The Vickers type 648 Varsity T Mk.1 is a twin-engine crew trainer
derived from the commercial Vickers Viking and militairy Valetta
transport aircraft. The Varsity was developed by Vickers-Armstrongs
(Aircraft) Ltd to meet Air Ministry specifications T.13/48 for a
multi-engine training aircraft as replacement of the Vickers 619
Wellington T. Mk10. To adapt the Valetta design for a general purpose
crew trainer, the fuselage was lengthened; the wingspan widened and a
nose-wheel undercarriage was fiited. The most noticeable external
development was the glass-fronted bulge under the fuselage. The forward
compartment of this under fuselage pannier bomb-aimer's station
provided a position for a trainee bomb aimer to lie prone, sighting
through the steeply sloped window. The after section was a bomb bay with
provision for a 600lb bomb load. The first prototype Vickers Varsity
T.Mk.1 VX828 first flew from Wisley on 17 July 1949. The aircraft was
powered by two 1.950 hp Bristol Hercules 264 Bristol Hercules 264
fourteen-cylinder, two-row, sleeve-valve radials, with two-speed
superchargers. The Vickers Varsity T.l entered service with the RAF in
1951, when it was supplied to 201 Advanced Flying School for
multi-engine conversion training. Production of the Vicker Varsity T MkI ceased
on 28 February 1954 after a total of 163 had been built. The
Varsity T.1 was used by the Royal Air Force 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. Due to its The
Swedish Air Force operated a single Varsity from January 1953 to 1973
mainly for electronic intelligence missions. The Swedish military
designation was Tp 82. The Vickers Varsity T.1 was withdrawn from service by the RAF in May 1976, when it was superseded by the Scottish
Aviation Jetstream T1. Because of its looks, the Vickers Varsity got the nickname "Flying Pig".
On 5 November 1952, the Vickers 648 Varsity T.1 WJ889 was delivered to the R.A.F..
In 1971, the 1952-built aircraft was withdrawn from use by the RAF No.6FTS and ended at the Brüggen Fire dump. On 16 September 1971, the
Vickers Varsity T.1 was seen stored at Brüggen air base as WJ889 'K' during the family day at RAF Brüggen AFB.
The Varsity T.1 WJ889 was dumped at RAF Brüggen in April 1974. A sad end for this aircraft.