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Vickers 143


Evolved from the Type 141 to meet a Bolivian requirement which was to result, in 1929, in an order for six aircraft, the Type 143 was flown for the first time on 11 June of that year. The Type 143, known unofficially as the Bolivian Scout, differed from the Type 141 in having squared-off wingtips, longer-span, narrow-chord ailerons, a larger cut-out above the pilot's cockpit, a split-axle undercarriage, hoop-skids under the inter-plane struts and a modified fuselage faired to a broader oval section to mate with a 450 hp Bristol Jupiter VIA nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine. As with the Type 141, the upper wing centre section was carried above the fuselage on splayed, cross-braced struts, the fuselage being supported above the lower wing by N-type struts. Construction was all metal and armament comprised two 0.303-in (7,7-mm) Vickers guns firing through troughs in the fuselage sides. The first of the six Type 143 fighters for Bolivia's Cuerpo de Aviation reached El Alto, La Paz, in January 1930, the sixth having been fitted with a Jupiter VII for Air Ministry trials at Martlesham Heath before being re-engined with a Jupiter VIA for shipment to Bolivia. By the time sporadic border disputes between Bolivia and Paraguay in the Chaco Boreal escalated, in June 1932, into full-scale warfare, the Cuerpo de Aviation of the former nation had already written off three of its Type 143s. On 30 September, one of the surviving Type 143s was effectively responsible for the first Paraguayan loss as a result of air-to-air combat - probably the first loss of an aircraft in such circumstances in the history of Latin-American military aviation - when a Wibault 73 received damage that, indirectly, was to lead to its destruction.

Max take-off weight: 1415 kg / 3120 lb
Empty weight: 1019 kg / 2247 lb
Wingspan: 10.36 m / 34 ft 0 in
Length: 8.50 m / 28 ft 11 in
Height: 3.43 m / 11 ft 3 in
Wing area: 31.21 sq.m / 335.94 sq ft
Max. speed: 241 km/h / 150 mph
Ceiling: 6100 m / 20,000 ft

Vickers 143


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