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1955: America Welcomes the Viscount, the World’s First Turboprop Airliner

Almost 70 years ago, the Vickers Viscount stepped in the gap between the new jet era and the only other planes that people knew--props. The new 'jet prop' plane didn't last too long in service but it was a unique plane that was widely adopted in the US. Here's the full story, told by David H. Stringer, history editor of Airways magazine and Avgeekery contributor. ( More...

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sparkie624 4
I read a lot about this Aircraft over the years... It is a very well designed aircraft and I have never heard any passenger complaints from it.
bentwing60 1
Hey sparkie, can you imagine the noise on the ramp of 4 RR Darts with 4 Dowty-Rotols whirling at 92% idle and throw in a couple of TPE-331's on an MU2 for good measure. Small wonder many of the early ramp rats were deaf as a stone in the later years and CJ-610's didn't help! Cheers.
21voyageur 2
Those Darts did not much care for sound management! Flew them on F27s and my oh my ! ! ! !
bentwing60 1
Behind the cockpit door as baggage one might add!
ewrcap 1
That’s why one should wear hearing protection.
sparkie624 1
I have the Best Hearing protection made... With all 4 of those engines running, it is still incredibly loud!
sparkie624 1
Yes I can... I have worked on the YS-11 (Giving a clue to my Age)... But I was very young back then of that plane... The engines made very little noise... However, you could never hear anything from the engine due to the Prop Noise. :)
ewrcap 2
I flew the 700 and 800. Nice flying airplane and beautiful to land but absolutely Byzantine systems especially electrical brought to you by Lucas Electric. I drove an MGB at the time so I was forewarned.

The RR Darts were bulletproof. Once I was watching a mechanic work on the engine. He showed me the data plate. The engines were “hand made” so each one had slightly different engine ratings so one might have 1630 SHP and another 1612.
Bror Monberg 2
Enjoyed your comments, esp about the RR Darts and your MG! As they say...reason the English drink warm beer...because they keep it in Lucas refrigerators.
bentwing60 2
Lucas ignition, otherwise known as "The Prince of Darkness" to any BSA or Triumph mc. rider of any era!
Jerry Connors 2
Great airliner…loved the whirling RR Darts. Had 2 flights TCA V700 YQB-YUL and Aer Lingus V800 DUB-LON.
Miss those big windows.
Pete Ostrowski 2
Not to hijack the thread, but I believe I flew a YS-11 from Washington DC to Greenville(?) NC on Piedmont in 1974. I feel lucky if this was the case. It is a nice ride to add to my list
sparkie624 1
But they were not fun to work on, especially with the Props Spinning. they had No APU and they had Prop Brakes to keep a Motor Running, using an Engine as the APU!
Chris Kane 1
Pretty sure I flew on a Viscount on Aloha Airlines in the late 60's. A quick Google search confirmed they had a few of them at the time. Big windows were a plus on the inter-island flights.
Ken Riehl 1
And not too long after that the GulfStream one was certificated in 1958. Two Rolls Royce dart 8X power plants, rated at 1990 shaft horsepower each ISA.
BWhaler 1
My father flew Viscounts for Bahamas Airways in the early 1960's based in Nassau. Was owned by BOAC at the time.
Donald Jones 1
The Viscount and I go way back. My father was a FO for Capital and United. Flew on many CP and UA ones. Loved the large windows. My last flight was in Aug 1968 UA flight 679 DCA-PHF-ORD going to ODU was ODC back then. My father had more Viscount time than any other airliner he worked on.
21voyageur 1
So we are expected to be excited by 70 YEAR OLD NEWS?
James Patterson 1
"Radar Equipped" baby! It must have been pretty cool when all this stuff was new!
sparkie624 1
Yeah... and you should pickup one of those Radar Units from back then.. about 150 lbs for the 1 box and that does not include a display that was hard to read and burnt in often requiring replacement and an antenna that did a full 360. Not much better than the Radar that was in WWII
Edward Hopgood 1
We had 4 series 800 working in NZ for years without any trouble these tool over from our ageing DC3 aircraft working the main trunks.Had many flights on them


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