Along with the Hastings, the Vickers Valetta was one of the principal British transports of the immediate post-war years, replacing the similar US Dakota which was still in widespread use then by RAF Transport Command. The Valetta was the military version of the VC.1 Viking airliner which itself was based on the legendary Wellington bomber of World War II. Compared to its civil counterpart, the Valetta had more powerful engines, a strengthened floor, as well as large loading doors and was specialized for paratroop operations. As such it saw extensive combat service most notably being responsible for the parachute drops during the 1956 Suez Crisis and providing transport support for other British operations during that time incluing the Malayan Emergency and over Aden. Other uses for this the Valetta included a VIP transport and an aircrew trainer which was retired from RAF service only until 1969.
The prototype Valetta was developed from the 158th example of the VC.1 Viking and first flew on 30 June 1947. It entered service the following year as the Valetta C.1 which accounted for the grand majority of production units. Other variants were the C.2 VIP transport, and the T.3 and T.4 trainers the latter which had radar fitted in the nose.
|Wing Span||27.20 m|
|Wing Loading||202.1 kg/m²|
|Engine||2 x Hercules Mk. 230|