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C/n 801/2 - Test Specimen
C/n 803 - G-ARTA
C/n 804 - G-ARVA - 5N-ABD
C/n 805 - G-ARVB
C/n 806 - G-ARVC - ZA144
C/n 807 - G-ARVE
C/n 808 - G-ARVF
C/n 809 - G-ARVG - ZA141
C/n 810 - G-ARVH
C/n 811 - G-ARVI - ZA142
C/n 812 - G-ARVJ - ZD493
C/n 813 - G-ARVK - ZA143
C/n 814 - G-ARVL - ZA140
C/n 815 - G-ARVM
C/n 819 - G-ASIW - 7Q-YKH
C/n 820 - G-ASIX - A4O-AB
C/n 823 - 9G-ABO
C/n 824 - 9G-ABP
C/n 825 - G-ATDJ - XX914
C/n 826 - XR806
C/n 827 - XR807
C/n 828 - XR808
C/n 829 - XR809
C/n 830 - XR810
C/n 831 - XV101
C/n 832 - XV102
C/n 833 - XV103
C/n 834 - XV104
C/n 835 - XV105
C/n 836 - XV106
C/n 837 - XV107
C/n 838 - XV108
C/n 839 - XV109
C/n 851 - G-ASGA - ZD230
C/n 852 - G-ASGB - ZD231
C/n 853 - G-ASGC
C/n 857 - G-ASGG - ZD235
C/n 862 - G-ASGL - ZD240
C/n 863 - G-ASGM - ZD241
C/n 881 - 5X-UVA
C/n 882 - 5H-MMT - ZA147
C/n 883 - 5Y-ADA - ZA148
C/n 884 - 5X-UVJ - ZA149
C/n 885 - 5H-MOG - ZA150

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C/n 809 - G-ARVG - A4O-VG - ZA141


16 January 1963 Registered as G-ARVG to BOAC.
17 October 1963 First flight.
19 December 1963 BOAC crew training starts at Shannon, using G-ARVG.
12 June 1964 Delivery to BOAC as G-ARVG.
1 April 1974 Ownership transferred to British Airways Board.
6 June 1974 Ownership transferred to Gulf Aviation Company Limited.
7 October 1975 Re-registered as A4O-VG in Oman.
1977 End of service with Gulf Air. This airframe was still in the old GA colours and was not repainted in the Golden Falcon scheme.
1978 Sold to RAF for conversion to type 1112 K2 tanker.
22 June 1982 First flight after conversion at Filton. First tanker conversion to fly.
September 1982 Demonstrated during the Farnborough airshow.
Late 1982 Fin damaged during test flight, replaced with fin from XX914 which had recently been retired.
5 October 1984 Delivery to 101 Squadron as ZA141 'B'.
Late 1986/early 1987 Repainted into the 'hemp' colourscheme that was applied to the other tankers from the start.
1991 Acquired 'The Empire Strikes Back' nose art during its Gulf War service.
July 1999 Withdrawn from service.
April 2001 Scrapped at St. Athan.


Photo copyright BAE Systems / Brooklands Museum archives

Photo copyright BAE Systems / Brooklands Museum archives

Photo copyright BAE Systems / Brooklands Museum archives

1-3. At some time, probably during final assembly, the cockpit panels of G-ARVG have been photographed in detail.
4. Initially G-ARVG, seen here landing at an unknown location but probably during testing, was painted in the old BOAC colours just like the earlier VC10s.

Photo Gabriel Desmond

Flightpath Postcards / Carl McQuaide

1. When delivered to BOAC the aircraft carried the first version of the Golden Speedbird colour scheme.
2. Later during its career with BOAC 'VG also acquired the second Golden Speedbird colour scheme.
3. Initially the Gulf Air VC10s remained registered in the UK.
4. Between October 1975 and the end of its career with Gulf Air in 1977 the aircraft was registered in Oman as A4O-VG.

Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

Photo copyright Airbus UK

Photo copyright Airbus UK

Photo copyright Airbus UK

1. A4O-VG together with German registered BAC 1-11 D-ALLI at Abu Dhabi in November 1976.
2. ZA141 slowly turning into a VC10 K2 tanker, with another airframe covered in a Driclad bag behind it.
3. ZA141 now looking more complete.
4. ZA141, same location as the previous photo but this one in black and white.

Photo copyright Airbus UK

Photo copyright Airbus UK

Photo copyright BAE SYSTEMS via N. Braas

1. Engine runs on ZA141 with the fire services looking on.
2. ZA141 in the hangar nearing completion of the conversion process.
3. The BAe newsletter announcing ZA141's first flight.
4. ZA141 taking off in its 'lizard' scheme. Lizard is an American term for camouflage which is where the nickname originated.

Photo D. Ferguson

1. In February 1986 ZA141 encountered this Tu-95 'Bear'.
2. The camouflage colours lasted for quite some time, ZA141 still carried the scheme early in 1986.
3. ZA141 is seen here during an airshow at RAF Alconbury on 16 August 1987.
4. In May 1999 ZA141 is parked at RAF Brize Norton, it would not be long until it was taken out of service.


Vickers /BOAC BOAC scheme of white over grey fuselage, dark-blue cheatline and fin with two white bands over fin.
BOAC First version of BOAC 'Golden Speedbird' scheme with stepped, gold-edged dark-blue cheatline. Grey lower fuselage and white upper fuselage. Dark-blue fin with gold speedbird logo.
BOAC Second version of BOAC 'Golden Speedbird' scheme, golden edge on cheatline removed and cheatline now arcs smoothly down towards the nose without the step of the previous scheme.
BOAC/BA As above but with British Airways titles on the forward fuselage.
GA Gulf Air VC10 scheme, overall white with a large red, purple and green cheatline flowing from nose to fin. Gulf Air titles on forward fuselage.
RAF Wrap around camouflage scheme in grey/green with white undersides. RAF roundels, large 'B' on fin and registration on engine nacelles. Nicknamed 'The Lizard'.
RAF RAF 101 Sqn 'Hemp' scheme. Grey undersides with hemp colours on top and fuselage sides. Toned down markings and large letter on fin. In 1991 a BP logo and the text 'The Empire Strikes Back' was added to the nose in front of the crew entry door.

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