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How Much Longer Do The RAF VC10s Have?  
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4599 posts, RR: 24
Posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4165 times:

I was just wondering how much longer the RAF VC10s have to go in service.

I know they have C. Mk.1K, K. Mk.3 and K. Mk.4 aircraft in service.

They've been pulling the Mk.4s out of service and scrapping them - which puzzles me since they were the last ones converted.

Anyway, I know there is a number of years remaining until the new tankers enter UK service, so what is the plan for the 10s? Are more scheduled to be withdrawn?

What's the biggest issue with the aircraft at the moment? Spares? Age? Fatigue?


I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
6 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineACW367 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4142 times:



Quoting ClassicLover (Thread starter):
What's the biggest issue with the aircraft at the moment? Spares? Age? Fatigue?

Delay in procuring the replacement aircraft  duck 

The fleet is currently scheduled to start being replaced by FSTA in 2011 with and Out of Service date currently planned for 2014


http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wms/?i...=2008-03-31a.31WS.3&s=VC10#g31WS.4

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/...2out+of+service+date%22#g176842.r0


User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4599 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3933 times:



Quoting ACW367 (Reply 1):
The fleet is currently scheduled to start being replaced by FSTA in 2011 with and Out of Service date currently planned for 2014

Excellent, still plenty of years left!

Are there any issues that are troubling the current fleet of 10s that need addressing / are being addressed?



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineJackonicko From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 472 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3886 times:

The Conway is becoming increasingly difficult to support.

Every VC 10 retired and scrapped provides four more spare engines!

As with the K.Mk 2s, the K.Mk 4s are being withdrawn not because they are the most 'knackered' but because they are due Major servicing, and by scrapping the aircraft the cost of the majors can be saved, and the embarrassment of not having enough tracks (following the closure of St Athan) can be avoided.

The premature demise of the K2 was regretted - as it was arguably the most capable tanker variant. The K4, by contrast, with two underwing HDUs only, no centreline HDU, no fuselage tanks and no cargo door has always been the 'also ran' 'makeweight' in the fleet - the least capable version.

The VC 10 has been a magnificent aircraft, and remains an impressive performer, but the poor old thing is past its prime, and is increasingly difficult and expensive to support. There was dismay and dire prophecies when it was announced that the VC10 would have to serve until 2009........


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13045 posts, RR: 78
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3806 times:

A great aircraft, it is a shame, I think, that the proposal to re-engine the RAF fleet with 4 x V2500 engines from the early 1990's, was not taken up.
Solving the Conway support issue, increasing performance all round, saving fuel, making it more acceptable for civilian airfield tasking, making the K.4's more useful.
No doubt the reason given then, was that the fleet did not have enough service life left to justify it, if only they knew.....


User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4599 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 3730 times:

Thanks for the comments!

Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 3):
and the embarrassment of not having enough tracks (following the closure of St Athan) can be avoided.

I don't understand unfortunately... "not enough tracks" ? ...

Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 3):
As with the K.Mk 2s, the K.Mk 4s are being withdrawn not because they are the most 'knackered' but because they are due Major servicing, and by scrapping the aircraft the cost of the majors can be saved

That seems somewhat short sighted to me. I mean, they've known for a while now that the 10s are expected to be in service through to 2014, so surely a few of them should have been kept in service?

Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 3):
The premature demise of the K2 was regretted - as it was arguably the most capable tanker variant.

I wasn't aware of this, though it makes a lot of sense considering they were first to be converted and got the entire kit for the tanker role.

Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 3):
The VC 10 has been a magnificent aircraft, and remains an impressive performer, but the poor old thing is past its prime, and is increasingly difficult and expensive to support.

Understandably.

Quoting GDB (Reply 4):
A great aircraft, it is a shame, I think, that the proposal to re-engine the RAF fleet with 4 x V2500 engines from the early 1990's, was not taken up.

Wasn't some of the issue the fact that they were worried about cutting up the aircraft to fit the new engines? From what I understand the frame supporting the 4 Conways is actually part of the airframe itself? I could be wrong...



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineJackonicko From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 472 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 3680 times:

VC10 maintenance is done on 'tracks' at Brize (and previously at St Athan). The closure of St Athan has led to a reduced capacity to simultaneously do engineering work on the mighty Funbus.

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