Vickers 'Viscount' airliner, 1953.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model (scale 1:48). The Viscount was the first aircraft powered by gas turbine (turboprop) engines to enter regular airline service. The first flight took place on 18th April 1953 with British European Airways (BEA) on the London-Rome-Athens-Nicosia route. The succes of the aeroplane was largely due to its Rolls-Royce 'Dart' engines, which transmitted little vibration or noise to the pasenger compartments compared with reciprocating engines, which made the Viscount popular with pasengers.