, Henlow. A parachutist has just been pulled off, while another awaits his turn on the starboard side.
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.
Four Virginias in loose formation - possibly reflecting the unstable characteristics of the early versions!
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.
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.
The Mk VI prototype, J7425, was originally built as a Mk V production aircraft.
Night view of Mk X ‘Deal Castle’ of 500 Squadron being loaded with 112lb (50kg) inert bombs.
Mk X in the foreground refuelling a Mk IX during early trials, shown to the public at the 1931 Hendon display.
Two parachutists are pulled from a Mk X.
Mk IX J7715 carrying a full under wing load of eight bombs - nine more could be carried internally.
J7275 the second Mk IV and generally similar to the Mk III.
J6856, the first Virginia, just before the maiden flight. Note the small rudders, which gave a lack of directional control.
J6856 fitted with fore-and-aft ‘fighting tops’.
Virginia 'Polaris' probably a Mk III of 7 Squadron.
Virginia V identified by the third rudder and NIVO paint scheme.
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.
Trials underway using Virginia IX J8236 into the use of land catapults for launching heavily-laden bombers.
Mk X J7130, used for Bristol Pegasus engine testing, probably in connection with the Vickers Valentia.
Mk X ‘Isle of Thanet’ of 500 (Kent) Squadron at Mauston.
Another view of J6856, taken during 1927, during trials with 7 Squadron. The gunners are demonstrating the route to the ‘fighting tops’.
Virginia prototype, J6856.
The fully metallised Mk X represented to the peak of Virginia development.