Designed in 1917 for the strategic bombing of industrial Germany, the Vimy arrived on the Western Front in 1918, but was never used in any operations against Germany before the Armistice. About 230 planes were produced before the contract was canceled at war's end. The plane went on to serve the RAF in Egypt and the Middle East, until it was replaced in 1925 by the Vickers Virginia.
Despite its limited military carrier, the Vimy became well-known for its pioneering flights in the hands of civilians. It was the first plane to make a west-to-east non-stop trans-Atlantic flight, the first to make an England-to-Australia flight, and was used in an attempted England-to-South Africa flight. Vickers also produced the Vimy as the Vimy Commercial in 1919, providing space for 10 passengers in an enclosed cabin. A Vimy Ambulance was also produced for the RAF, equipped to accommodate four stretchers or eight sitting patients, plus two medical attendants.
The Vimy Mk II has a historical range of 900 miles. It burns 26.1 gallons of aviation fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel and ammo (excluding bombs) costs $110.
Vickers F.B.27A Vimy Mk II
Subassemblies: Light Fighter-Bomber chassis +3; Heavy Fighter-Bomber wings with Biplane option +3; two Large Weapon engine pods +2; 4 fixed wheels +1, 1 Fixed Skid +1.
Powertrain: Two 261-kW HP gasoline engines [Pods] with two 261-kW old props and 452-gallon fuel tanks [Pods].
Occ.: 3 XCS Body
Cargo: 17 Body
Armor F RL B T U
Body: 2/2W 2/2W 2/2W 2/2W 2/2W
Wings: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C
Pods: 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2
Wheels: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3
Aircraft LMG/.303 Lewis Mk III [Body:F] (500 rounds).
Aircraft LMG/.303 Lewis Mk III [Body:B] (500 rounds).
2,476 lbs. of bombs [Body:U].
Size: 44'x68'x16' Payload: 2.7 tons Lwt.: 6.25 tons
Volume: 156 Maint.: 40 hours Cost: $24,978
HT: 8. HPs: 165 Body, 450 each Wing, 120 each Pod, 9 each Wheel, 9 Skid.
aSpeed: 103 aAccel: 2 aDecel: 26 aMR: 6.5 aSR: 1
Stall Speed: 43 mph. Take-Off Run 264 yards. Landing Run 185 yards.
gSpeed: 146 gAccel: 7 gDecel: 10 gMR: 0.5 gSR: 3
Ground Pressure: Extremely High. No Off-Road Speed.
Historical wing area was 1,330 sf. MG load outs are a guess. Design aSpeed was 104 mph. Performance calculations were based on historical values for wing area and loaded weight. The weight, cost, and HPs of the wings were reduced by ½ to reduced design weight. The entire design was too heavy: payload was over historical by 12%; Ewt by 16%, and Lwt by 14%. Despite attempts to economize on component weights to reduce design weight, it was finally accepted that at least the design was within 20% of historical (p. W123). The design purchases a 450-gallon fuel tank and 2,500-lb. bomb bay; the historical values are shown. The Pods are 0.7 VSPs too small for the engines and fuel tanks, but this was hand-waved as negligible.
Sources varied on the payload and placement of bombs. One source listed a bomb load of 4,804 lbs; another listed that the bombs were carried in external racks. Both notions were discarded since they increased design weight. One source listed an additional Lewis LMG located ventrally below the rear gunner's cockpit. The rear gunner could then choose between the dorsal or ventral LMG.
The Vimy Mk I prototypes featured 154-kW, 260-kW, 224-kW or 268-kW engines. Eventually all Mk Is were converted to Mk II standards. It was used as a trainer for flight and parachute schools following WWI.
The Vimy Mk IV was essentially the same as the Mk II, but given a new Mark because it was ordered after the war.
From the Aerodrome for GURPS
© 2008 by Jim Antonicic