The Valetta was a military transport development of the Vickers VC.1 Viking civil airliner. The 158th Viking became the prototype Valetta, which first flew on 30 June 1947. The Valetta differed from the Viking fundamentally in being fitted with more powerful engines, a strengthened floor and large loading doors.

The Viking and Valetta provided the basis of the Vickers Varsity. The only difference between the Varsity and the Valetta was the position of the third wheel. The Varsity had a nose wheel and the Valetta a tail wheel.

The Valetta C.1 entered service with the RAF in 1948, replacing the Douglas Dakota with RAF Transport Command and with transport squadrons in the Middle and Far East. The Valetta was used used to carry out parachute drops in the 1956 Suez Crisis, and was used to provide transport support for a number of other British Military operations in the 1950's and 60's, such as the Malayan Emergency and operations in Aden.

30 Squadron - Less than a year after it had been disbanded, on 24 November 1947, the squadron reformed at Oakington in the transport role and remains so to the present day. Initially equipped with Dakotas, Valettas arrived in 1950 and Beverleys in 1957, it moved to Abingdon in 1950, Benson in 1952 and Dishforth in 1953. In November 1959, the squadron returned overseas, first to Eastleigh in Kenya and then Bahrain in September 1964. It was in Bahrain that the squadron disbanded on 6 September 1967. However, the following year, on 10 June, the squadron reformed once again in the transport role, equipped with the Hercules
48 Squadron - After the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, the squadron was disbanded but quickly reformed on 15 February 1946 when No 215 Squadron at Seletar was re-numbered. Still in the transport role it remained equipped with Dakotas until May 1951 when these were replaced by Valettas, during this period it was heavily involved with Operation Firedog against communist terrorists. Towards the end of Firedog, the squadron re-equipped with the Hastings.
52 Squadron - The squadron continued to operate after the Japanese surrender and began some scheduled flights to Malaya, China and Burma. In 1947 the squadron was stationed at Mingladon in Burma but following a coup it moved to Changi, taking all its personnel and what equipment it could, becoming the last RAF unit to be stationed in Burma. From here it was soon involved in 'Operation Firedog'. Dakotas were replaced by Valettas in 1951 and these continued to be used until the squadron disbanded on 25 April 1966.
70 Squadron - Having been disbanded at the end of World War II, The squadron resurfaced again on 1 May 1948. It was now engaged on its original duties, transport, being equipped with Dakotas. The squadron has remained a transport unit until the present day, receiving Valettas in January 1950. With the withdrawal of British bases in the Canal Zone of Egypt, No 70 re-located to Nicosia in Cyprus in 1955 and the following year converted to the Hastings, which were used during the Suez Crisis after which it continued to provide transport cover for the Middle and Near East areas.
78 Squadron - In May 1945 the squadron was transferred from Bomber Command to Transport Command, re-equipping with Dakotas in July and moving to the Middle East in September. It remained active in the post-war period as a transport squadron, converting to Valettas in 1950, before being disbanded on 30 September 1954.
84 Squadron - At Fayid in Egypt, on 20 February 1953, no 204 Squadron was re-numbered No 84. It was now operating in the transport role equipped with Valettas. When the British pulled out of Egypt in 1957, the squadron transferred to Aden, where Beverleys were added to the strength in 1958, although the Valettas were retained until August 1960 when they were passed to No 233 Squadron.
110 Squadron - After having been initially disbanded, the squadron reformed on 15 June 1946 when No 96 Squadron in Hong Kong was renumbered. It was now a Dakota equipped transport squadron and operated throughout the region. It was temporarily non-operational from July to September 1947, but otherwise continued to provide transport and supply dropping support to security forces in Malaya having converted from Dakotas to Valettas between October 1951 and April 1952 until disbanding on 31 December 1957.
114 Squadron - After being disbanded, the squadron reformed on 1 August 1947 at Kabrit in Egypt as a transport squadron equipped with Dakotas. Valettas arrived in September 1949 and it continued to operate these aircraft in the region until moving to Cyprus in March 1956, where the squadron was disbanded on 31 December 1957.
204 Squadron - After being disbanded at the end of the war, the squadron reformed at Kabrit in Egypt on 1 August 1947 in the transport role, equipped with Dakotas. These were replaced by Valettas in 1949, but on 20 February 1953, the squadron was disbanded by being renumbered No 84 Squadron.
216 Squadron - By the end of the war, the squadron was acting much in the role of an airline with scheduled services throughout Africa, the Middle East, India, the Mediterranean, Southern Europe and even back to the UK.  The squadron remained as part of the Middle East Transport Wing, replacing its Dakotas with Valettas in February 1951.  The squadron eventually returned to the UK in 1955, the first time it had been stationed there for 38 years.
233 Squadron - After having been disbanded by being merged into No 215 Squadron on 15 December 1945, a new 233 Squadron formed on 1 September 1960 , when the Valetta Flight of No 84 Squadron was redesignated at Khormaksar in Aden. It provided air transport facilities to Army units throughout the Protectorate until disbanding on 31 January 1964.
622 Squadron - Unlike many of its contemporaries, the squadron was reformed post-war as part of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force at Blackbushe on 15 December 1950. It then operated Valettas in the transport role and consisted of a nucleus of regular pilots and reserve pilots drawn from local airline companies. Its re-incarnation was short-lived, however, being disbanded on 30 September 1953.


3rd September 1948 - the production line at the Vickers Armstrong works
  at Brooklands, Weybridge of the Vickers Valetta RAF transport.

General characteristics

Crew: 4
Capacity: 34 troops or 20 paratroops
Length: 62 ft 11 in (19.18 m)
Wingspan: 89 ft 3 in (27.21 m)
Height: 19 ft 7 in (5.97 m)
Wing area: 882 ft² (82.0 m²)
Empty weight: 24,980 lb (11,355 kg)
Loaded weight: 36,500lb (16,591 kg)
Powerplant: 2× Bristol Hercules 230 , 9-cylinder radial piston engine with de Havilland or Rotol four-blade constant-speed propellers, 1,975 hp (1,473 kW) each
Maximum speed: 224 knots (258 mph, 415 km/h) at 10,000 ft
Cruise speed: 150 knots [1] (172 mph, 277 km/h)
Range: 1,270 nm (1,460 miles, 2,350 km)
Service ceiling 21,500 ft (6,550 m)
Rate of climb: 1,275 ft/min (6.48 m/s)
Wing loading: 41.4 lb/ft² (202 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.108 hp/lb (0.178 kW/kg)