Vickers Victoria

The Vickers Victoria was a troop transport developed alongside the Vickers Virginia bomber, and which shared many design elements with that aircraft. Vickers was first asked to submit a design for a troop transport on 8 June 1920. The new aircraft was to be able to carry 25 fully equipped troops for 400 miles, had to be able to operate from rough ground, and because of the small size of many hangers had to have folding wings.

The first prototype of the Victoria shared the same wings and engine housing as the Virginia I when first built. The fuselage was completely new. The troops were housed in an enclosed cabin inside the fuselage, while the pilot’s open cockpit was built into the top of the rounded nose.

Victoria III

By the time the Victoria entered production the Virginia had reached the Mk VII. The production Victoria IIIs adopted the swept back wings of the Virginia VII, as well as the more streamlined engine cowling used since the Virginia II. The first Mk III made its maiden flight in January 1926, and the aircraft entered service in the same year with No.70 Squadron at Hinaidi and No.216 Squadron at Heliopolis. A total of 46 Victoria IIIs were built.

The new Vickers transport was most famous for its role in the evacuation of 586 women and children from the British legation in Kabul between 23 December 1928 and 25 February 1929, during the Shiamwari uprising against King Amanullah.

Victoria IV

The Victoria IV replaced the wooden framework of the Mk III with an all-metal framework, and was developed alongside the all-metal Virginia X. The first all-metal Victoria was built over the winter of 1927-28, and was powered by Bristol Jupiter engines. At least thirteen of the existing Victoria IIIs were then upgraded with all-metal wings, although they retained the Napier Lion engines.

Victoria V

The Victoria V was built around a completely metal framework, and was powered by two Lion XI engines. As with the Victoria III, they matched the transport fuselage of the Victoria with the wings and tail of the then-current Virginia X. A total of 37 Mk Vs were built between 1929 and 1933.

Victoria VI

Vickers Valentia
Vickers Valentia

The Victoria IV was developed at the same time as the Valentia Mk I. Both aircraft were powered by two Bristol Pegasus engines, which improved the performance of the aircraft at an all-up weight of 18,000lb. It was possible to further this weight to 19,500lb if the fuselage was strengthened. Those aircraft that were given the stronger fuselage were renamed as the Vickers Valentia, while those aircraft that were given the new engines but not the stronger fuselage were designated as the Victoria VI. As 54 of the 83 Victoria IIIs and Vs were converted into Valentias, under thirty Victoria VIs can have been produced.


Victoria V

Victoria VI


Napier Lion XIB

Bristol Pegasus IIL3


570hp each

660hp each


2 plus 23 fully equipped troops

Wing span

87ft 4in


59ft 6in


17ft 9in

Empty Weight



Gross Weight



Maximum speed

110mph at sea level

130mph at 5,000ft


770 miles

800 miles

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (3 November 2008), Vickers Victoria ,

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