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Great Britain's flagGreat Britain's RAF aircraft marking

Great Britain's Vickers Vildebeest torpedo bomber, Vincent general purpose

Prototype

The Vildebeest prototype first flew in April 1928.

Production

The first Vildebeest Mk Is were delivered in September 1932. The Vildebeest Mk I was first delivered in November 1932. The Vildebeest Mk II was delivered in 1933. The last Vildebeest Mk III was delivered in September 1937. The Vildebeest Mk IVs were delivered in 1937.

Deliveries of the Vincent were from July 1934 to October 1936.

  • Vildebeests: 209
    • Produced by: Vickers (183), CASA (26)
  • Vincent: 197

Variants

  • Prototype: Had a Bristol Jupiter radial engine.
  • Vildebeest:
  • Vincent: Based on the Vildebeest Mk III. Had longer range fuel tank.

Usage

Britain, New Zealand, and Spain used the Vildebeest and / or Vincent.

Start of World War II

The Vildebeest was the Royal Air Force's (RAF) only torpedo bomber available at the start of World War II. There were approximately 100 Vildebeests remaining in RAF service in September 1939. These typically flew patrols around the coast of Britain.

There were 84 Vincents in the Middle East at the start of World War II. They saw action against the Italians in East Africa. The Vincents also saw action in the Iraqi rebellion of 1941. Some Vincents were still being used as night bombers and communications aircraft up until 1943.

Singapore

There were two squadrons of Vildebeests based in Singapore at the time of the Japanese attack. All were lost by March 1942.

Ceylon

Flying out of Ceylon, until August 1942, Vildebeests conducted anti submarine patrols.

Spain

In Spain CASA built 26 Vildebeest float plane versions. It used a Hispano-Suiza 12Nbr V 12 engine (595 HP).

Specifications

  Vickers Vildebeest Mk I
Type Torpedo bomber
Crew 2 - 3
Engine (Type) Bristol Pegasus IIM3
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 660
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 49'
14.93 m
Length 36' 8"
11.18 m
Height 14' 8"
4.47 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Nose 1: 0.303" MG
Rear cockpit 1: 0.303" MG
Torpedo 1: 18"
1: 45.7 cm
OR  
Bombs 1,000 lb
454 kg
  Vickers Vildebeest Mk II
Type Torpedo bomber
Crew 2 - 3
Engine (Type) Bristol Pegasus IIM3
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 660
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 49'
14.93 m
Length 36' 8"
11.18 m
Height 14' 8"
4.47 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Nose 1: 0.303" MG
Rear cockpit 1: 0.303" MG
Torpedo 1: 18"
1: 45.7 cm
OR  
Bombs 1,000 lb
454 kg
  Vickers Vildebeest Mk III
Type Torpedo bomber
Crew 2 - 3
Engine (Type) Bristol Pegasus IIM3
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 660
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 49'
14.93 m
Length 36' 8"
11.18 m
Height 14' 8"
4.47 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Nose 1: 0.303" MG
Rear cockpit 1: 0.303" MG
Torpedo 1: 18"
1: 45.7 cm
OR  
Bombs 1,000 lb
454 kg
  Vickers Vildebeest Mk IV
Type Torpedo bomber
Crew 2 - 3
Engine (Type) Bristol Pegasus VIII
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 825
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span  
Length 37' 8"
11.48 m
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,724 lb
2,143 kg
Loaded 8,500 lb
3,855 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 5,000' /
1,524 m
156 mph
251 kph
Climb 840'/minute
256 m/minute
Service ceiling 19,000'
5,790 m
Range 625 miles
1,006 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 0.303" MG
Rear cockpit 1: 0.303" MG
Torpedo 1: 18"
1: 45.7 cm
OR  
Bombs 1,000 lb
454 kg
  Vickers Vincent
Type General purpose
Crew  
Engine (Type) Bristol Pegasus IIM3
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 660
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 49'
14.93 m
Length 36' 8"
11.18 m
Height 14' 8"
4.47 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,229 lb
1,918 kg
Loaded 8,100 lb
3,674 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 4,290' /
1,305 m
142 mph
228 kph
Climb 765'/minute
233 m/minute
Service ceiling 17,000'
5,180 m
Range 1,250 miles
2,011 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 0.303" MG
Rear cockpit 1: 0.303" MG
OR  
Bombs 1,100 lb
499 kg

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site