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stirling
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sat Aug 07, 2004 10:54 am

Tonight on an episode of "The Saint" on the BBCAmerica channel, The Saint, Roger Moore appears to arrive in Amsterdam on a BOAC VC10, standard. I guess this would be mid-60's by the fact Moore's character drives a '66 American Chevrolet Impala.

Would this been possible in the real world?
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Type-Rated
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sat Aug 07, 2004 12:46 pm

Yes, BOAC did operate the VC-10 in the mid to late 1960's. They used to run a VC-10, ORD-YUL-LHR 1966-1970. They sometimes substituted a RR 707, but mostly it was a VC-10. I always wanted to fly on one of those, and never had the opportunity. In that livery, one of the best looking aircraft ever!!


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BTW, note the nice shot of Terminal 5 in the backround on the middle pic.
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Gemuser
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sat Aug 07, 2004 6:59 pm

True, but BOAC did not, ever, operate regular services into AMS. That would have been opeated by BEA, who did not have VC10's.


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Crosswind
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sat Aug 07, 2004 7:16 pm

Many of BOAC's routes of the era, as with most other airlines, were multi-stop services. For example Sabena operated Brussels-Manchester-JFK with the 707, and the first stop on BOAC's Heathrow-Sydney route was Zurich.

I'm sure BOAC VC-10s would have been regular visitors to Amsterdam, en-route to Asian or African destinations.

Regards
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carduelis
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sat Aug 07, 2004 7:36 pm

Yes, AMS was a BEA route, but the VC10 was used on that routing for a while towards the end of the VC10's life in BOAC! It was not used en route via AMS.

The VC10 was built for BOAC and started operating in 1964 as the 'Standard' version, the following year saw the start of a fleet of the 'Super' version, with a longer range.

The stories relating to this magnificent aircraft are wide and varied, and we could go on all day talking about it, but it suffered by being part of a nationalised airline!


Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
gearup
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sat Aug 07, 2004 9:55 pm

Carduelis,

The stories relating to this magnificent aircraft are wide and varied, and we could go on all day talking about it, but it suffered by being part of a nationalised airline!

If you care to share a few, that would be great. IMHO The super VC10 is the most elegant subsonic airliner ever built and it looks especially good in BOAC livery.

GU
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dtwclipper
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sat Aug 07, 2004 10:00 pm

I remember seeing them at DTW, I believe the flew DTW-YUL-LHR.
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ATAflyer
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sat Aug 07, 2004 11:04 pm

The VC-10 is IMHO one of the most beautiful passenger planes ever. I never got to fly on one but I do want to go to Ducksford UK sometime and see the museum there. Those 4 jet engines in the tail...wow!
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mariner
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 12:22 am

They had a great advertising campaign for it. Obviously, because of the rear mounted engines, the aircraft was very quiet for passengers.

So they came up with this:

"Try a little VC Ten-derness."

cheers

mariner
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trident3
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 12:46 am

ATA flyer : there are 3 preserved VC10s that I know of in the UK ,all of which that are in collections worth visiting
A standard in BA colours at Cosford
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The afformentioned Super at Duxford
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The Omani standard at Brooklands
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Mariner: I have an old BOAC VC10 poster on my wall that uses the slogan BOAC cares...... .....about going places, quietly
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dutchjet
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 1:48 am

The VC10 - what a beautiful airliner.

 
N6801
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 5:54 am

This picture is amazing ...


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... as is the caption!
 
BOAC
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 6:33 am

I have just checked in a July - Oct 1971 BOAC timetable and the VC10 did not (at that time) operate through AMS. The routes through AMS were operated by 707's.

For those UK members, you may be interested to know that Norman Tebbit (of "get on your bikle" fame), was a former BOAC VC10 pilot and when I volunteered at Duxford, I suggested we get the Spitting Image puppet of Norman Tebbit (one of the Spitting Image founding duo lives(d) in Duxford area) for the flight deck. Unfortunately the idea was "frowned upon" by the powers that be!!

Carduelis, to say that the VC10 "suffered by being part of a nationalised airline!" is a little unfair. It would never have existed otherwise. It was designed and built specifically for BOAC to their specification for a high altitude, warm climate, short runway situation, which is why its routes were primarily Africa and Asia.

It's downfall was the 1970's fuel crisis and the "gas-guzzelling" engines it had. But as has been said, particularly in BOAC livery - the most beuatiful aircraft.

 
carduelis
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 9:26 am

I was Senior Timetables Officer when BEA and BOAC merged in 1974, and have no recollection of any BEA or BOAC flight that actually transitted AMS - they were all terminators. As mentioned, the VC10 did operate some AMS trips, but only at the end of it's working life in BA.

As you say, the VC10 was built specially for BOAC, but failed to meet some of the specifications, one of which was BA's 'wish' for it to operate non-stop to the West Coast.

There was always the vexed question on whether BOAC was to be used to promote British aircraft industry products, or whether to operate on a commercial basis. We've heard of many British aircraft that BA used to promote the GB aircraft industry, and I don't need to mention them here.

BOAC ordered 12 of the Standard versions, which were to be used on routes with hot climates, and for 30 Supers. After a lot of deliberation, BOAC decided to reduce the order keeping the 12 Standards, but the Supers were reduced to only 17, with 10 remaining 'in suspense' and the remaining three going to the RAF.

Long story short, BAE didn't like this, and were rather slow in producing sufficient spares for downroute operations. so much so, that the Supers were initially restricted to mainly New York until sufficient spares were in place elsewhere.

When eventually they were operating as required they proved immensely popular, with passengers requesting to change form 707s to VC10s when they were operating the same routes.

Rather than particularly fuel, which affected all aircraft (including BA's 707 Conway engines - the same as the VC10) I feel their demise was the impending arrival of the 747, and later the fuel crisis of 1974.

As an aside, I only remember flying on the VC10 a couple of times, one in particular on 8 September 1965, flying on G-ARVE.

I was part of a round the world 707 crew at the time, and we were laying-over with other crews in the BOAC Rest House in Karachi. Whilst we were there, the Indians and Pakistanis decided to have a 'war' which meant no commercial flights operating. Bombs were being dropped, but fortunately missed us located within walking distance of the airport! We had a briefing each night in the Captain's room to give us an update on the situation. On our last such meeting, we were told something in strict secrecy in that BOAC were going to evacuate us by flying in a VC10 from Bahrain the next morning with enough fuel for the round trip, before whisking us back to London. We had to pack our bags and get them on to a truck to be taken overnight to the airport. At the crack of dawn 42 crew members made their way to the airport and dashed straight out to the arriving VC10, and boarded without any check-in, to the cocophony of Air Raid sirens! The whole operation was over in no time, and we were on our way before anybody could stop us!

Looking in my logbook, after re-fuelling in Bahrain we then called at Baghdad, and Beirut, before making for London. On the Beirut - Heathrow sector, my logbook shows the VC10 Captain being Norman Tebbit, later Lord Tebbit! We missed our Round the World trip, but had quite an adventure! Above all, there were never so many passengers so pleased to see and board a BOAC VC10!

Thanks, Guys!


Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
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eksath
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:00 am

Well..the VC -10 has a special meaning for me as that was the first plane I ever flew in!

Even though the VC-10's commercial service days are over, it is absolutely great to see it in RAF service. A few weeks ago, i was incredibly lucky to "shoot" XV-105 (production # 835) in Ft.Lauderdale. I was not expecting it and she made quite a stir among the ramp rats,too.I also saw people in the viewing park walk to the fence to take a closer look as she made her way to 9L.

here is the shot:


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still the BOAC colors were the best.....
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mconway
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:50 am

 
iflyatldl
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 12:23 pm

As a kid, I used to see the VC10 at BOS, JFK, LAX and YUL and always wanted to fly on one, but sadly never got the chance and when I finally flew BOAC for the fist time, it was the 747. It was and still is a very cool a/c. VC10 ROCKS! Big grin Too bad BOAC couldn't "Take Very Good Care of MEA Middle East Airlines (Lebanon)">ME" to LHR on one of those.  Big grin
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mariner
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 12:43 pm

For those who don't know about it, this site is full of VC 10 stuff:

http://www.vc10.net/index.html

cheers

mariner

aeternum nauta
 
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yyz717
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 1:57 pm

For some reason, BOAC never (to my knowledge) scheduled VC-10's into YYZ. All we ever saw was the 707 from 68-71, except for the odd rare VC-10 sub.
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scotron11
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 2:42 pm

My first trip to NYC was on a VC-10 back in 1972 (return was on PA 747). My second trip was in 1974 same routing connecting w/TWA to LAX. Great plane!
 
SVC10
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 4:14 pm

The BOAC Vickers VC-10 was fantastic and superbly designed! I first flew her in 1965 from Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (Now Harare, Zimbabwe) to NBO. My last flight on that aircraft was in 1980 from LHR to DAR.In between, many trips in the Standard from NBO to LHR (with refueling stops at FCO or FRA) and on to JFK and BOS (non-stop, of course, on the Super.) I preferred the slightly smaller Standard whose uneconomical but exciting take-off acceleration from a sea-level airport was truly awesome. When an "in flight movie" and individual earphones with music choices were introduced to the industry in the latter 1960s, BOAC installed it in it's 707s but did not in the VC-10. As passenger demand increased BOAC claimed that it was not technically possible in the VC-10. Many of us thought it was just "Mother England" knowing best, thinking folks should read, sleep, and meditate when they flew. Maybe mom was right.

At any rate, the VC-10s lateness in coming to market and the introduction of the 747 were two of a number of reasons why it didn't flourish as it should. Remember that the first BOAC 747s in the early 1970's consisted of 24 first class seats and the remainder of the aircraft in a 2-4-2 economy configuration (like BA's premier economy today), good pitch, a feature movie and individual headsets, AND Yardley toiletries in every lavatory!In my opinion the BOAC original 747 economy class was as good as it ever got for budget travelers. I admit I pretty much abandoned the VC-10 then. I must pay my respects soon at Duxbury and apologize to the old girl!
 
carduelis
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:32 pm

YYZ717

As you mentioned it - I had a look at the first British Airways timetable that I produced in 1974. Would you believe it shows a VC10 flight BA 619 and a BA621 LHRPIKYYZ. There was also a PIKYYZPIK! Interesting to note all the various types on the Canadian services in those days. With the AC schedules there were 747, DC8, VC10, and 707. The 707 was operated in an all Economy configuration at that time! According to the timetable the VC10 schedules finished on various dates in September 1974 - it may have just been because of a summer schedule - they MAY have returned later on . . . !


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JGPH1A
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:42 pm

The VC-10 is a truly beautiful aircraft - I wish I could have had the chance to fly on one. BA used to operate them on their JNB-SEZ-CMB-HKG-NRT service, up till the early 80's, every Friday, so I'd see them there. Air Malawi had a VC-10 as well that operated JNB-BLZ(later LLW) until the early 80's as well. The noise those things made taking off - incredible !
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carduelis
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Sun Aug 08, 2004 8:25 pm

Having got out my first British Airways timetable from the 'archives' I couldn't resist showing this advertisement. I was a lot younger those days and had my tongue more in my cheek, so I got the BA advertising agency to produce the following. I received no complaints from above!




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stirling
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:48 am

Carduelis-

GREAT STORY!

BOAC-

Thanks for confirming with fact.

So at it's height, other than the 'hot-n-high' African destinations, what other airports saw regular visits by the world's most beautiful "JET" aircraft?

Iflyatldl-

The VC10 you would see at LAX, what was it's routing? Could it have made it from LHR nonstop?
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scotron11
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B O A C in the mid-60's

Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:18 am

B.O.A.C. did have a routing LHR-JFK-LAX-NAN-AKL-SYD in the early 70's that was served by the VC-10. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
David_itl
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Mon Aug 09, 2004 7:01 am


The last VC10 service from MAN was a YYZ service: 30th April 1980 on the BA81 (via PIK) on G-ASGA.

David
 
f4f3a
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Mon Aug 09, 2004 7:20 am

The vc10 was one of the most classic airliners built. But like so many of the British ariliners built in that period its success was limited because of specific operating requirements. It was designed with operating to high level airfields on african routes. Performance was key not so much economics.
Although it was always much quiter inside the cabin than the 707 and many people would fly on boac only if the vc10 was operating it. As was said earlier with the fuel crisis the thirsty vc10 became expensive to run although it continued to serve 'British' until the late 70's.' Some of the former BOAC a/c can still be seen flying with the RAF i saw one not long ago at Brize. What a wonderful sound and sight.

On another side of the topic does anyone know where you can get a BA or BOAC vc10 or ba vc10 for reasonable money?
 
rongotai
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:00 am

My first flight in a pure jet was a VC10 MAN-PWK-JFK in 1967, and I also flew NAN-HNL-SFO-JFK-LHR in one in 1969, although the timetable had led me to expect a 707.

I absolutely agree that passenger appeal was extraordinary. Without doubt the best long haul flight I ever had. No engine noise and leg room that one can only dream abput. It is only with the advent of business Class beds that I can begin to say that I have had journeys that matched those VC10 trips. But even then, the food has NEVER been matched since! I have the elegantly printed menus for those trips.

As an aside, my return trip in 1969 was with QF, and I have a set of beautiful menus with "QANTAS- 10 years of pure jet service across the Pacific 1959-1969' on the cover.
 
Stretch 8
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:17 am

My first trip overseas was via the magnificient VC-10, a BOAC flight from DTW to LHR (stop both ways in Boston). I was with my dad, and it was 1969. I will never forget how excited I was, and how elegant and superb everything about the BOAC experience was. It was even better when, in 1972, we made another trip, this time on the BOAC 747 (my first 747 flight). My dad had us ugraded to first, aand I vividly recall hanging out in the upper deck lounge, drinking cokes all night long. I was wired by the time we arrived at LHR!
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coronado
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:37 am

What about BCal British Caledonian when they operated the South American Rotes.and their operation of the VC10. I don't know if their were regularly scheduled between London and Rio GIG or I was lucky to fly on one standing in for a DC10 but I did fly one in early 1974 and it was a wonderful quiet flight
The Original Coronado: First CV jet flights RG CV 990 July 1965; DL CV 880 July 1965; Spantax CV990 Feb 1973
 
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RayChuang
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:09 pm

In my humble opinion, the Super VC-10 in BOAC livery is probably the most beautiful aircraft ever seen.  Big thumbs up

My late mother flew the VC-10 from LHR to JFK in First Class in 1967 and loved every second of that flight--great service, great food, etc.
 
odafz
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:23 pm

The VC 10 was one of the most gracious plane to have existed .

I am lucky to have assisted numerous time to their landing and departing as my house in Bey was located on the landing approach of incoming aircraft and school on the departure . Iwas fortunate enough to have seen MEA VC10 and Gulf Air VC10 in 1974 on ther Bey-Ath stretch.

On the other hand comparable to the VC10, we shall not forget the IL62 (also a frequent visitor in BEY) of Aeroflot.

 
AzoresLover
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Mon Aug 09, 2004 11:27 pm

I was fortunate to fly a VC-10 on the London-Montreal-Chicago route, my only VC-10 flight. I was in the front of the coach section, and a great memory was hearing the engines on the takeoff roll, but just after leaving the ground, on throttle back, the sound completely disappeared! It was quite an experience. A beautiful airplane - I really would love to have the opportunity to fly it again, there was nothing else quite like it!
Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
 
GDB
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Tue Aug 10, 2004 2:06 am

My understanding was that BOAC ordered 15 Standards, three were cancelled and the production places went to the RAF (who also got 11 more, all with Standard fuselage, Super wing and engines, and something no commercial one had, an APU.
As well as freight door, cargo handling gear and a strengthened floor.

5 of the current RAF tanker fleet are ex BA Supers converted in the early 1990's sadly the option of changing the Conways to 4 x V2500 engines was not implemented, then the VC-10 was to retire in 1999, now it's 2008/9 so it would have been worthwhile.

5 of the cancelled 13 Supers were to have a freight door, BOAC did the UK a great disservice by specifying the VC-10, then at first, undermining it (they produced figures, later shown to be exaggerated, showing much higher operating costs compared to 707-320B, even passing them to Boeing).
As both BAC and government ministers found when getting so close to signing deals with a number of airlines, only to fail at the final hurdle.

Ironically, BOAC never factored in pax appeal in these figures, which they themselves promoted on entry into service.
That was a piece of marketing BS, in the minds of those who did it, which actually turned out to be true.

Considering how deep BOAC had their snouts in the government trough, it's sad and silly that the government did not force BA to take all 30 Supers.
I know that they would claim that they were just trying to make BOAC more efficient, how was adding the 707-320B/C to the fleet (with another new engine type) part of that?
They should have asked for upgrades to the Conway, (which R/R did look at) they'd probably have got it, funded by the taxpayer.

That's all in the past however, many of my colleagues in Concorde were ex-VC-10, some just from BOAC/BA, some from their time at BAC, the first aircraft my last Concorde shift manager worked on as a young BAC apprentice was the first VC-10 for Ghana Airways.
They all loved the VC-10, when I asked one of my colleagues what was the best part of his recent trip in Washington was (this was in 1998) he said 'sitting on the 747 at IAD waiting to depart, then hearing those Conways as a RAF VC-10 taxied past'.

Another was seconded to work on the ex BA Standards sold to Gulf Air in the mid 70's, but much of his talk was about the English Gulf Air Stewardesses, and how new ones were shown the 'Golden Rivet'.

The Brooklands VC-10 was the last in commercial service, as a transport of the Sultan of Oman, he was to retire it in 1984, but loved it so much it had a 3 year service extension.
Go to Brooklands, you can walk around and on it.

I well remember seeing BA VC-10s take off, never got to fly on one (BA stopped using them in March 1983, three years before I joined BA).


 
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ClassicLover
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Tue Aug 10, 2004 2:05 pm

Just to correct two VC10 comments on this thread...

1) The Super VC10 did not have more range than the Standard VC10. The standard was the longer ranged craft. They added payload and decreased range for the super, and it turned out to be very popular and economical on the LHR - JFK route.

2) The VC10 was retired in March 1981 from BA service, not 1983.

Other than that, it's always fascinating to discuss the VC10  Smile

Trent.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
Aviadvigatel
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:30 pm

ClassicLover:

To add to your comments, the Super VC10 had a range of 4720 miles compared with the Standard's 5040 miles, but the Super's payload rose by 4,500 kg to 22860kg (1151 model) and a maximum of 9000 kg to 27360kg (1154 version).
The standard model was retired by British Airways Overseas Division in 1975. Gulf Air bought most of them and used them until 1979.

The 15 Supers remained in BA service until their retirement in 1983.

I dont know what you other British guys think, but wouldn't it be great if either Ian Allan or George Pick Aviation Tours fixed up a flight on an RAF plane? I'd certainly pay a few quid for that one!
 
richierich
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Wed Aug 11, 2004 2:25 am

What replaced the VC-10s in BA's fleet? I am assuming it was the L-1011 but I could have depended on the route.

I believe the Trident was replaced by the 757, once the latter had arrived in sufficient numbers.
None shall pass!!!!
 
cedarjet
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Wed Aug 11, 2004 2:39 am

Nothing really replaced the VC10. What on earth could? Maybe Austin Powers' 747? The TriStar was twice as big, and in any case was used mostly on shorthaul (ie Paris before the tunnel, Athens, Nice), at least til the advent of the -500.

And the Trident was replaced by the 737-200, although of course the 757-200 did come along a few years later and flew many of the same routes.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
GDB
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Wed Aug 11, 2004 3:57 am

The last BA VC-10 was retired in March 1981, 1983 was the original date, but the recession brought it forward.
I saw all the retired BA Super fleet at RAF Abingdon in 1982.

One standard was used for training and as a standby aircraft until late 1979 or early 1980.
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Wed Aug 11, 2004 3:07 pm

Yeah that was G-ARVM.

I heard that it had some kind of weird airworthiness certificate towards the end that didn't allow it to carry passengers (at least towards the end) due to corrosion... which is why it was the aircraft that did that low pass at that airshow...

Trent.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
Travelagent
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Wed Aug 11, 2004 5:45 pm

I still remember the VC10 from BOAC (and later BA) when they used my homeairport DUS as a stopover on their LHR to THR route. It was a wonderful but extremely loud aircraft!
Born to fly! It's more than a passion - it's a yearning!! At home in DUS(Dusseldorf)!
 
GDB
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RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:20 pm

There was never any major issue with corrosion, or pax carrying restrictions, that low flypast (too low as it turned out) at an airshow in 1977 should not have had pax, as the CAA take a dim view of airshow aircraft carrying pax.

The last BA VC-10 service in March 1981 was a trip for enthusiasts, fuel costs killed the VC-10 at BA, nothing else.
 
babybus
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Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 5:07 am

RE: B O A C In The Mid-60's

Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:24 pm

The VC10 was in fact the aircraft that started my facination with aviation. I remember watching them (as a baby plane spotter!) load from the top of Terminal 3 car park at LHR. We were extremely jealous watching all the kids getting on flts to Nairobi and JFK etc. Flying back then was out of most peoples pockets.

They were extremely loud. Compared to Concorde, the noise on take-off must have been nearly the same. A real bone shaker.

The VC10 was really a beautiful aircraft. A real work of art.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.

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