Vickers Valetta

Role Military transport aircraft
Manufacturer Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd
First flight 30 June 1947
Number built 263
Developed from Vickers VC.1 Viking
Variants Vickers Varsity

The Vickers Valetta was a British twin-engine military transport aircraft of the late 1940s. It was an all-metal mid-wing monoplane with a tailwheel undercarriage.

Design and development

The Valetta was a military transport development of the Viking civil airliner. The 158th Viking became the prototype Valetta, which was first flown from Brooklands[1] by test pilot Mutt Summers on 30 June 1947.[2] The Valetta differed from the Viking fundamentally in being fitted with more powerful engines, a strengthened floor and large loading doors.[3]

The Viking and Valetta provided the basis of the Varsity. The Varsity although similar was slightly larger and had a tricycle landing gear and under-fuselage pannier.

Operational history

The Valetta C.1 entered service with the RAF in 1948, replacing the Douglas Dakota with RAF Transport Command and with transport squadrons in the Middle and Far East.[2] The Valetta was used to carry out parachute drops in the 1956 Suez Crisis,[4] and was used to provide transport support for a number of other British Military operations in the 1950s and 1960s, such as during the Malayan Emergency [5] and operations in Aden.[6]

Vickers Valetta T.3 of the RAF College at Blackbushe airport in September 1956. Note the cabin-top astrodomes and aerials for navigational training
Valetta T.4 of No.2 ANS with extended radar nose

The Valetta T.3 was built to provide a navigational trainer for service with the RAF College at RAF Cranwell and with No.1 and No.2 Air Navigation Schools. 40 were delivered from August 1951.

18 aircraft were later converted to T.4 standard with a longer nose to fitted to accommodate a radar scanner in order to train crews in the AI (Airborne Interception) role.[7]



 United Kingdom

Preserved aircraft

A Valetta C.2 preserved at the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum

Accidents and incidents

Specifications (Vickers Valetta C.1)

Data from Vickers Aircraft since 1908.[14]

General characteristics


Notable appearances in media

A long sequence in the 1957 film High Flight shows the Valetta T3 used as a flying navigation classroom at RAF College Cranwell.

See also

Related development



  1. Andrews 1969, p411.
  2. 1 2 3 Thetford 1957, pp. 446–447.
  3. Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. London: Aerospace Publishing, 1997. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.
  4. Paul, James Paul and Martin Spirit. "The Last Drop 3 Para at El Gamil airfield." Britain's Small Wars, 2008. Retrieved: 10 April 2007.
  5. Paul, James Paul and Martin Spirit. "RAF in Malaya." Britain's Small Wars, 2008. Retrieved: 10 April 2007.
  6. Paul, James Paul and Martin Spirit. "The RAF in Aden and the Radafan." Britain's Small Wars, 2008. Retrieved: 10 April 2007.
  7. Martin 1975, pp. 35–37.
  8. Taylor, Michael J.H. Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions, 1989. ISBN 0-517-10316-8.
  9. "Accident Description: Valetta C1."
  10. "Accident Description: Valetta T3."
  11. Service Aviation Flight 15 January 1954
  12. "ASN Aircraft accident Vickers Valetta C.1 WJ494 Singapore-Changi RAF Station"
  13. "ASN Aircraft accident Vickers Valetta C.1 VW832 Queria"
  14. Andrews and Morgan 1988, p. 416.


  • Andrews, C.F. Vickers Aircraft Since 1908. London: Putnam, 1969.
  • Andrews, C.F. and E.B. Morgan. Vickers Aircraft since 1908. London: Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-815-1.
  • Martin, Bernard. The Viking, Valetta and Varsity. Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. 1975. ISBN 0-85130-038-3.
  • Thetford, Owen. Aircraft of the Royal Air Force 1918-57. London: Putnam, 1st edition, 1957.
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