TP 82 - Vickers Armstrong Varsity (1953-1973)

Page 1 (2)

Next page


In 1952, a Swedish Dakota (Tp 79) disappeared during a electronic intelligence mission over the Baltic sea,  shot down by a Soviet fighter aircraft. When searching for the lost Dakota, a Catalina (Tp 47) was in its turn shot down by a Soviet MiG-15. The crew of the Catalina was saved by a merchant ship. 

To replace the ELINT Dakota, the Air Force purchased a Varsity T.1 from Vickers Armstrong Ltd. The single Swedish Varsity, designated TP 82, was mostly used for ELINT (ELectronic INTelligence) missions during the twenty years it served in the Swedish defence. The aeroplane was nicknamed ”the Porcupine” because of its many antennas.  

The TP 82 had a considerable cargo capacity. It was used several times for humanitarian missions on behalf of  the United Nations and the Red Cross.  

The Vickers Varsity was a further development of the transport aircraft Vickers Valetta - a military version of the famous Vickers Viking airliner. The Varsity was primarily intended as a ”flying classroom” for the RAF. Only 163 aircraft were built. Most of them were used by the Advanced Flying Training School. Pilots, bombardiers, navigators and radio operators were trained in the Varsitys. The aircraft was designated as a trainer, but could if necessary be used as a bomber.  

The Varsity was powered by two huge Bristol Hercules engines of 1.950 hp each. The engines were fitted with sleeve-valves instead of a common valve system.

The TP 82 (SwAF/n 82001, c/n 622) is now exhibited at Flygvapenmuseum (the Swedish Air Force Museum). See photos

Length: 20,40 m. Span: 28,80 m. MTOW: 17.025 kg. Max. speed: 460 km/h.





Next page

Military Aviation in Sweden - main page

© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2011-10-10
Custom Search