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Vickers Type 143 (Bolivian Scout)

Biplane Fighter Aircraft

United Kingdom | 1930

"Six Vickers Type 143 biplane fighters were built by Vickers Limited for service with the Bolivian Air Force."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Vickers Type 143 Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1 x Bristol Jupiter VIA 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 450 horsepower.
149 mph
240 kph | 130 kts
Max Speed
20,013 ft
6,100 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
1,310 ft/min
399 m/min
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Vickers Type 143 Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
27.9 ft
8.50 m
O/A Length
34.0 ft
(10.35 m)
O/A Width
11.3 ft
(3.45 m)
O/A Height
2,249 lb
(1,020 kg)
Empty Weight
3,120 lb
(1,415 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Vickers Type 143 (Bolivian Scout) Biplane Fighter Aircraft .
2 x 0.303 in Vickers air-cooled machine guns in fixed, forward-firing mountings over nose, synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
Notable series variants as part of the Vickers Type 143 (Bolivian Scout) family line.
Type 143 - Base Series Designation; fitted with Bristol Jupiter VIA engine of 450 horsepower; delivery of six to Bolivia.
Type 177 - Navy prototype fighter for the British Fleet Air Arm (FAA); fitted with Bristol Jupiter XFS engine of 540 horsepower; not adopted.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/19/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

By the end of the 1920s, Bolivia was in need of modern aircraft as a deterrent against neighboring Paraguay - embroiled in a growing border dispute. It contracted the British Vickers aircraft company for six fighters based on the earlier Type 141, itself forged from the single-seat, single-engine Type 123. the Type 123 became a biplane fighter existing as a single prototype and managed a first-flight on September 11th, 1926. While the Type 123 went nowhere, the Type 141 was realized when the original Hispano-Suiza T52 400 horsepower engine was replaced with a Rolls-Royce F.Xi series of 480 horsepower in 1927. This design failed to net British interest during a formal competition in early 1928, was modified for carrier trials in 1929 and ultimately scrapped in 1930.

With the Type 141 as the starting point, the Type 143 "Bolivian Scout" was born for Bolivian service. The Rolls-Royce engine was superseded by the Bristol Jupiter VIA line of 450 horsepower, an engine already in the logistical pipeline of the Bolivian and the aircraft had its structure reinforced for rough-field operations. It retained the single-bay biplane wing arrangement. The pilot sat in an open-air cockpit and the undercarriage was fixed in place. A first-flight of this form was witnessed on November 26th, 1929.

The lot of six aircraft made their way to Bolivia but conditions there were such that only three were available for frontline service in the ensuring Chaco War. These gave good service for their time in the air until replaced by more modern types. On the whole, they were well-received by pilots.

The Fleet Air Arm (FAA) of Britain trialed one example of the Vickers design, as the Type 177 (Specification N.21/26 of 1926), but did not exercise serial production. The revised model was given a four-bladed propeller, Jupiter XF engine and improved steering. A first-flight was recorded on November 26th,1929.

Performance specs for the Type 143 fighter included a maximum speed of 150 miles per hour and a service ceiling up to 20,000 feet from the Jupiter VIA air-cooled engine. It carried 2 x 7.7mm Vickers air-cooled machine guns as primary armament.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Vickers Type 143 (Bolivian Scout). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 6 Units

Contractor(s): Vickers Limited - UK
National flag of Bolivia National flag of the United Kingdom

[ Bolivia; United Kingdom (evaluated) ]
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Image of the Vickers Type 143 (Bolivian Scout)
Image from the Public Domain.

Going Further...
The Vickers Type 143 (Bolivian Scout) Biplane Fighter Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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