Armstrong Siddeley Viper

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Rolls-Royce Viper 1.jpg
Preserved Rolls-Royce Viper Turbojet
Type Turbojet
Manufacturer Armstrong Siddeley
Rolls-Royce Limited
First run April 1951
Major applications BAC Jet Provost
HS Dominie
Aermacchi MB-326
Developed from AS Adder

The Viper is a British turbojet engine developed and produced by Armstrong Siddeley and then by its successor companies Bristol Siddeley and Rolls-Royce Limited. It entered service in 1953 and remained in use with the Royal Air Force, powering its Dominie T1 navigation training aircraft until January 2011.[1]

Design and development[edit]

The design originally featured a seven-stage compressor based on their Adder engine — the Viper is in effect a large-scale Adder.

Like the similar J85 built in United States, the Viper was developed as an expendable engine for powering production versions of the Jindivik target drone,[2] but, again like the J85, the limited-life materials and total-loss oil systems were replaced with standard systems for use in manned aircraft.

Because it was initially developed as an expendable engine, the Viper was subject to many recurring maintenance issues. This led to the development of the first Power by the Hour program in which operators would pay a fixed hourly rate to Bristol Siddeley for the continual maintenance of the engines.[3]


Rolls-Royce Viper in RAF Museum Cosford

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1962-63.[4]

Short life for missile/target applications, 1,640 lbf (7.30 kN).[5]
Short life for missile/target applications, 1,750 lbf (7.78 kN).[5]
Extended life version for manned aircraft.[5]
Short life for missile/target applications, 1,900 lbf (8.45 kN).[5]
2,470 lbf (10.99 kN) with re-heat.[5]
Viper 8
(Mk.102 / Mk.104): Engines for the Hunting-Percival Jet Provost TMk.3 (Mk.102) and GAF Jindivik Mk.102B target drone (Mk.104).
Viper 9
(Mk.103): Powered the Bell X-14 and Handley Page HP 115 among others.
Viper 11
(Mk.200): Powered the Hunting-Percival Jet Provost TMk.4(Mk202) and GAF Jindivik Mk.3 among others.
Viper 20
(Mk.500 series): Powered the Hawker Siddeley HS.125 and Piaggio-Douglas PD.808 among others.
Viper 22
Built under licence by Piaggio for the Aermacchi MB.326

Evidence found on a surviving Mk204 engine suggests this is a Mk202 variant with increased temperature and oil pressure transmission capabilities. These are thought to be safety measures installed for use in Jet Provost aircraft used by HRH Prince Charles during his Royal Air Force flight training programme.

Mk.500 series
M.D.30 Viper
Engines licence-built and developedby Dassault Aviation[5]

Engines on display[edit]

Preserved Viper engines are on public display at the following museums:


Specifications (Viper ASV.12)[edit]

Data from [6]

General characteristics

  • Type: 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


oil consumption=1.25 pints/hr (0.7l/h)

See also[edit]

Related development
Comparable engines
Related lists



  1. ^ Dominie T1 Retrieved: 14 October 2009
  2. ^ Gunston 1989, p.20.
  3. ^ "Selling the DH125". Flight Global. 
  4. ^ Taylor, John W.R. FRHistS. ARAeS (1962). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1962-63. London: Sampson, Low, Marston & Co Ltd. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Taylor, John W.R. FRHistS. ARAeS (1955). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1955-56. London: Sampson, Low, Marston & Co Ltd. 
  6. ^ Flight Global Archive - 1955 Retrieved: 3 November 2008


  • Taylor, John W.R. FRHistS. ARAeS (1962). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1962-63. London: Sampson, Low, Marston & Co Ltd. 
  • Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9

External links[edit]