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VC10 Twin Deck Planned, All Those Years Ago!  
User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3195 posts, RR: 2
Posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8428 times:

WOW, all those years ago they had a plan for a double deck aircraft, amazing. http://www.vc10.net/History/DDVC10_FOpage1.html

Airbus, stand aside.

[Edited 2010-09-20 12:30:31 by srbmod]


you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineexFWAOONW From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 402 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8328 times:

I don't know if it could carry enough cargo to make enough money on a long-haul flight to be profitable. Weight/balance would have been a pain, too with the engines and bags and cargo behind the wing only. Was this envisioned as a high-density commuter a/c?


Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
User currently offlineMCO2BRS From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8269 times:

Very cool! Definitely one to file under "If Only..." Thanks for sharing!

Cheers

MCO 2 BRS


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11616 posts, RR: 60
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8236 times:

http://www.vc10.net/History/DDVC10_page7.html

Seems like a clever and simple design. The double bubble is composed of two identical sections; one mounted the 'correct' way up to form the top deck, and one inverted to form the bottom deck. Mind you, look at the legroom on the lower deck looks atrocious!


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineAmerican 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3741 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8156 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

If you look on p11 of the report, you will see three cargo configurations for the planned model. The bottom one has an all cargo configuration on the lower deck, single deck config for the passengers, so it is not just cargo behind the wing, I think that one could have made money if Vickers had proposed it to the airlines. Weight and Balance would not have been an issue like it would have been on the other proposed configs. It could have been called the VC-10 Combi.

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 1):
Was this envisioned as a high-density commuter a/c?

I think it was envisioned as a high capacity long haul aircraft, before Boeing announced the 747.

Ben Soriano



Ben Soriano
User currently onlineincitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4003 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 7260 times:

I really have to wonder if it this would a feasible airplane.

First the structural stress generated by joining the two bubbles together and ironing out the kinks at the tail, including the need to tolerate greater engine thrust. Did these engines even exist?

Second, for the 295-passenger version, the rear bulkhead is capable of holding about 400 bags and that would be a practical limitation sometimes constraining the operation.

Third the performance chart seems limiting. Filled to passenger capacity the aircraft would be at its limit for a London-NY. Often some of that expensive additional capacity would have to fly empty.

Very cool nonetheless.


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4915 posts, RR: 43
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 6836 times:

Looking at a MTOW of 385,000 lbs, this looks more of an answer to the DC-8-61/63 than competition for the B747. It allowed DC-8-61/63 capacity without the large ground footprint.

The structure looks much like the Vanguard, but taken to further extremes. The double-bubble concept of fuselage design is very strong, and much stronger than non-circular arcs on the sides of a fuselage. Remember that an Achilles heal of the B747 structure is the straight fuselage panels from the upper deck to the lower deck, which requires a lot of attention.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineBooDog From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 257 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 6756 times:

Quoting incitatus (Reply 5):
Did these engines even exist?

Notice on page 5 that it's a quad engine plane, not a twin engine plane.



B1B - best looking aircraft ever.
User currently offlineCALPSAFltSkeds From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 2589 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 6701 times:

Quoting BooDog (Reply 7):
Quoting incitatus (Reply 5):
Did these engines even exist?

Notice on page 5 that it's a quad engine plane, not a twin engine plane.

All VC 10s were quad engines with two on each side latched together.


User currently offlinerolypolyman From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6689 times:

I'm surprised they stopped stretching the VC-10 at the 1150's length (172 ft). Surely they could have tacked on another 20 or 30 ft and it would be similar to that of the DC-8-60 and the upcoming widebodies. Seems it would have been a cheaper solution.

User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2492 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6637 times:

Quoting BooDog (Reply 7):
Quoting incitatus (Reply 5):
Did these engines even exist?

Notice on page 5 that it's a quad engine plane, not a twin engine plane.
Quoting rolypolyman (Reply 9):
I'm surprised they stopped stretching the VC-10 at the 1150's length (172 ft). Surely they could have tacked on another 20 or 30 ft and it would be similar to that of the DC-8-60 and the upcoming widebodies. Seems it would have been a cheaper solution.

Question of the day: with what power plant?! They assume a minimum of 27.5K lbs. but I'm going out on a limb and claim that would've been "A340-esque!" The conventional VC-10 engines had a thrust rating of 22.5K lbs; a 20+% increase probably would've been asking a lot (both time and money) from RR.

The CASM is projected on page 15 and from the looks of the chart, they were aiming at about a 4,300nm range which would've pit it head-to-head with the 707, DC-8, and 720, (this bird would've carried quite a few more pax) and eventually the early 747s, DC-10, L-1011 and so on. Obviously, a crowded field of competitors in the not too distant future.

Good stuff!

777fan



DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19417 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6605 times:

I once heard that McD once considered using part of the lower hold for seating on the MD-11 (not the A380 look-alike MD-12). I think there wasn't sufficient interest to justify having to add lower emergency exits.

User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2492 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6465 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11):
I once heard that McD once considered using part of the lower hold for seating on the MD-11 (not the A380 look-alike MD-12). I think there wasn't sufficient interest to justify having to add lower emergency exits.

I'm pretty sure there have been threads about that very subject (as well as the L-1011) but can't remember if there would have been lower-level windows as well...

777fan



DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
User currently offlinewn700driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6345 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11):
(not the A380 look-alike MD-12).

Other way around Doc; MD-12 project vastly precedes the 380... And anyway, the -12 was a much better looker, something about those MD windows working well without a huge "bulge" upfront... But I digress


This concept of a double decker VC-10 I think might have worked, as long as it had sufficient time advantage over the DC-10 & L1011. The 747 is really out of reach capacity wise to something like this, as well as with range, but a double deck VC-10 may well have kept TriStars from ever entering the BA fleet. The bigger question I haven't seen asked here... What would have become of Airbus?

Something like this may well have rendered the A300 stillborn. Not permanently, for sure. But maybe at least until the early '80s, and then also maybe with a much more UK centric Airbus Consortium... Throw this one on the "Now that would have been interesting" pile!


User currently offlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3109 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6131 times:

This web site / discussion forum
http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread212956/pg1
mentions early British proposals for 707 and DC-8 competitors, much bigger than the Comet, and one of the larger proposals includes a double-decker seating more than a 707, but not as much as this double-decker VC10. Anyhow, it's more interesting "what ifs". I don't recall the discussion or thread, but I'm pretty sure I found the link via an A.net thread 3 or 4 years ago.

-Rampart


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4915 posts, RR: 43
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5884 times:

Quoting 777fan (Reply 12):
I'm pretty sure there have been threads about that very subject (as well as the L-1011) but can't remember if there would have been lower-level windows as well...


The L1011 actually carried passengers on the lower deck, ahead of the wing. If you look at old safety cards for Worldways, you will see it. The only windows down there were in the exit doors.

These aircraft were ex-PSA, and intent for them was a lower deck lounge.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineshankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1541 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5772 times:

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 13):
What would have become of Airbus?

The A300 and A320 can actually trace their heritage to cancelled British projects, notably the BAC2-11 and 3-11.

The 2-11's heritage was the VC-10, the 3-11 the 1-11

Check out on line sources such as Wiki for the ins and outs of the story, and in particular the short sightedness of the UK Govt, which meant Airbus was born with a German/French heart and not a UK heart. There should now be A320's rolling off the Warton production line

An interesting aside is that at the demise of the VC-10 project many UK aerospace engineers went to work for......Boeing. The 747 contains a number of VC-10 features deep inside



L1011 - P F M
User currently offlinecolumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7058 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5772 times:

BTW what did happen with Vickers, did they become a part of BAE ?


It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently onlineincitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4003 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5596 times:

Quoting BooDog (Reply 7):
Notice on page 5 that it's a quad engine plane, not a twin engine plane.

Yes I was aware of that, and that is a big part of the engineering problem. Besides the structure supporting the additional thrust, how was the additional thrust going to be accomplished? Would it result in a different fan diameter or a lot more weight requiring an all-new engine mount?


User currently offlineebj1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5454 times:

Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):
WOW, all those years ago they had a plan for a double deck aircraft, amazing.

There's something to be said for optimism, even if reality will try to rain on it.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineshankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1541 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5377 times:

Quoting columba (Reply 17):
BTW what did happen with Vickers, did they become a part of BAE

Vickers merged with Hunting, English Electric and Bristol to form the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), which itself was later merged with Hawker Siddeley to form British Aeropsace, which has gone through many changes and is now effectively a defence business called BAE Systems

The BAC 1-11 was originally a Hunting aircraft

The list of UK manufacturers that have fallen from grace is a point of great sadness for Brits like me. True, some of the planes were not good enough, e.g. Handley Page Herald or were created bespoke by the "Ministry" to satisfy two fickle customers BOAC/BEA e.g. the Britannia and Trident.

The true lost opportunities were the VC-7, which would have given the 707 and DC-8 a huge challenge, the misrepresented VC-10, which in my view is the finest postwar jet airliner and the Trident and 1-11, which if fitted with better American P&W engines would have probably meant the UK still being a significant producer of commercial airliners. Even the last effort, the fine HS146 should have been launched in 1974 and would have been streets ahead of rivals, but was delayed until the late 1970's and as such missed the boat

VC-7



L1011 - P F M
User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3195 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5312 times:

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 19):

Yep, but that is the human spirit, long may it prevail!  



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3109 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5236 times:

Quoting shankly (Reply 20):
Vickers merged with Hunting, English Electric and Bristol to form the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), which itself was later merged with Hawker Siddeley to form British Aeropsace, which has gone through many changes and is now effectively a defence business called BAE Systems

Thanks for that. I had wondered who begat whom in British aviation, never clear on the chronology. Along the same line, where are Shorts and Scottish Aviation in any of this? And wasn't DeHavilland also absorbed into Hawker Siddeley? Set me straight if I'm mistaken.

-Rampart


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13170 posts, RR: 77
Reply 23, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5231 times:

Good find.
Engines would have been the key, really something more than a moderately improved Conway needed.
RB.178 - which seems to have had higher bypass (like standard JT-8 to the versions on the MD-80 onwards), or a high bypass version - both apparently proposed.
Sticking with moderately uprated Conways means the range of this type, from other sources, being more like 2800 nm.

Better engines means end of 1960's in service for this, trouble is, would BAC dare, even with a BOAC order?
BOAC who after specifying VC-10, slashed orders, bad mouthed it (to Boeing's delight), then found out pax loved it so then started marketing it.
Or a decade before, specified the VC-7/V.1000 than cancelled it, saying too soon for new jets, months later buying (same R/R engine powered). B707-420's saying we need new jets.


User currently offlineblooBirdie From Lesotho, joined Sep 2003, 256 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5200 times:

Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):
WOW, all those years ago they had a plan for a double deck aircraft, amazing.

Ahem!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ralf Manteufel



Although one can't say the Breguet Provence was a staggering success...


25 Viscount724 : And probably the loudest (outside, not inside).
26 oa260 : Never knew that . That would have been one amazing aircraft.
27 Post contains links and images 474218 : Another old double decker: View Large View MediumPhoto © Steve WilliamsView Large View MediumPhoto © George Fascher
28 shankly : Rampart, your assumptions are correct, albeit Shorts remained undependant until the 1980's (remember those SC-7's, SD-330's and SD-360's) before fina
29 Baroque : IIRC one problem with the Conway was that its miserable bypass ratio was designed around engines being narrow enough to fit within wings so that part
30 Post contains images Coronado990 : And another...the Convair XC-99...
31 Aeroflot777 : Interesting to note that it was envisioned as a narrow-body! Aeroflot777
32 nycbjr : Very 787 esch tail!
33 rampart : Nobody has mentioned the Boeing Stratocruiser as a double decker? That would probably have been its downfall in competition with the soon-coming DC-10
34 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : And 3 more: Douglas C-124 Globemaster II (448 built). Blackburn Beverley (49 built). Saunders-Roe Princess flying boat (3 built, only one flew before
35 SchorschNG : The B747 was originally intended as double-deck single aisle. PAN-AM chief Juan Trippe was reportedly a fan of the double-deck layout. This design was
36 Post contains links and images Aesma : I found a VC-10 triple deck, or rather, triple fuselage !
37 Post contains links rampart : I found your source for this http://www.vectorsite.net/avvc10.html, but have seen it elsewhere, too, though can't remember where. There might also hav
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