BAC (Vickers) VC-10 / Super VC-10


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BAC (Vickers) VC-10 / Super VC-10

The prototype of this airliner flew for the first time on 29 June 1962. The VC10 entered service on BOAC's route to West Africa on 29 April 1964. Four production variants and a modification of the prototype were produced: the Model 1101, of which 12 went to BOAC accommodated 16 first-class and 93 economy passengers; the Model 1102, of which two went to Ghana Airways, one with a large hydraulically operated cargo door between the standard passenger doors and both with 4% chord leading-edge extension from wing root to fence; the Model 1103, of which three went to British United Airways with cargo door and extended leading edge; Model 1106, of which 14 went to RAF Air Support Command with cargo door, folding hatracks, machined cargo floor, extended leading edge, 97kN Conway RCo.43 Mk 301 turbofans and fin fuel tank; and the Model 1109, the prototype brought up to airline standard for Laker Airways, with the Model 1106 wing. Standard engines for the VC10 were four 90.6kN Rolls-Royce Conway RCo. 42 turbofans in lateral pairs on each side of the rear fuselage. RAF basic transport version designated VC10 C.1. C.2 is the unconfirmed designation of flight refuelling tanker conversions of five VC10 and four Super VC10.

BAC (Vickers) VC-10 / Super VC-10A three-view drawing (1000 x 726)

 ENGINE4 x turbo-jet RR "Conway RCo-42", 93.4kN
  Take-off weight141521 kg312002 lb
  Empty weight67094 kg147918 lb
  Wingspan44.6 m146 ft 4 in
  Length48.4 m159 ft 10 in
  Height12.0 m39 ft 4 in
  Wing area264.3 m22844.90 sq ft
  Cruise speed915 km/h569 mph
  Range w/max.fuel8328 km5175 miles
  Range w/max payload6680 km4151 miles

Comments1-20 21-40
Granpa, e-mail, 17.03.2020 23:10

The VC=10 was an attractive plane by any standard but the first time I saw a


Marcus Mowbray, e-mail, 03.02.2015 19:49

By 9 years old I was already familiar with flying in jet airliners, Comet 4, DC8 and 707. Then I had my first flight in a BOAC Super VC10 and was gobsmacked by the power, comfort, climb and the spectacular shape. Other airliners seemed like school buses by comparison!


Glenn Lawton, e-mail, 07.08.2014 17:38

XR809 had a single RB211 Engine on one side, not a concorde engine as G A scott has reported. The concorde engines were on a Vulcan aircraft testbed. It is still the queen of the skies for me.


G A Scott, e-mail, 15.06.2013 17:10

There may be some VC 10's left at RAF Brize Norton, as they were all due to be brought out of service at the end of march 2013. but there are some in aircraft museums around the world. Germany has one Duxford has one , and i beleive there is one in the states somewhere.


Phil Newman, e-mail, 12.06.2013 04:27

I see no mention of the 5 SVC10 1103s operated by East African Airways. I held maintenance, and operational licenses, on that beautiful aircraft; well it was beautiful to me, not least because it provided a good living for twelve years.


Gerald Scott, e-mail, 05.01.2013 22:00

Well its me again, just thought that id let you all know that im building a 128" R C model of a super VC10 powered by 70mm electric ducted fans and full retracts ,lights Flaps,and cabin lights. hopefully it will be like my Comet 4c which is as correct as i can make it in 1 /16 scale and thats got an 86" wing span , when its done ill see if i can post some photos some where , maybe on the Brize site, id love to have made all the brize and Lynham aircraft of the 60's and 70's but i only have roomfor two large ones . and a Red Arrows Knat as i live in aflat. and will most likely have to build a long trailer to transport them to the town moor and other sites.


Chris Byrne, e-mail, 10.12.2012 12:16

What can I say that hasn't already been said? VC 10, A heaven sent thing of beauty but with a feisty temperament too!! Elegant, smooth, easy to get on with, loved by crews and passengers alike, decimated by idiot civil servants who couldn't see past the end of their noses never mind an opportunity to put the UK in the forefront of aircraft manufacture.

From the late '60's I flew regularly on them to the Middle East with BOAC to join up with my parents, and even today I still feel that the VC 10 was the safest aircraft I ever flew on. It also still holds the record for Atlantic Crossing as a sub sonic craft.

I hope when it's time comes that someone will preserve one as a flying example and not just as a tailor's dummy in a corner of a museum.


Les Stone, e-mail, 24.10.2012 10:49

While in the Air Training Corps, we had a tour of the BEA hangers at Heathrow. After the tour we were allowed outside to watch aircraft take of and land. There was a VC10 at the end of the runway ready to go. The throttle were opened and the tremendous roar was unbeleivable. its probablly the reason why I am partially deaf now...but hey I was less than a hundred yards from a VC10 taking trade off!


G A Scott, e-mail, 01.07.2012 10:28

while at Brize i lived in quarters on Upwood drive which was abought half a mile from the end of the sothern end of the runway and to the rear of the ARDET hanger i could see all the landings and when the did engine test i had a clear view . We had one VC10 that had one concord engine on its left side the VC 10 was used as a test bed fot the engine but was later scraped due to a stressed airframe due to the power of the concord engine , i was once told that if they had more than just over a quarter of the power to the concord engine that the VC 10 would fly in circles to the right . i know that it looked odd when i first saw it with two engines on the right and one on the left i think there is a photo of it on the Brize Norton website
it broke my heart when i saw the photo of the VC 10 that got bent at Brize when some idiot emptied the main center fuel tank before checking correctly that the tail tank was empty the poor aircraft stood on its tail bendin the fuselarge just infront of the wings near the front baggage hold door it was one of the newer aircraft and still in the old white over grey colour . which i loved very much .

you know its the strangest thing when you think of it logicly . during the cold war all our vehicles were RAF blue grey airfield vehicles were yellow and our transport planes were white over grey . then the wall came down and all our vehicles got painted army green and the aircraft grey . where was the logic in this camoflarge them after the cold war ended !!!!!!?????


G A Scott, e-mail, 01.07.2012 10:06

I worked on and with these fantastic aircraft from 1969 till 1972 dueing 1969 i ferried the aircrews from RAF Maharraq in Bahrain, to the Brittiana hotel and back every day as we had flights that refuelled on their way to hongkong, Changi, also the royal flights with varous members of the royal family when going to various eastern countries and Austrailia, they were fitted out with sitting rooms ,bedrooms and offices. i also operated the Condec that was used to load and unload the pallets of freight ,in passenger form they were fitted with the seats facing to the rear, and i always remember the boiled sweets being handed out while taxing to the runway the ample supply of coffee, tea soft drinks and sandwiches between mealsand being allowed to smoke. then i was posted to Brize Norton, and again did more or less the same type of work .i flew on them on many occasions on what they called families flights which were realy test flights and training flights one night in the spac of three hourswent to the south west coast along the english channel up the east coast and back to Brize. have to say that my time with 10 squadron and air movements MT were the best time of my service life , im now 65 and to think that i was avery young teen ager when i first encountered these very beutiful queens of the skys and that they are still flying today alas not as passenger transport, but as refullers , says volumes for british design and manufacture which this countries powers have erroded away to zero we don't lead the world any more we just straggle along behind now . the VC 10 in my opinion was the greatest passenger air craft evey built . and well ahead of its time, and all british . wish i could go back in time and spend my time with the VC10's again .


Neil Clemenson, e-mail, 10.04.2012 15:41

I went to look around the VC-10 at Brooklands recently. I have always loved it, and am very proud that it was the largest British commercial airplane every built. I love the configuration and the Windows look beautiful too. It's a shame I never got to fly on one, as I was only born in the late 70's. I would have loved to go to east Africa in one, a trip I make several times on Boeings and Airbuses.


Dave McCormack, e-mail, 21.09.2011 01:44

A great plane! I was BOAC's Manager,Burma 1972-5 when we operated the VC10 Heathrow /Rome /Delhi Rangoon /Hong Kong &vv. The Company eventually decided to stop flying into Burma which was very sad. When the last flight came up from HKG I suggested to the Captain that after take-off he could circle round and ' beat up' the runway as a Farewell gesture, which he did. That I'll never forget! I believe I'm correct in thinking there is a VC10 at Duxford.


Peter Fulton, e-mail, 04.05.2011 14:58

I worked at Vickers during a two year working holiday,('62 /'65)from Australia I worked on parts for Viscount,Vanguard,VC10, BAC 111, TSR2 and Concorde. They were all beautiful aircraft ,and I remember my time at Vickers and living in Weybridge with great fondness and pride at having worked in the same factory as the great Dr. Barnes -Wallace , but it was such a shame that the VC10 and TSR2 were not supported by the Gov't. as Britain had an Aircraft manufacturing and reliability history ,second to none,which was allowed to fall in a heap. Along came the Harrier ,That's what made Britain great once again !!!


Kevin Morrow, e-mail, 16.04.2011 20:35

Its amazing they served us well and now they're getting replaced by something new....


Phil, e-mail, 02.04.2011 12:49

The Conway is a turbo-fan engine, not a turbo-jet, and was the first turbo-fan engine to power a commercial airliner in service.


Anthony Arnold, e-mail, 30.03.2011 02:26

When I was 23 years old I flew from London to New York on the magnificent Super VC10. After many Years of flying I still consider this one of the best if not the finest!!!


Mick Skinner, e-mail, 08.03.2011 16:18

Great airplane all round. The RAF version was an oddball it had a Standard fuselage with Super wings, tail & engines with the Super fin tank, a cargo door and reinforced floor for cargo loads. I worked on them at RAF Changi in 1967 /8, the freight door was a problem sometimes it would not close when A /C in split Cargo /Pax config, we towed one around the pan trying to shift the loading but had to move the freight to close it in the end. Also worked on them at BOAC /BA. A well built good A /C with excellent short runway performance.


Gray Goodman, e-mail, 27.02.2011 06:00

Must have been early 70's I was working in the hanger besides the runway at Addis Ababa when the East African Airways VC10 burst the nose tire and subsequently went off the end of the runway killing many school kids etc...I will always have the scars on my hands from pulling people out of that one. Fine looking aircraft though.


Barry, 15.02.2011 18:32

The original idea behind this aircraft was to be able to dominate African routes where the runways were very miuch shorter in length, and as a result planes like the Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC8 would not be able to operate. The launch customer was BOAC who reduced their initial order by some 50% stating that they were not happy with The RR Conway engine, all the more surprising as this is the engine they specified when they ordered the 707!

The VC10 had a clean wing with leading edge flaps and split flaps which gave it tremendous lift and short field performance. So much so that it's maiden flight was made from the Vickers factory at Brooklands and not, as was the usual practise, from their airfield at Wisley following disassembly, transport by road and then reassembly. Following BOAC's patriotic decision African countries lengthend their runways and in marched Boeing. This was a good plane that failed because it's original "raison d'etre" was flawed and it was not helped by the mealy mouthed attitude of the civil servants at BOAC. The last VC10 /Super VC10s soldier on as KC1 and KC2 in RAF service soon to be replaced by the FTTA.


Victoria Ball, e-mail, 11.01.2011 13:41

I rember my first flight, it was in GASGC which is now preserved at Duxford. i was cabin crew. i loved working on it. my first flight was to Bermuda. and i remember the JFK flights. like a Fighter. it was something else. i miss the VC10 very much and mad very sad by the demise. of the RAF fleet. the broken hulks now. a sad end for for this great plane.


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