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The Bristol Siddeley Viper Aircraft Engine

The Viper Turbojet was designed in the early 1950's by Armstrong Siddeley as a cheap expendable engine with only ten hours expected lifetime to power the Australian Jindivik target drone (still used today as a remote controlled target tug), it entered service in this capacity in 1953. When it became clear that a "normal" engine of similar weight, size and performance was required it was decided to modify the Viper as a more cost effective alternative to designing and developing a totally new engine.

Bristol Siddeley Viper 8 mk 102 Aircraft Engine

 

Components that had been chosen for cheapness rather than longevity were replaced and the total oil loss system replaced with a conventional one. Unfortunately the Vipers design had not allowed for any maintenance and reoccurring maintenance issues were common on early variants.

The Rolls-Royce Griffon engines used it the Avro Shackleton utilised water methanol injection to boost power on takeoff and this adversely affected the engines reliability. In 1965, in an attempt to resolve this issue, the Avro Shackleton MR Mk.3 Phase 3 maritime patrol aircraft had their water methanol injection system replaced with two Viper Mark 203 turbojets in the outer engine nacelles, they were modified to run on high octane petrol (AVGAS) reducing their service interval to 200 hours, but were only needed at full power for two minutes during takeoff (see bottom picture). It is rumoured that a Shackleton flew on only these engines in 1995, although this is unsubstantiated, as each of the vipers produced similar thrust as a Rolls-Royce Griffon, and the  Shackleton could fly with only two engines, it would seem to be possible.

Due to company mergers and acquisitions the Viper has been marketed as the Armstrong Siddeley Viper, Bristol Siddeley Viper and finally the Rolls-Royce Viper.

 

Aircraft that have been powered by the Bristol Siddeley Viper

Aermacchi MB-339Aermacchi MB-326Atlas Aircraft Impala
Avro ShackletonBAC Jet ProvostBAC Strikemaster
Bell X-14Dassault M.D.550 Mystere-DeltaEmbraer AT-26 Xavante
GAF JindivikHawker Siddeley DominieHandley Page HP.115
IAR 99Piaggio PD.808Saunders-Roe SR.53
Soko J-22 Orao/IAR-93Soko G-2 GalebSoko G-4 Super Galeb
 
 

Rolls-Royce Viper Turbojet from an Avro Shackleton


 
Rolls-Royce Viper Turbojet from a Avro Shackleton
 

Armstrong Siddeley Viper ASV.12 Specifications:

  • Axial flow Turbojet
  • Length: 64.0 in (1,625 mm)     Diameter: 24.55 in (624 mm)      Dry weight: 549 lb (249 kg)
  • Compressor: Seven stage axial
  • Combustors: Annular, 24 burners
  • Turbine: Single stage
  • Fuel type: AVTUR, AVTAG
  • Oil system: scavenge, metered
  • Maximum thrust: 2,700 lb (12 kN) at 13,800 rpm
  • Overall pressure ratio: 4.3:1
  • Specific fuel consumption: 1.09 lb/hr/lb oil consumption=1.25 pints/hr (0.7l/h)
  • Thrust-to-weight ratio: 4.9:1
 
 

Rolls-Royce Viper Turbojet from an Avro Shackleton


 
Bristol Siddeley Viper 11 200 series, a AVGAS fueled take-off boost engine.
 

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Bristol Siddeley Viper Aircraft Engine picture and Specifications

 

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