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Why The VC10 Never Made A Good Cargo Jet?  
User currently online747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3505 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4134 times:

When I look at the VC10, I wonder why it was not successful in the cargo world. VC10s are near the size of a DC8s, but has an short field performose like 727s. I would cargo company back in the 80's and 90's would have love them.

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5678 posts, RR: 45
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4115 times:
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Without getting into specifics of performance load carrying etc.
I would say the biggest reason was that there were so few of them, a total of 54 aircraft and of those at one time 26 were in RAF service. The remaining fleet hardly had the economies of sscale to be of value to anyone.

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User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24906 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4108 times:



Quoting StealthZ (Reply 1):
I would say the biggest reason was that there were so few of them

Of the 40 VC-10s and Super VC-10s that went into airline service, 24 were purchased by the RAF for conversion to tankers and for spare parts to support the RAF's original 14 VC-10s delivered new. And 7 other airline aircraft were written off in accidents or terrorist incidents. There just weren't enough for a freighter conversion program to make economic sense.


User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2543 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3961 times:

If the RAF VC10 C.Mk.1 transports had come on the market in the 80s or 90s I'm sure they would have been snapped up by cargo operators. They already have a cargo door, etc. They also had Super VC10 engines on a Standard VC10 airframe. Payload v. range would have been good, I suspect.

At the time of the VC10 tanker conversions, the C.Mk.1 transports had very low life airframes. They have been used much more intensively since then as tankers themselves so sadly this will mostly have been used up.

Wonderful aircraft, the VC10.  spin 



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3933 times:

Several versions where suggested, one with Globemaster loading ramp,but as the aviation world was dominated by USA and USSR back then few bought VC-10s despite being a good design.

User currently offlineIrish251 From Ireland, joined Nov 2004, 964 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3773 times:



Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 3):
If the RAF VC10 C.Mk.1 transports had come on the market in the 80s or 90s I'm sure they would have been snapped up by cargo operators. They already have a cargo door, etc. They also had Super VC10 engines on a Standard VC10 airframe. Payload v. range would have been good, I suspect.

Much as I like the VC10, I wonder if its economics would have acceptable. It is a stoutly-built aircraft but this means that it is heavy for its size. The RR Conways are also very noisy and have never been the subject of a hush-kit programme. There might also have been some modifications required for civilian certification, as I'm sure the military machines differed in some respects from the civil VC10s. All in all, you might have seen a similar situation to what happened to the RAF Britannia fleet - low-time aircraft in great condition but most of which went on to have short civilian lives (and of course some were broken up without ever flying again).


User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 3640 times:



Quoting Irish251 (Reply 5):
Much as I like the VC10, I wonder if its economics would have acceptable. It is a stoutly-built aircraft but this means that it is heavy for its size.

Somewhere around 1982 I saw a FI article which claimed that the VC-10 was so well protected against corrosion that it turned out not to cost any more than a 707 to operate in the long run when maintenance was taken into account. I'll breathe a sigh for what might have been.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13170 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3427 times:



Quoting Areopagus (Reply 6):
Somewhere around 1982 I saw a FI article which claimed that the VC-10 was so well protected against corrosion that it turned out not to cost any more than a 707 to operate in the long run when maintenance was taken into account. I'll breathe a sigh for what might have been.

BOAC, who after all wrote the spec for the VC.10, then had second thoughts, started circulating, (including to Boeing), data suggesting the VC-10 was significantely more expensive than the 707.
The later 707's were better in fuel consumption, (after all, it had much more development from a much bigger production base and a much bigger and better capitalised company).
But in other respects, the VC-10 was a match.

Just as BOAC were doing the dirty on BAC, they started to find that the VC-10 had unprecedented pax appeal. Pax were chosing BOAC in many cases to fly on the VC-10.
The rear mounted engines gave a lower cabin noise, it was seen as smoother.
This appeal would still continue to a degree, into the wide body era.

This is how UK industry managed itself in the 60's, a state airline specified a type for BAC to build.
Then they reduced thier order, then smeared the type, all the while taking tax £.
From the same pot of tax £ that helped to build the VC-10!
A government minister responsible for promoting trade, was understandably angered and bewildered by all this.
Since he found himself how some prospective VC-10 customers were put off by BOAC's actions.

Some civil VC-10's were fitted with a cargo door, but when 13 Super VC-10 were cancelled by BOAC, these included 5 airframes with cargo doors.

BAC did propose a cargo VC-10 in the 60's, with a swing nose for cargo loading directly into the fuselage.


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