Ilovenz
Topic Author
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:49 am

VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:50 pm

I was inspired by the 737-100 question to ask whether any Vickers VC-10s are still flying. I know some fly as refeuling aircraft for the RAF (?), but as far as civil operators?
 
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jetjack74
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:07 pm

No, the RAF took almost all in the late 70's. Some were for parts, most others were for tanker conversion.
Made from jets!
 
crownvic
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:29 pm

Don't know where you live, but if you want to see and hear a Stage I airliner takeoff, schedule a trip to Vegas during the military Red Flag exercises that occur about 3 times per year at Nellis. The VC-10's frequently operate from LAS during this period and mix in nicely with today's boring stuff.
 
Amy
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:44 pm

No civil operators would be able to operate them due to the noise. I have seen (or heard) RAF VC-10s in action around Brize Norton and the noise is in another league from modern jets.

Its possible they may still be around in areas of the world with less stringent noise regulations?
A340-300 - slow, but awesome!
 
eilennaei
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:58 pm

Sheduled for retirement from RAF around 2010 or so. (Historically it seems you can never be quite sure when it comes to UK government hardware policies.) With a real legacy engine, one of the few, perhaps the only one survivor of the first generation turbofans, RR Conway.
 
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ClassicLover
Posts: 3980
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:23 pm

Gorgeous aircraft, one of my favourites of all time. Still working out how to con my way onto a flight in one when I'm living over there later this year.

Trent.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
duke
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:35 pm

Absolutely no civil operators anywhere. Of the only 54 built, some 19 remain in airworthy condition, all with the RAF. There aren't even any in storage with civil operators, only some museum examples etc.
 
Rj111
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:42 pm

I saw one fly over my house (N.London) about a year ago. It was flying very low and was part of a convoy.....made an incredible noise.....good stuff!  Big thumbs up
 
Type-Rated
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:46 pm

I never knew that such a small number of these aircraft were ever produced.
Why wasn't this a/c a better seller?


edited: grammar fixup

[Edited 2005-02-17 15:55:51]
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
Type-Rated
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:52 pm

The pictures say it all!


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Photo © Jean-Pierre Bonin
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Photo © Art Brett




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Photo © Jeremy Paul Lister




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Photo © Lee Cheng
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Photo © John F. Ciesla



[Edited 2005-02-17 16:02:26]
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
Spike
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 12:10 am

That is just such a mad aircraft. Very pleased to have flown on it BOAC and BA from Lusaka to London. One time non-stop too which I thought was impressive (9.5 hours) at the time (being 7 and all). Also flew OK on an IL-62 from Heathrow - Prague - Bombay. Also sat beside the engines. Why did airbus or boeing not go for the four rear mounted plants? It was an amazing aircraft.
 
ORDagent
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:36 am

The VC-10 was, like many U.K. aircraft, too closely tailored to the U.K. carriers. It was specifically designed for the "empire" routes to Africa, India etc. The aircraft was overpowered in order to be able to use the shorter runways of that era. However the airports around the world upgraded runways etc to handle the 707. The basic VC-10 had too short a range for most of the international carriers. The Super VC-10 addressed some of the issues by improving operating economics and range. However it was still a comparative fuel guzzler against the DC-8 / 707. When the fuel crisis of the early '70s hit the operators dumped the aircraft based on it's comparatively poor economics.

It's a pitty more weren't built. Being a beautiful Object unfortunately doesn't ensure sales or a long service life.

 
DC3CV3407AC727
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:46 am

grew up with VC-10s overhead near JFK,(BOAC,BA,and Caledonian), saw one take off out of Las last year when we were on short final, it was lovely, those curved wings,that butterfly tail,great gouts of smoke streaming from all 4 conways,and a stage 1 roar so loud we could hear it in our cockpit over the clatter of our own JT8d-17s !
the rumble of round engines is like music to me,likewise the thunder of thr JT8D
 
jaysit
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:14 am

The best livery of all times on one of the best looking airplanes !

BOAC VC-10s were fantastic looking airplanes from virtually any angle.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
bennett123
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:56 am

I have only ever flown in the RAF version.

A beautiful plane with steam gauges, but rather noisy.

Also bear in mind that it has less seats than the B727-200 or the larger B737's.

A very specialist aircraft, (like the BAE 146) which is fine if the niche exists, but very vulnerable.
 
N1120A
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:23 am

>Why did airbus or boeing not go for the four rear mounted plants?<

It does not work with twin aisle aircraft. The fusealge is too wide and the size of the engines does not jive.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
VC10BOAC
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:54 am

I just had to contribute to this thread given my username!

First time I ever flew was on a BOAC VC-10, pity I was too young to remember the flight.
 
GDB
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:12 am

ORDAgent has it right, VC-10 was tailored for BOAC, who ordered 15 Standards and 30 Supers.
Then decided they were not so keen, reducing to 12 Standards and 17 Supers.
They went further, passing assessments, which turned out to be exaggerated, of VC-10's poor economics, to prospective VC-10 customers.

Welcome to the world of UK corporate practice as it was, a state aided carrier dumping on a partly state funded aircraft, built to their spec.
Then going begging for yet more handouts!

It is true that VC-10 suffered later from stunted engine development, compared to the engines on DC-8/707, originally big improvements in the Conway were to lead to a Super VC-10 seating up to 212, but lack of BOAC interest led to the reduced Super that was built.
So a chance to beat the DC-8-60 series into production, with a matching product, was lost.

The ironies carried on, BOAC soon found the VC-10 to have massive pax appeal, it might seem noisy on the outside now, but the cabin's lack of noise and smoothness was soon a BOAC marketing tool, this appeal lasted well into the widebody age.
BA were to phase the last Supers out in 1983, however the early 80's recession brought it forward to March 1981.

In the mid 60's, the RAF got 14 C.1 aircraft, with Standard fuselage, Super wing and engines, an APU, cargo door and handling equipment, refueling receiver probe and more.
Most are still around today, since the mid 90's they've had refueling drogues on the wings for a tanker role, as the VIP role has largely gone, except when extra security is needed.
9 ex airline Standards and Supers (Supers being ex East African Airways who brought new ones in 1967-70), were converted to 3 point tankers, 5 of the 14 stored ex BA Supers were converted in the early 90's.

A few years ago, it was thought the VC-10's would go around 1999, as it's turned out they go about a decade later, had this been known in the late 80's a plan to re-engine with 4 x V2500 engines might have been approved after all.
Eventually A330's will replace them and the RAF Tristars.

Loved by pax and flight crews, even the engineers loved them, many of my colleagues in BA Concorde were ex VC-10, some going back to building them at BAC, in 1998 I asked one what was the best part of his holiday to the US East Coast, he replied hearing the noise of the Conway engines before seeing a RAF VC-10 taxi past his aircraft.

With the RAF a busy force, no doubt the VC-10 will be supporting UK and Allied forces all over the world right until the end, they provided a big chunk of USN/USMC refueling in the late 2001 Afghanistan campaign.

One rear mounted wide body was mooted, in the late 60's BAC wanted to build the BAC 3-11, imagine an A300 sized BAC 1-11 on steroids, with twin RB.207 engines, neither the engine or aircraft was built.

Before that, around 1966, BAC pushed a twin deck VC-10, seating up to 284, further Conway improvements, or better yet, if they could wait a bit, the planned 30,000lb high bypass RB.178, to provide power, 4 engines still in both cases.
Guess who wasn't interested?



 
GDB
Posts: 12679
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:35 am

Love the VC-10 or just want to know more?
This is a great tribute to the best looking subsonic jet-liner ever built (and it was built like a brick outhouse, with a very spacious flightdeck referred to as a 'gentleman's office);
http://www.vc10.net/
 
Orion737
Posts: 3044
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RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 5:17 am

The fact that VC10s are still operating with the RAF today is proof of the excellence of this aircraft and like the 1-11, its longevity.

It was such a shame BA retired their VC10s so prematurley as they did with the Trident. Truth be known, BA never wanted to support or operate British aircraft, it was the goverment that made them and they replaced them with Boeings at the earliest opportunities. Shame!
 
JamieD
Posts: 597
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2002 8:38 pm

RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 5:54 am

It seems like I'm quite lukcy here, we get them flying over at about 20,000ft at least 3 times a week, must be from Brize Norton?
 
nwacrew
Posts: 305
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 12:06 pm

RE: VC-10, Any Still Flying?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:59 am

You young'ns don't know what you missed! The VC10 was a spectacular aircraft! I feel very fortunate to have flown aboard them when traveling BOAC and East African Airways in the 1970's. The Caravelle is perhaps the only other airliner as perfectly proportioned as the beautiful VC10.

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