= Bellanca Viking =
The Bellanca Viking and Super Viking are a series of single-engine,
four-seat, high performance, retractable gear aircraft manufactured in
the USA during the 1960s and 1970s. The aircraft developed through
modifications of classic designs by the aviation pioneer Giuseppe
Bellanca. A total of 1,356 Vikings have been produced with most
production between 1968 and 1975 (1019 planes).
Development and design
The Viking is a derivative of the Bellanca Cruisair, a retractable
gear taildragger with two extra vertical fins on the tips of the
horizontal stabilizer. The 14-13 Cruisair series was developed into
the larger, more powerful 14-19 Cruisemaster in the early 1950s. After
the original Bellanca company went out of business, Downer Aircraft
took over the type certificate and built the 14-19-2 Cruisemaster by
mating the airframe with a Continental O-470 of 230 hp. In 1958,
Downer redesigned the airplane with a nosewheel and fuel injected
IO-470 of 260 hp, and redesignated it the 260. The 14-19-3 260
retained the wire-braced triple tail into the 1962 model year. After
that year the triple tail design was modified to a single tail with
the same aggregate surface area, and manufactured as the Model 260A.
The later Vikings retain the oversized vertical fin that contributes
to the distinctive flying characteristics of the aircraft. The Viking
model was born out of discussions at Downer for a bigger version of
the "Model 260" with at least 300 horsepower. The company was based in
Minnesota and employed skilled craftsman who manufactured the wing
from spruce and the new 300 hp model was named the "Viking" in respect
to the many Scandinavians of the area.
The first Model 17 Viking appeared in 1967 called the "17-30." It was
powered by a 300 hp Continental IO-520-K. In 1969 a Viking powered by
a 290 hp (later 300 hp) Lycoming IO-540 was introduced, either
normally aspirated (17-31) or turbocharged (17-31TC).
Over the years there were a number of refinements to the aircraft. The
original hydraulic gear and flap actuation system was redesigned in
1968 introducing electric flaps. In 1969 the FAA issued Type
Certificate A18CE and the aircraft built under that design were
designated the "A" series "Super Vikings". Aside from refinements
already made to late Viking 300 models, the new 300A Vikings (17-30A,
17-31A and 17-31ATC) had a gross weight increase to 3,325 lbs. The
original complex fuel system with five tanks and two fuel selectors
allowing eight possible combinations of selector settings was
simplified to a left, right and auxiliary system in 1974. After
several years of financial losses, Viking sales became profitable
again in 1978. In 1979, Continental-powered Vikings sported a fully
enclosed nosewheel thanks to a redesign of the engine mount. This
necessitated the use of cowl flaps for the first time on the Viking
but resulted in a 12 mph increase. In 1979 production of the
Lycoming-powered 17-31A ceased. In 1996, the Continental IO-550 was
made available as an option.
Since 2002 the company has been operated by a group of six Bellanca
enthusiasts who bought the company from the state of Minnesota and
established Alexandria Aircraft Co. LLC. They provide technical
support and parts to owners and A&Ps in the field. They have sold
one new aircraft, manufactured in 2005.
The aircraft fuselage is constructed from tubular steel overlaid with
fabric while the wings are fashioned from spruce with a plywood skin.
Bill Cox, an aviation journalist at 'Plane and Pilot Magazine'
commented regarding the flying qualities of Vikings that they "have
long been famous for control response and harmony that seems almost
psychic in nature", and asserted, "Owners almost unanimously pronounce
the Viking the best handling airplane they've ever flown."
;17-30 Viking 300: Four-seat light cabin aircraft, powered by a 224-kW
(300-hp) Continental IO-520-K piston engine.
;17-31 Viking 300: Four-seat light cabin aircraft, powered by a 224-kW
(300-hp) Lycoming IO-540 piston engine.
;17-31TC Viking 300: Four-seat light cabin aircraft, powered by a
224-kW (300-hp) Lycoming IO-540 piston engine, the aircraft is fitted
;17-30A Super Viking 300A: Four-seat light cabin aircraft, powered by
a 224-kW (300-hp) Continental IO-520-K piston engine.
;17-31A Super Viking 300A: Four-seat light cabin aircraft, powered by
a 224-kW (300-hp) Lycoming IO-540-K1E5 piston engine.
;17-31ATC Turbo Super Viking 300A: Four-seat light cabin aircraft,
powered by a 224-kW (300-hp) Lycoming IO-540-K1E5 piston engine, the
aircraft is fitted with two Rajay turbochargers.
History of Early Viking Design, stored on archive.org]
Bellanca Viking "Reference Room" with links]
Bellanca Viking FAQ]
Bellanca Aircraft Official Site]
* [http://www.aerofiles.com/_bella.html aerofiles.com]
* [http://160knots.com The Bellanca Super Viking]
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Original Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellanca Viking