Vickers 668 Varsity T.1
1951, Aircraft Park, On long term display
Derived from the Viking and Valetta, the Varsity was an aircrew trainer used primarily by the Royal Air Force. 163 aircraft of this type were built and, of these, 36 were built at Brooklands, with many replacing the RAF's Wellington trainers in the early 1950s. In 1956 Varsity aircraft were used in Australia to gather air samples after nuclear tests.
This was the 18th Varsity built, first delivered to the RAF in 1951 and finally retired from No. 6 Flying Training School at RAF Finningley, Yorkshire, in 1976. It spent the next 12 years at Sibson Airfield near Peterborough before being purchased by Brooklands Museum in September 1988. Reassembly was completed in time for the 40th anniversary of the type’s first flight on 17th July 1989 and since then the aircraft has been further restored by Museum volunteers.
The aircraft was fully repainted in 1960s RAF Flying Training Command colours in 1993 and is now repainted in its final 1970s livery.
Vickers Varsity Data
- Engines: Two 1,950hp Bristol Hercules 264 engines
- Max. speed: 288mph at 10,000ft
- Service ceiling: 28,700ft