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G-AMSV Returns to Coventry

An old friend returned to Coventry yesterday when G-AMSV, in her striking Indian Air force livery, landed here for extensive maintenance by our engineers. Sierra Victor was part of the Air Altantique fleet here for many years. She'll...

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Baginton Air Pageant

The initial details for the Baginton Air Pageant are up on the website! As we don't have the space for a full-on air show attracting 20,000 or so people, we're aiming for low-key, themed days like this. A couple of thousand people,...

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Newquay Pleasure flights

We promised we'd be back to fly in Cornwall, and here we are. We'll be heading south with a Rapide and Chipmunk to spend a week at Newquay from 25th July, with a further visit planned in August. The flights are bookable in the normal...

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New Dakota Book

Geoff Jones just told me that his new book on the DC-3, released to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Dak's appearance, is now available. The cover sports a lovely shot of G-ANAF, shot by Simon Westwood before her radome goiter was...

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Nimrod Engine Run

We've just confirmed plans by NPT to run all four of the Nimrod's Rolls-Royce Speys on Saturday 9th May. We expect the thunder to start just after lunchtime. Come along and enjoy some audio power - and please dip into your pockets...

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Vickers Varsity - A New Kind of Wellington

Developed from the Viking and Valetta, which were themselves developments of the WW2 Wellington bomber, the Varsity was intended as a bomber trainer to replace the aging Wellington T10 which was still in use for this purpose.  The fuselage was lengthened and wingspan widened and a more modern (and easily controllable) tricycle undercarriage was fitted.

The most noticeable external development is the glass-fronted bulge under the fuselage.  The forward compartment of this provides a position for a trainee bomb aimer to lie prone, sighting through the steeply sloped window.  The after section is a bomb bay with provision for a 600lb bomb load.  The payload carried usually consisted of 24 twenty-five pound smoke and/or flash bombs.

The Varsity first entered service in 1951 when it was supplied to 201 Advanced Flying School for multi-engine conversion training.  It was later used as an air navigation trainer as well as its original design purpose for training bomber crews.  In this capacity it was widely used for training V-Bomber crews.

The Varsity continued in service in 1976, when it was superseded by the Jetstream T1.