The first Vickers Vanguard made its maiden flight on 20th January 1959, and BEA ordered 20 of the V951 model fitted with Tyne R.Ty.l engines. The first of these entered service in 1961 to start replacing Viscounts on many of the short-haul high density European routes.
In the event BEA only accepted six of these aircraft, having the remainder delivered as V953 Vanguards IIs fitted with improved Tyne R.Ty.lIs, The 'double-bubble' fuselage of the Vanguard allowed considerable freight to be carried below the passenger deck, and later on some Vanguards were converted for use with BEA and British Airways solely as freighters, this type was known as the Merchantman.
The Vickers Vahguard were also used by Trans Canada Airlines for route throughout North America. Unfortunately the Vanguard was quickly overtaken by Jet powered Aircraft and soon fell out of service rapidly.
Airfix have produced a model of the Vickers Vanguard in the popular Airliner scale of 1/144. Markings for a BEA aircraft, the only other civilian operator of the aircraft and Invicta International, who was a freight carrier.
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