Armstrong Siddeley Viper

The Armstrong Siddeley 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]

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 Armstrong Siddeley Adder

Design and development

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 originally developed as an expendable engine for production versions of the Jindivik target drone. Like the J85, the limited-life components and total-loss oil systems were replaced with standard systems for use in manned aircraft.[2]

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]

In the 1970s, Turbomecanica Bucharest and Orao Sarajevo acquired the license for the Viper engine, which propelled various Romanian and Yugoslav built aircraft.[4][5]


Data from:Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1955-56[6], Jane's all the World's Aircraft 1959-60[7], Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1962-63[8]

Short life design study; 1,145 lbf (5.09 kN).
Developed short life version, first run in April 1951; 1,145 lbf (5.09 kN).
(Mk.100) Short life for missile/target applications, flight-tested in the tail of an Avro Lancaster November 1952; 1,640 lbf (7.30 kN).
Short life for missile/target applications first run in 1952, 1,750 lbf (7.78 kN).
(Mk. 101) Extended life version for manned aircraft.[6]
Short life for missile/target applications; 1,900 lbf (8.45 kN).
ASV.7 with re-heat;2,470 lbf (10.99 kN).
(became Viper 8 and Mk.102); Long-life version rated at 1,750 lbf (7.78 kN) for Jet Provost T Mk.3.
(became Viper 9 and Mk.103) Similar to ASV.8 with improved turbine materials; 2,000 lbf (8.90 kN).
Long-life version with re-designed Sapphire-style compressor first run in January 1956; 1,900 lbf (8.45 kN).
(became Viper 11 and Mk.200) ASV.10 with increased mass-flow; 2,500 lbf (11.12 kN).
(became Viper 12) up-rated ASV.11 with higher JPT and rated at 2,700 lbf (12.01 kN)
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 12
see ASV.12 above
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
see ASV.3 above
see ASV.5 above
see ASV.8 above
see ASV.9 and Viper 9 above
see ASV.12 above

Evidence found on a surviving Mk.204 engine suggests this is a Mk.202 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. A Mk204 engine still exists in running order, in Jet Provost XS186 at the Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre in Lincolnshire, England.

Built under licence by Turbomecanica and Orao, as the non-afterburning engine for the IAR-93 Vultur A/MB versions, Soko J-22 Orao 1 version, IAR-99 Standard/Șoim versions, and Soko G-4 Super Galeb.
Built under licence by Turbomecanica and Orao, as the afterburning engine for the IAR-93 Vultur B version, and Soko J-22 Orao 2 version.
de-rated to 4,000 lbf (17.79 kN), powered Fuji T1F1 prototype and T-1A production aircraft, as well as the Hunting H.126 jet-flap research aircraft.
M.D.30 Viper
Engines licence-built and developed by Dassault Aviation[6][9]
M.D.30R Viper
2,200 lbf (9.8 kN) with afterburner.[10]


Specifications (Viper ASV.12)

Data from [11]

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


See also

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. About Turbomecanica
  5. INCAS - IAR 93 and SOKO /VTJ - J - ORAO Specifications
  6. Taylor, John W.R. FRHistS. ARAeS (1955). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1955-56. London: Sampson, Low, Marston & Co Ltd.
  7. Bridgman, Leonard, ed. (1959). Jane's all the World's Aircraft 1959-60. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd.
  8. Taylor, John W.R. FRHistS. ARAeS (1962). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1962-63. London: Sampson, Low, Marston & Co Ltd.
  9. Wilkinson, Paul H. (1957). Aircraft engines of the World 1957 (15th ed.). London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd. pp. 186–187.
  10. Wilkinson, Paul H. (1957). Aircraft engines of the World 1957 (15th ed.). London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd. pp. 188–189.
  11. 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
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