I'm having trouble with making the DH.86. So i made this in the mean time.
It's a Vickers VC-7, one of the greatest "what if's" of British aviation. It was designed as a competitor to the Boeing 707 and a sucessor to the Comet 2/3. It's about the same size as the 707-120 except it has a slightly larger wingspan.
In 1952 the UK Ministry of Supply (MoS) offered a contract for a jet-powered transport that would be able to support the V bomber fleet through cargo and crew freighting, as well as in-flight refuelling. There was an unstated criterion that the aircraft would also be adaptable as an airliner design for BOAC, then government-run. All of the V bomber entrants responded with designs.
The VC7 was of some concern in the United States, where both Boeing and Douglas were in the process of designing their own jet transports to a very similar requirement from Strategic Air Command. Both companies had responded with designs sized for 2+3 seating (the original 707 design was 2+2), and had smaller passenger capabilities than the VC7. Additionally, the VC7's wing design offered a number of advanced features and increased wing area that greatly reduced take-off run and allowed it to operate from a wider selection of airports, while at the same time offering longer ranges. Finally, the VC7 was intending to use the Rolls-Royce Conway, the first production bypass engine, which further increased range and improved fuel economy.
When the US companies approached carriers with their plans, they found that they were constantly rejected as the VC7 was more interesting. Both companies started expensive re-design projects to compete, enlarging the fuselage to match the VC7's 3+3 layout, and increasing the size and weights of the aircraft as a whole. When they were re-introduced to the markets in this larger form in 1955, they fared considerably better, and after an initial order from Pan American Airways, orders started rolling in from around the world. The better range that the VC7 offered took longer to address, and at one point was solved by incorporating the Conway into those designs.
Sadly the VC-7 was not to be.
In 1955, BOAC started expressing concerns about the project, notably their reservations about the Conway engine all of the designs were based on. The Conway, the world's first turbofan, was still in development and was by no means a "sure thing". Instead, BOAC claimed that they were perfectly happy with the Bristol Britannia for their trans-Atlantic routes, and would remain so until an enlarged de Havilland Comet 4 arrived in a few years.
The VC-7 was cancelled. The prototype being about 80% complete.
In the end, BOAC's decision would quickly be reversed when it became clear that their competitors were going to enter the jet age before them. The VC7 had been cancelled by this point, and a study demonstrated it would be too costly to restart the line. Instead, BOAC ordered the Boeing 707 in October 1956, ironically in a special model to be powered by the Conway. Contrary to BOAC's worries, the Conway proved to have an almost flawless development cycle, and on several occasions outstripped the development of the models it was meant to power. Likewise, the attempt to save other military projects proved futile, and almost all ongoing projects were cancelled as part of the 1957 Defence White Paper.
There was fury in the houses of Parliament. many people saw this as the death nail for British airliners.
I made this model from parts of different aircraft.
Fuselarge: Airbus A330 (757)
Tail and Elevators: SEIlin (787)
Wings: 707 (727)
Engines & wing pods: Sketchycat/Airbus (Comet 4)
Nose: 707 (Comet 1)
#Aircraft #Airliner #Boeing_707 #British_aviation #Douglas_DC8 #Jet_airliner #Vickers #Vickers_armstrong #Vickers_V1000 #Vickers_VC7