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Vickers Viking

VC.1A
 


ZS-DKH
c/n 121
 


 
The Vickers VC.1 Viking was a twin-engined short-range airliner derived from the Vickers Wellington bomber. The initial nineteen production aircraft (Mark 1A) carried between 21 and 24 passengers. The fuselage was metal but the geodetic wings and tail planes were fabric covered.
 
The aircraft has two Bristol Hercules 630 engines. These are 14-cylinder two-row, sleeve valve, air-cooled radial engines developing 1,690 hp each.
 
The VC stands for Vickers Commercial, sometimes also called Vickers Civil.


 
Technical details Vickers VC.1A Viking
 
Wingspan
27.2 m (89 ft 3 in)
Length
19.9 m (62 ft 10 in)
Height
5.94 m (19 ft 7 in)
Weight loaded
15 422 kg (34 000 lbs)
Weight empty
18,360 lb
Max speed
337 kph (210 mph)
Ceiling
10000’
Range S.A.
1700 miles for 7180 lb* 1920 miles for 5120 lb*
Engines
Bristol Hercules 630 1,690 hp (1,261 kW)
Crew
4
Passengers
21-24
Wing area (gross)
882 square feet
*Max fuel weight
1700 miles, 750 galls @ 210 mph, 1920 galls @ 171 mph.
 

 
 

Built at the Vickers-Armstrongs factory in Weybridge, England, c/n 121 first took to the air on 30 August 1946, registered as G-AHOT with British European Airways and was used in the 1948 Berlin Airlift. On 26 September 1954 she was sold to Trek Airways, registered ZS-DKH and operated in Protea Airways colours, a second airline of Trek, and for many years, transported hundreds of passengers on leisurely and scenic flights between South Africa and Europe.

One of the last people to fly on the Viking was the American singer Jim Reeves when he toured South Africa in late 1962.

Jim Reeves starred in the film "Kimberley Jim" (first called "Strike It Rich") filmed in South Africa in 1963. It was Jim's only full-length movie.

After 13.881 flying hours ZS-DKH was flown from Rand Airport to the old Baragwanath Airfield, original home of the Johannesburg Light Plane Club, on the 18th of December 1962 and was disassembled and transported by road to Armadale south of Johannesburg, where, in January 1963 she was placed atop the roof of the Caltex Garage owned by Victor Edward de Villiers and known as “Vic’s Viking Garage" where she became a famous, if forlorn, landmark. The garage was previously known as "Vic's Goggomobile Garage".

 
On 5 March 1987, the Viking was replaced by SAAF Avro Shackleton 1723 and donated to the SAA Museum Society. The Viking’s wings were removed and she was towed to the then Jan Smuts Airport.

Here she languished in the harsh African climate becoming a tatty hulk
standing not too far from the engine run-up bay at OR Tambo International Airport.
 
Almost 30 years later she was to be given the attention she deserved.
 

Preserved Vickers Viking Aircraft

 

Updated 2017/01/19

 

c/n

Reg.

Type

Notes

Website and GPS Google Maps link

112

G-AGRU

Viking 1A

Preserved at the Brooklands Museum, UK.

www.brooklandsmuseum.com

51.356200, -0.465128

115

G-AGRW

Viking 1A

Preserved at Austrian Aviation Museum, Bad Vöslau-Flugplatz, Austria.

www.austrian-aviation-museum.com

47.963465, 16.254515

121

ZS-DKH

Viking 1A

Preserved at the South African Airways Museum, Rand Airport, Germiston, Johannesburg, South Africa.

www.saamuseum.co.za

-26.241932, 28.159994

163

T-9

Viking 1B

Preserved at Museo Nacional de Aeronáutica Morón, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

http://museonacionaldeaeronauticamoron.blogspot.co.za

-34.675023, -58.638049

220

G-AIVG

Viking 1B

Under restoration at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, France.

http://www.save-a-viking.org/de/

47.593328, 7.541498

261

J750

Viking 1B

Displayed at the Pakistan Air Force Museum, Faisal.

www.pafmuseum.com.pk

24.870435, 67.094870

 

 
 

ZS DKH in Protea Airways livery in her heyday
ZS-DKH Vickers Viking Vic's Viking Garage Victor Edward de Villiers logbook
Entry in Victor Edward de Villiers's logbook showing the date of ZS-DKH ferry flight from Rand Airport to Baragwanath Airfield, 18 December 1962
ZS-DKH Vickers Viking Vic's Viking Garage-01
Vickers Viking ZS-DKH just after being hoisted onto the support pillars.
January 1963
The garage was known as "Vic's Goggomobile Garage"
Photograph: Vic de Villiers collection

ZS-DKH Vickers Viking Vic's Viking Garage-02

Vickers Viking ZS-DKH just after being hoisted onto the support pillars.
January 1963
The garage was known as "Vic's Goggomobile Garage"
Photograph: Vic de Villiers collection

ZS-DKH Vickers Viking Vic's Viking Garage-03
Vickers Viking ZS-DKH just after being hoisted onto the support pillars.
January 1963
The Caltex garage was known as "Vic's Goggomobile Garage"
Photograph: Vic de Villiers collection

ZS-DKH Vickers Viking Vic's Viking Garage-04
Vickers Viking ZS-DKH
The garage now named "Vic's Viking Garage"
Photograph: Vic de Villiers collection


ZS-DKH Vickers Viking Vic's Viking Garage-05
Vickers Viking ZS-DKH
The garage now named "Vic's Viking Garage"
Photograph: Vic de Villiers collection

ZS-DKH Vickers Viking Vic's Viking Garage-09
Vickers Viking ZS-DKH
The garage now named "Vic's Viking Garage"
Photograph: Vic de Villiers collection

ZS-DKH Vickers Viking Vic's Viking Garage-06
Vickers Viking ZS-DKH
Note "The Magic Wand" roadside cafe
Photograph: Vic de Villiers collection

ZS-DKH Vickers Viking Vic's Viking Garage-07
"The Magic Wand" roadside cafe at the Vic's Viking Garage
Photograph: Vic de Villiers collection

ZS-DKH Vickers Viking Vic's Viking Garage-08
"The Magic Wand" roadside cafe at the Vic's Viking Garage
Photograph: Vic de Villiers collection


ZS-DKH atop Vic’s Viking garage

ZS-DKH swapped for AVRO Shackleton 1723 on 5 March 1987

SAAF Shackleton 1723 replaces Vickers Viking ZS-DKH
GPS co-ordinates for SAAF Shackleton 1723 at Vic's Viking Garage
-26.277447, 27.944654
-26° 16' 38.81", +27° 56' 40.75"

ZS DKH restoration began in earnest. Photo: Omer Mees

   Restoration of ZS-DKH got no further than depicted in this photograph taken on 8 January 1994. Photo: Omer Mees.
 

In early 2015, 28 years after her arrival at the then Jan Smuts Airport, there was renewed interest in the forlorn and derelict hulk, standing not too far from the engine run-up bay at OR Tambo International Airport, and preparations began in earnest to relocate her to the museum at Rand Airport. Matt Harvey from SAA Technical took on the project and after almost a year of preparation the aircraft was ready to be relocated by December 2015, although she would have to wait until January 2016 to be finally moved.

During January of 2015 John "Jaws" Austin-Williams met up with John Illsley of Pretoria Boys High School. John expressed an interest in our museum and the preservation tasks we tackle and kindly offered the assistance of the boys from the Aeronautical Society of Pretoria Boys High. The first Viking workday was held on Saturday 14 March with Matt plus John and his boys in attendance.

John reports… “I had fifteen boys at ORT on Saturday and we managed to remove the two props. However, I don’t think Matt was given the right info about the wing attachment points as I’m convinced there are two huge pins that we didn’t count on and which could not be extracted. It is a nice project and the boys were very excited and useful up to a point. We will probably help again in mid-April at which point I hope we can pull off the wings and stabilizers.”

The Viking’s outer wings were removed on Saturday 18 April. Matt Harvey along with John Illsley and some lads from the Pretoria Boys High Aeronautical Society got the job done. John Illsley sent in the following report:

"The Aeronautical Society of Pretoria Boys High returned to the SAA Technical Area on Saturday 18th April to resume battle with the wings of the Vickers Viking. The work force was greatly diminished by the onset of the winter sports season at the school, but the small team just worked twice as hard! While waiting for our crane to be returned from working on a current SAA airliner, we unpacked many of the items that have been stored inside the Viking fuselage, including seats that were from a more recent aircraft as well as the engine cowlings.

When our SAA technical man, Matt Harvey, returned with the crane we then set about removing the wing attachment pins that are located within the engine and undercarriage nacelle and which consist of a threaded and tapered pin that has its own cranking handle. These took a bit of persuading thanks to corrosion, but once removed the wings were suspended briefly on the nylon straps before being gently lowered onto old tyres.

By now well practised, the second wing came off even more quickly. Unfortunately the tool we needed for removing the tail planes was not yet available and so we couldn’t remove these components.

The boys were taken for a walk through hangar eight and seeing the SAA maintenance activity was a big treat. We were again kindly hosted in the SAA Technical social area before heading home. The boys are keen to be part of the actual moving of the aircraft to Rand Airport, but we will have to see if we are invited back!"

John and the Boys are most certainly invited back!

On Saturday the 15th of August the vertical stabiliser, rudder, horizontal stabiliser and elevators were removed. Thanks to Leonie van Schalkwyk and Wynand Myburgh who assisted Matt Harvey.

Sadly Victor Edward de Villiers of “Vic’s Viking Garage” fame passed away on Thursday the 8th of October 2015. Vic purchased ZS-DKH from Trek Airways. After 13.881 flying hours ZS-DKH was flown from Rand Airport to the old Baragwanath Airfield, original home of the Johannesburg Light Plane Club on the 18th of December 1962.

She was disassembled and transported by road to Armadale south of Johannesburg, where, in January 1963 she was placed atop the roof of the Caltex Garage owned by Victor Edward de Villiers and known as “Vic’s Viking Garage" where she became a famous, if forlorn, landmark.

The garage was previously known as "Vic's Goggomobile Garage". On the 5th of March 1987, the Viking was replaced by SAAF Avro Shackleton 1723 and donated to the South Africa Airways Museum Society. The Viking’s wings were removed and she was towed to the then Jan Smuts Airport.


 Victor Edward de Villiers Vickers Viking ZS-DKH album
Vic de Villiers with his photo album, 3rd January 2015. Photograph: John Austin-Williams.
Sadly Vic did not get to see the Viking moved to the museum, he passed away at the age of 93 on 8 October 2015.


 ZS-DKH Viking on top of Vics Viking garage from Hans Pearson-02
Vickers-Armstrongs Limited VC.1A Viking on top of Vic's Garage, October 1970. Photograph: Hans Pearson.


ZS-DKH Vics Viking Garage from Ger Buskermolen 4 May 1974 -750
ZS-DKH atop Vic's Viking Garage, 4 May 1974. Photograph:
Ger Buskermolen.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 01 Flippie van Emmenis
The forlorn Viking, Saturday 14 March 2015. Photograph: Flippie van Emmenis.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 02 Cockpit John James
The cockpit of ZS-DKH. Photograph: John James.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 03 Pretoria Boys Aeronautical Society John Illsley
Matt Harvey, centre back, John Illsley, right, and the boys of Pretoria High Aeronautical Society.
Saturday 14 March 2015.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 04 Propeller removal John James
Propeller being removed Saturday 14 March 2015. Photograph: John James.

ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 05 Propeller removal Flippie van Emmenis
Propeller being removed Saturday 14 March 2015. Photograph: Flippie van Emmenis.
 
 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 06 Propeller removal John Illsley
Pretoria Boys High Aeronautical Society at work removing the propellers. Saturday 14 March 2015.
Photograph: John Illsley.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 07 Propeller removal John Illsley
Proud young lads of the Pretoria Boys High Aeronautical Society. Saturday 14 March 2015.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 08 Propeller removal John James
Bristol Hercules 14-cylinder two-row air-cooled radial engine. Photograph John James.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 09 Wing removal John James
Wing removal Saturday 18 April 2015. Photograph: John James.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 10 Wing removal John Illsley
Pretoria Boys High Aeronautical Society at work removing the wings. Saturday 18 April 2015. Photograph: John Illsley.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 11 Wing removal John Illsley
Pretoria Boys High Aeronautical Society at work removing the wings. Saturday 18 April 2015. Photograph: John Illsley.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 12 Tail removal Flippie van Emmenis
Elevator removal with Matt Harvey and a young aircraft enthusiast from Pretoria Boys High Aeronautical Society. Saturday 15 August 2015. Photograph: Flippie van Emmenis.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 13 Tail removal Flippie van Emmenis
Plenty of effort was required to remove the right elevator! Saturday 15 August 2015.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 14 Tail removal Matt Harvey
No tail feathers! Saturday 15 August 2015. Photograph: Matt Harvey.

ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 15 ready to move Matt Harvey
The Viking ready to be moved to Rand Airport. Saturday 15 August 2015. Photograph: Matt Harvey.


 ZS-DKH Viking 2015 prep 16 inflated tyres Matt Harvey
Surprisingly the tyres remained inflated after being pumped with nitrogen, on 2 Dcember 2015, after many years of standing deflated! Photograph: Matt Harvey.

 ZS-DKH Viking 2016 move to hard stand -01 Matt Harvey
On Saturday, 23 January 2016, the Viking was moved from the grass down to the SAA technical hard stand.
Photograph: Matt Harvey.

ZS-DKH Viking 2016 move to hard stand -02 Matt Harvey
Bad news! Unfortunately the right hand tyre disintegrated. Tyres of the size 45x16.00-18 are unobtainable so... first problem to be solved.
As at March 2016 we were looking for Douglas DC-8 main landing gear tyres, 44.5x16.5-18.
Photograph: Matt Harvey.
ZS-DKH Viking 2016 wings moved to Rand 20160309 Matt Harvey -800 03

On 9 March 2016, a wet and dreary morning, the Viking’s wings were transported to the museum. Thanks to Transcor.

Photograph: Matt Harvey


ZS-DKH Viking 2016 wings moved to Rand 20160309 Matt Harvey -800 02

Offloading the Viking’s wings at the museum, 9 March 2016.

Thanks to Marlboro Crane Hire.

Photograph: Matt Harvey.


 ZS-DKH Viking 2016 wings moved to Rand 20160309 Matt Harvey -800 01
Offloading the Viking’s wings at the museum. 9 March 2016. Photograph: Matt Harvey.

The next step was to find a suitable position to lift the Viking over the SAA Technical boundary wall. Once identified a Geometric Route Clearance Report was prepared by ARC (Africa Route Clearance Consultants) and submitted to Gauteng Province, Department of Roads and Transport for approval in November 2016.

In May 2016 a pair of 41x15.0-18 tyres (as used on DC-9) was donated to the Museum by Brian Rothman of Square Air in Cape Town. Original Viking tyres were 45x16.00-18 and no longer obtainable.


Although we had located suitable tyres for the Viking it was not possible to fit them at SAA Technical. A horizontal bar was fitted to the Viking undercarriage and the Viking placed on top of a suitable dolly for ease of moving within SAA Technical.
.
ZS-DKH Viking 2016 note the undercarriage on trolley 20161122 photo from ARC
Viking strapped to a dolly, and parked next to the radio aerial masts next to Jones Road. GPS -26.140890, 28.222734. 22 November 2016.
Photograph: André Vivier.

Read the Geometric Route Clearance Report prepared by Africa Route Clearance Consultants (ARC) here
The Viking was moved to Rand Airport on Sunday 22nd of January 2017.

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 21 01 DSCN3146 Kyle Baytopp Marlboro Crane Hire

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 21 02 DSCN3164 Kyle Baytopp Transcor

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 21 54 DSCN3175 Kyle Baytopp SAAT crew and Matt Harvey
Matt G. Harvey and the SAA Technical crew, Stephanus Havenga, Morne de Kock and Mervyn Naicker.
Saturday 21 January 2017. Photograph: Kyle Baytopp.


ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 21 55 DSCN3183 Marlboro crane crew Kyle Baytopp
Marlboro Crane Hire crew. Saturday 21 January 2017. Photograph: Kyle Baytopp.
Austin Dickson (Crane assistant), Difficult Tahernyika (Crane operator), Charl Schoeman (Health and safety Officer).

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 21 56 DSCN3185 Transcor crew Kyle Baytopp
Transcor crew. Charles Bonginkosi Nhleko (rear escort) Solomon Fani Mnisi (front escort) Ian Manase (the truck driver) Jobe Mathebula (truck assistant) Thomas Rapela Baloyi (load supervisor)
Saturday 21 January 2017. Photograph: Kyle Baytopp.

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 03 DSC 9067 John Austin-Williams
Ready to go. Sunday 22 January 2017. Photograph: John Austin-Williams.

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 04 DSC 9086 John Austin-Williams

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 05 DSC 9095 John Austin-Williams

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 06 DSC 9111 John Austin-Williams

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 08 IMG 4424 Kyle Baytopp
A section of fence had to be removed to accommodate the width of the truck and its valuable cargo.
Photographs: Kyle Baytopp.

 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 09 IMG 4428 Kyle Baytopp


ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 15 DSC 9223 John Austin-Williams
Stephanus Havenga, grandson of Vic de Villiers.
 
ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 10 DSC 9156 John Austin-Williams
Gauteng Traffic Police Abnormal Load Unit followed the entire journey ensuring motorists were kept well clear.
 
ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 07 DSC 9119 John Austin-Williams
ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 11 DSC 9169 John Austin-Williams
Steve Schwartz, long-time museum member, along with his son Corbin, capturing the motions on video.
 
ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 12 DSC 9183 John Austin-Williams
07h30 sharp, Sunday 22 January 2017 and ZS-DKH rolls out the gate on her way to Rand Airport.
Photograph: John Austin-Williams.
 
 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 13 DSC 9199 John Austin-Williams


 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 14 DSC 9211 John Austin-Williams
Fence sections being replaced.

 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 16 DSC 9215 John Austin-Williams
Welding the fence back in position.

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 17 DSC 9233 John Austin-Williams
On Rondebult road about to cross the N12 highway.
 
 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 18 DSC 9289 John Austin-Williams
We took the scenic route – tree-lined avenues and all.

 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 19 DSC 9315 John Austin-Williams
Where is his "Fly Protea Airways" T-shirt?

 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 20 DSC 9330 John Austin-Williams
A tad close in some spots.

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 21 DSC 9387 John Austin-Williams
Cameraman Corbin Schwartz capturing the relocation on video.
 
ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 22 DSC 9429 John Austin-Williams
Up the hill on Joubert street, on the east side of Victoria Lake.
 
 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 23 DSC 9445 John Austin-Williams
Father and son video production team, Steve and Corbin Schwartz.

 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 24 DSC 9458 John Austin-Williams
Lake road; welcome to the City of Ekurhuleni.

 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 25 IMG 4584 Kyle Baytopp Rand Airport sign
Almost there.

 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 26 DSC 9477 John Austin-Williams
Her new home. The Viking had left Rand Airport 54 years earlier!

 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 27 IMG 4589 Kyle Baytopp
Entering "Airport Park". Notice the "steering wheels" of the trailer.
Photograph: Kyle Baytopp.

 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 28 DSC 9499 John Austin-Williams


 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 29 DSC 9505 John Austin-Williams


 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 30 IMG 4684 Kyle Baytopp
Reversing past the collection of Starliner engines, Viking elevators, wings and props and B747 Spare Engine Kit bits.

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 31 DSC 9514 John Austin-Williams

 
ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 32 DSC 9520 John Austin-Williams

 
 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 33 DSC 9537 John Austin-Williams


ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 34 DSC 9546 John Austin-Williams

 
ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 35 DSC 9560 John Austin-Williams

 
ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 36 Richard Hunt -03

 
ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 37 Richard Hunt -05

 
 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 38 IMG 4822 Kyle Baytopp


 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 39 DSC 9580 John Austin-Williams


 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 40 DSC 9581 John Austin-Williams


 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 41 DSC 9583 John Austin-Williams


 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 42 DSC 9607 John Austin-Williams


 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 43 DSC 9608 John Austin-Williams


ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 44 DSC 9616 John Austin-Williams

 
 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 45 DSC 9617 John Austin-Williams
The man with the sheer determination to get the job done – Matt Harvey – thank you!

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 46 DSC 9622 John Austin-Williams

 
ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 47 DSC 9625 John Austin-Williams

 
 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 48 DSC 9641 John Austin-Williams
Athol Franz from African Pilot Magazine issues instructions to those posing for a group photo.

 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 49 DSC 9670 John Austin-Williams
Dana Bensch, his wife Jeanette Bensch (née de Villiers), Jopppie Nieman from the Orange Tail Association,
Drummond de Villiers and Lorraine Havenga (née de Villiers).

 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 50 DSC 9648 John Austin-Williams
Thanks to SAA Technical Recovery Team for their assistance.

 ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 51 IMG 4932 Kyle Baytopp
Thanks to Marlboro Crane Hire and Transcor.

ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 52 DSC 9695 John Austin-Williams

 
ZS-DKH Move 2017 01 22 53 DSC 9690 John Austin-Williams 

 
 




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 The forlorn Viking, Saturday 14 March 2015. Photograph: Flippie van Emmenis.
 
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