View Full Version : Vickers Viscount slipper tanks

23rd Nov 2021, 19:37
I am a volunteer on the Viscount team at Brooklands Museum. We recently rescued two Viscount slipper tanks from deep storage and am now restoring them for display. We would like to know if anyone out there ever flew with these tanks? How were they used? Who made them? (The manufacturers plates on ours don't say but do reveal they were built, one for Capital and one for ANA Australia), quite how they got to Brooklands is a mystery, probably with a load of Viscount spares after BAF/British World ceased flying. From photos, I can see that there were two types of forward section, one aerofoil shaped and one more "bullet" like. The Bullet ones seem only to be seen on Viscounts in the USA. Are there any pilots or engineers from ANA Australia still with us? Over............
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/637x425/bua_viscount_g_aptc_plus_slipper_tanks_viscount_network_3277 401935fd1b79fd2126d1ba72e98980e69902.jpg
Aerofoil type on BUA Viscount.
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/465x333/slipper_tank_n24v_a19084f37f15a4213eea8ade512c89a278017de4.j pg
"Bullet" type, much longer at the front.
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1000x750/slipper_tank_oct21_145_gal_a_e9c3a60c5dc642104d8d26e32d61868 dba6b89a5.jpg
Brooklands slipper tank.

26th Nov 2021, 08:07

I converted on to the Viscount 700/800 at Ansett ANA in oct of 1963 and flew them until march of 67. None of the a/c had the slipper tanks fitted however at some stage earlier they had been used. I know not how many and for how long they were used. My guess is it was not for long.
They apparently were tried out for the Adelaide- Perth route. I heard about this when I was studying ATPL Flight Planning. Our lecturer was Bill Kennedy who was the Navigation Officer for Ansett. I remember the discussion at one of the lectures and Bill told us that the Slipper Tanks had been tried out as at that time the ADL-Per route was the longest Viscount route in the world. Apparently they only gave about 15 mins extra endurance and the extra drag especially mounted behind the outer props virtually cancelled any benefit out.

I operated the route many times and standard fuel was full tanks in an 800 . We were only cleared to abeam Kalgoorlie and if we had not consumed our 10% variable reserve we had just enough fuel to legally continue to PER. If not a fuel stop would have to be made in KAL to top up.

Needless to say that any WX req on PER made it necessary to plan via KAL. ON one occasion due to strong headwinds and an ALT on PER it was neccessary to pick up fuel in Forrest ( middle of the Nullabour Plain) and then again in KAL. That was a long tour of duty.
It was said the Viscount F/O had the highest workload of any A/c we operated and I certainly agreed with that. It was not easy operatng in Australias climate in summer as the aircon was designed for Northern European climate, the pressurisation suffered from the Outflow valve clogging up with nicotine and the door seals frquently letting go at low cabin differential



26th Nov 2021, 09:11
Hello Emeritus, many thanks for your message, very interesting. Can you recall if there were any instrument panels relating to the slipper tanks in the cockpit? I guess an ANA Flight Engineer would know. I am interested to know how they were used. Were they used at a specific time of the flight? I am guessing that once the main tanks had been used sufficiently to allow the 145 gallons in each slipper tank to be pumped into the main tanks, then thats wahat happened. Cheers, Tom

30th Nov 2021, 18:24
I flew G-APNF when it arrived in BKS with slipper tanks fitted. They were soon removed because the CAA would not approve their use and they increased weight and drag. There is a picture of it at Newcastle with the tanks still fitted on abpics.

30th Nov 2021, 18:35
Thanks Flightwatch, I hadn't see that image before. Taken 10may67 according to the late Ian MacFarlane, the photographer.

30th Nov 2021, 19:03
The RAAF had two VIP Viscounts in 34 Sqn when I was a boggie there in 1967.
One was purchased from Union Carbide Corporation and the other was from the Shah of Persia. Both were nice a/c and very resplendent in interior furnishings, and both had slipper tanks as I remember. The extended range was not great.
Centauraus is your man as he was 34 Sqn at about that time, hey John.
There is a great story about two F/Os flying one to Parabadoo or Newman with all the press for the opening of the the first iron ore mine in Hammersley. This was because the two VIP Captains, Warwick Addison and Ray Drury, on the new BAC-111 insisted on flying the Prime Minister, Harold Holt, who opened the mine. All those years ago.
The Viscount, although a success, was a pilots ergonomic nightmare. The Normalair air conditioning system and the dump valve, were something else.Best at the time I guess.

1st Dec 2021, 07:03
Viscounts operated by the RAE, A&AEE and RRE often had them fitted, do a search on images of XT661, XT575 and you will see them.
I remember someone at an RAE doo telling me that the tanks combined with the other bits and bobs nailed to the airframe made use of airways difficult, like not being able to climb into them!

Spooky 2
1st Dec 2021, 15:15
As I recall the singer Ray Charles had a Viscount that had a slipper tank mod on it. I believe it was damaged in a landing accident in the late 60's. Were these same tanks not refered to as Tenneco tanks? Tenneco either owned or developed the FAA STC that was needed for their installation?


1st Dec 2021, 16:33
Thanks for the new replies. I Have not heard of Tenneco tanks, needs further investigations!

Liffy 1M
2nd Dec 2021, 09:21
Ray Charles' second Viscount, a series 835, was a former Tenneco corporate aircraft. Viscount c/n 320 operational record (http://www.vickersviscount.net/Index/VickersViscount320History.aspx) Some photos show it with the standard slipper tanks fitted.

5th Dec 2021, 09:57

5th Dec 2021, 09:58
Sorry, some fingertroubles:

Austrian Viscout 1958 at Innsbruck with slippertanks

5th Dec 2021, 11:55
My 1960 Ian Allan Civil Aircraft Markings spotters' book includes an advert for Icelandair featuring a Viscount with slipper tanks.

8th Dec 2021, 15:24
I have received a copy of a page from a Viscount Pilot's notes relating to slipper tanks. Here is a copy of the Icelandair advert too.
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/870x1389/icelandair_viscount_advert_3002e3e5927a4e068ed39541c4adf16c5 b409eba.jpg
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1460x2000/viscount_slipper_tanks_from_pilot_s_notes__9c27cebfe2a3b0d3b b35b40e17be2a41f67d6add.jpg

12th Dec 2021, 16:16
When I was a apprentice (1967) at C F Taylor, in Wokingham, these were being made there.

12th Dec 2021, 16:22
Thanks JFRD that is great info. Was it only Viscount slipper tanks or other types too? Was there just the "Short nose" version or were there "Long nose" ones too? Cheers.

The AvgasDinosaur
16th Dec 2021, 21:07
The Oman Air Force ones certainly did when Dan-Air at Manchester Ringway (EGCC) for maintenance work .

17th Dec 2021, 14:54
The Oman Air Force ones certainly did when Dan-Air at Manchester Ringway (EGCC) for maintenance work .
Yes, 501 and 502 had them.
502 was ex Shar of Persia and RAAF and I think 501 was RAAF also. 836 and 839 series IIRC. RR Dart 525F engines. Water Meth tanks in the inboard wing leading edge.
1976/7. How the memory works!