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Canadian Vickers Vedette

The Canadian Vickers Vedette was the first aircraft designed and built in Canada to meet a specification for Canadian conditions.

It was a single-engine biplane flying boat purchased to meet a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) demand for a smaller aircraft than the Vickers Viking with a much greater rate of climb, to be suitable for forestry survey and fire protection work.

Based on a preliminary design in early 1924 for a “flying boat” by R.K Pierson of the British company Vickers, the Canadian Vickers Vedette was a two/three-seat single-engine pusher aircraft.

The design was passed over to the subsidiary Canadian Vickers Limited of Longueuil, Quebec (formed in 1911) where Wilfrid Thomas Reid served as Chief Engineer.

The prototype Vedette I was first flown on 4 November 1924, powered by a 200 hp (150 kW) Rolls-Royce Falcon III.

It was subsequently fitted with 210 hp (160 kW) Wolseley Viper, 200 hp (150 kW) Wright J-4 and 215 hp (160 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Lynx engines for testing.

Several versions of the Vedette were produced, including two amphibious versions and one with an enclosed cabin on an all-metal hull.

With the exception of these major changes, most of the remaining differences between versions were relatively minor and not externally visible.

Each version was produced with a range of optional engine types.


Vedette I

Prototype (c/n 9) tested variously with Rolls-Royce Falcon III, Wolseley Viper, Wright J-4 and Armstrong Siddeley Lynx engines.

Vedette II

Production version, modified rudder and other minor changes from prototype.

Vedette III & IV

Not built but may have included an enclosed cabin transport.

Vedette V

Improved amphibian version, but most not equipped with wheels.

Vedette Va

Mk.V fitted with Handley-Page leading edge slots.

Vedette Vam

One off Mk.V (c/n 123/170) refurbished with metal hull.

Vedette VI

One off (c/n 163) with metal hull and Handley-Page leading edge slots.

Vassal I

Proposed variant using Clark Y airfoil section wings, not built.


Mk II, Lynx engine




32 ft 10 in (10.0 m)


42 ft 0 in (12.8 m)


11 ft 9 in (3.58 m)

Wing area

 483 sq ft (44.9 m2)


RAF 15

Empty weight

1,849 lb (839 kg)

Gross weight

3,049 lb (1,383 kg)

Fuel capacity

535 lb (243 kg) fuel and oil


1 × Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IV 7-cyliner air-cooled radial piston engine,

187 hp (139 kW)


2-bladed fixed pitch pusher propeller


Maximum speed

59 mph (95 km/h, 51 kn) at sea level; 87 mph (76 kn; 140 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3,000 m)

Cruise speed

47 mph (75 km/h, 40 kn) at 5,000 ft (1,500 m)


5 hours

Service ceiling

13,000 ft (4,000 m)

Rate of climb

650 ft/min (3.3 m/s)

Time to altitude

10,000 ft (3,000 m) in 30 minutes

Wing loading

6.28 lb/sq ft (30.7 kg/m2)


0.059 hp/lb (0.097 kW/kg).

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