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Vickers 121 Wibault Scout
Wibault WIB 7 Scout


In 1924 Wibault flew the prototype of a monoplane fighter, the Wibault 7, produced from 1925 and built under license by PZL and Vickers.

Following the establishment in the UK on 8 June 1925 of Wibault Patents Limited as a subsidiary of Vickers and controlling Michel Wibault's light alloy aircraft manufacturing patents, Vickers began, in November 1925, to manufacture a series of WIB fighters against a contract obtained from Chile. The Vickers-built WIB 7 all-metal single-seat fighter, assigned the designation Type 121 and referred to as the Wibault Scout, differed from the standard French model in a number of respects. As a prototype of the Type 121, Wibault re-engined a standard aircraft with a 455hp Bristol Jupiter VI nine-cylinder radial and fitted a Vickers oleo-pneumatic undercarriage, this aircraft being ferried to the UK in February 1926. Further modifications were introduced by Vickers, including the provision of stronger wing bracing struts, and the first Vickers-built Wibault Scout was flown at the end of June 1926, this being provided with an armament of two synchronised 7.7mm Vickers machine guns. This, the first fighter to be built against a Chilean contract for 26 aircraft, was lost when its pilot was unable to extricate it from a spin, a replacement subsequently being produced. Deliveries to the air component of the Chilean Army began in November 1926, Wibault Scouts equipping escuadrillas within the Grupo Mixto de Aviacion 1 at El Bosque. The fighters were freighted to Valparaiso in small batches as and when Chilean payments were forthcoming, the last of the batch being dispatched in October 1927. The Wibault Scouts proved somewhat unsatisfactory in Chilean service, several being lost in accidents - one, at least, as a result of shedding a wing in the air - but the type remained at least nominally in service with the Fuerza Aerea de Chile from that service's establishment in March 1930 until late-1934. The original Jupiter-engined WIB 7 was returned to its manufacturer in France for use as a demonstrator and no further examples were built by Vickers.

Max take-off weight: 1347 kg / 2970 lb
Empty weight: 871 kg / 1920 lb
Wingspan: 11.00 m / 36 ft 1 in
Length: 7.21 m / 24 ft 8 in
Height: 3.50 m / 12 ft 6 in
Wing area: 22.00 sq.m / 236.81 sq ft
Max. speed:  232 km/h / 144 mph
Ceiling: 7010 m / 23000 ft
Range: 483 km / 300 miles

Vickers 121 Wibault Scout


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