I was on board an RAF VC-10 overnighting at Calgary airport 2 days ago, and on crewing in the next morning we were appraoched by a Canadian CRJ pilot on the ramp who asked what sort of plane it was that we were preparing. He commented that he'd never seen anything of it's sort.
Now I know that it's getting on a bit and not widely flown any more, (It's done 40 years RAF service next year) but I really am surprised that a pilot didn't recognise it. Is the VC-10 really that rare these days, and has it faded from memory so quickly?
Also I'm informed by another crew member that it is still one of the quickest passenger jets flying in the world today, is that anywhere near true? I'd find it surprising.
ZE701 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4893 times:
Thanks GDB. I didn't know it had such a poor sales record, but come to think of it I can only remember seeing in person the BA ones from time to time back in my youth at Ringway. And I'm only 33 by the way!
It's a good point you make about its' tanker career, (also many trooper flights flown) so I'm just very surprised the Canuck pilot didn't recognise it.
The RAF is planning around 7-8 more years of service for the old girls yet until the Future Tanker thing is up and running. I guess after that there will be no more left flying.
The troops that we carry won't mind though, compared to the Tristars the Vicky is hopelessly cramped to fly in! I'll stick to my Bae 146 thank you, less graceful from the outside but a sight more comfortable on the inside!
VC10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1468 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4879 times:
I do not know what the VC-10 is like with the RAF, but she could still cruise along and probably overtake many of to days airliners
The standard VC-10 cruise speed was Mach 0.84
Whilst the super cruise speed was Mach 0.84 or Mach 0.86
A great airliner which entered service with BOAC in 1964 for the standards and a little later for the super which was the first airliner that I did an Auto-land on, although the old girl was never cleared to do them in bad weather.
The following web site might be of interest to you
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13605 posts, RR: 76
Reply 10, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4700 times:
Not sure if IL-62 was an intentional copy, they were both designed for use in restricted fields, VC-10 on BOAC's 'Commonwealth' routes in places like Africa, the IL-62 for austere fields in deepest Russia.
So a similar design for a longer range jet would be expected.
There was some espionage with Concorde/TU-144, but again, the Russians were looking for a broadly similar requirement, so spying was 'around the edges' rather than a full on attempt to reverse engineer.
Not sure how IL-62 compared with VC-10, the IL-62 had a much longer production life allowing for improvements.
I have heard at least at first, the Il-62 compared unfavourably with VC-10, but clearly not to the extent of TU-144/Concorde, where the 'copy' did not perform anything like as advertised, to the extend it was not a practical airliner.
Which you cannot say about IL-62.
(To me, TU-144 was more like the abortive Russian attempt to match the US Apollo programme, both started late for pure political reasons, with a smaller budget and really without the technology to make it work, though I doubt Tupolev had the horrendous in fighting the USSR Lunar project had. They just had artificial timelines meaning short cuts to try and circumvent technology gaps).
I was surprised however that the USSR went with a IL-76 based platform for their tanker, rather than IL-62.
Irish251 From Ireland, joined Nov 2004, 1085 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4663 times:
With regard to the original post, remember that pilots' principal job is to fly their own aircraft, not to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of other types. That is the enthusiasts' job! I suspect that most will just about know the main dozen or so types they encounter on a daily basis and would not be au fait with the many subtypes of Airbus or Boeing unless the particular type features in their own company fleet. How often is any individual pilot in North America likely to have come across a VC10 in his/her travels? Not many, I would suggest, particularly if they are in the early years of their career.
The truth is that, outside the UK, and given that it is now only in military service, the VC10 is probably not well-known.
Scintx From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 270 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4471 times:
The only VC-10 that I saw was a RAF back in 1999-2000 in Albuquerque. I landed in ABQ and saw it sitting at the AFB. I had a several hours before my next flight and was there when it took off. What a great site to see. I agree this is a beautiful aircraft. I tried to get a few people near me to check it out as it took off and they basically did not care. I'm just thankful I got to see one in operation.
Attention All Planets of the Solar Federation....We have assumed control.....We have assumed control......
Sovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2734 posts, RR: 15
Reply 18, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4442 times:
The Il-62 wasn't a copy of the VC-10. The Il-62 was developed to replace the Tu-114. When Ilyushin sat down to build it they got a direct order/wish from ruler of USSR Krushchev for the plane to be a T-tail because he had really loved his recent experience in a Caravelle. Also, pylons for engine mounts weren't developed at all except on an Il-22 prototype that was abandoned. The basic Il-62 could be said that it wasn't technologically new at all. It doesn't have hydraulic boosters. It sometimes had to rely on a 3500kg water weight in the front of the plane so that it's center of gravity is acceptable. The main gear was purposely put in front of the center of gravity to make the tail a smaller size which then required the famous "fourth gear". The basic Il-62 also had no slats and one-slotted flaps(for lack of a better term). Anyway the only thing that the Il-62 did have at the time that was probably better than the VC-10 was the wing(not wing mechanization). The leading edge had a unique "break" which helped increase elevator efficiency, served partly as slats, and made it almost impossible for the plane to go into the dangerous T-tail condition known as deep stall. Basic Il-62 had 4 NK-8 engines and a range of 7000km. NK-8s have a bypass ratio of 1.24 and 103kN of thrust each and fuel flow of about 0.78lb/lb-h at cruise power. The VC-10 meanwhile was more technologically advanced than the Il-62. It had hydraulic boosters, no 4th gear, double-slotted flaps, and autopilot. The Conways were a little better in fuel economy than the NK-8s. Conways have a bypass ratio of 0.3 and 74.5 kN of thrust 0.735 lb/lb-h fuel flow. But the VC-10 flew 8100km, about 1000 more than the Il-62. They both had thrust reversers. The Il-62 was built more like a tank to suit the underdeveloped Soviet airfields and the VC-10 was made so it can serve "hot and high" destinations although the Il-62 could do that too. The VC-10 also had a faster cruising speed. The IL-62M was then developed to improve Il-62 performance. D-30KUs were installed which were far better than Conways. They have a bypass ratio of 2.42 and make 108kN of thrust. Fuel flow is 0.70 lb/lb-h. Also their reversers could now be deployed in flight. New navigation equipment was fitted, autopilot, and double-slotted flaps. No hydraulic boosters. To this day every Il-62 flying is flown manually without hydraulic boost. The Il-62M had a bigger range now extended to 8800km. The Il-62M is equal if not better than the VC-10 but the basic Il-62 wasn't that great and 1-2 of the basic ones are(I think) still flying today. The Super VC-10 was just a stretch and range actually dropped to 7600km on the Super 10. Both planes seated the same number of passengers. Anyway in short the basic Il-62 was inferior to the VC-10 but the Il-62M went ahead of it and currently still makes a profit so it isn't too bad at all. Both are great airliners IMO.
Vc10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1468 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4411 times:
What a good and informative reply and I have one question for you , did IL-62 have a movable tailplane.
When I was crew on the VC-10 back in the late 60s and early 70s I visited an IL-62 at Delhi and I have to say compared to the VC-10 the IL-62 flight deck was like stepping back a generation in flight deck instrumentation.
You are correct that the super VC-10 was a stretch, but it also had a slightly redesigned wing, a fuel tank in the fin, and an autopilot that was designed to do auto-lands, which the aircraft could do but it was never cleared to do them in weather limiting conditions.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13605 posts, RR: 76
Reply 20, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4383 times:
Yes, thanks Sovietjet, I suppose it is tempting, or was during the Cold War at least, to view Russian types as 'copies', rather than what they were, designed for specific Aeroflot needs.
I also remember seeing plenty of IL-62's at LHR, sadly born too late to see a TU-114 (quite the most remarkable big turboprop airliner ever built-the largest?)
The first photo is a Il-62M, the second is just Il-62.
Quoting GDB (Reply 20): Yes, thanks Sovietjet, I suppose it is tempting, or was during the Cold War at least, to view Russian types as 'copies', rather than what they were, designed for specific Aeroflot needs.
Of course, but if one were to go that route, what makes the B-727/Trident not copies? Or the DC-9/BAC-111. It can go either way, which is why the Soviet copies theory isn't true. A little espionage was there possibly on the Tu-144 but that was because the world was competing for the first SST. Sure, the Soviets flew it first but it was rushed and that's why it was inferior to the Concorde.