Dear reader, please bear in mind that news about VC10s is sparse. I don't expect many news items, on the other hand... you never can tell, so be sure to check frequently. For the latest news please keep an eye on the VC10 forum and the A Little VC10derness Facebook page as items of interest sometimes turn up at these locations first, before these pages are updated. Scroll to the bottom of this page for archived news items.
Cold War Jets day coming up
Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, May 2017
The next open day at Bruntingthorpe is coming up on Sunday 28th May. The gates open at 9:00am and VC10 K4 ZD241 will most likely be the first runner on the program. Afterwards the VC10 will be parked close to the display line. The team looking after her will be on site selling merchandise in support of the continued preservation of this VC10. Next to this obvious highlight, the other active airframes will perform taxi runs, including the impressive Lightnings, there will be a flypast by the BBMF and several large scale model aircraft will fly.
At 1:00pm author Keith Wilson will be available on or near the VC10 to sign his Haynes VC10 manual, so feel free to bring your copy along.
Large scale BOAC VC10 flying
E-mail, April 2017
Terry Mason has been flying a large scale RC model VC10 for several years now but recently this model has been repainted, losing its RAF tanker colours. It now represents BOAC Super VC10 G-ASGG in the second BOAC speedbird livery and has performed its first flight in this scheme. The model is still a very impressive sight in the air and it is great to see the iconic blue and gold speedbird livery on it.
Roden kit for VC10 K4 ZD241 available
Roden.eu, March 2017
In February 2017 Roden released a new version of their 1:144 scale VC10 kit, this time allowing you to build K4 tanker ZD241 as it is preserved at Bruntingthorpe airfield. The only markings missing on the decalsheet are the GJD Services logos that were applied by its current owner.
New VC10 book by Lance Cole
Pen and Sword Publishing, March 2017
Lance Cole has written about the VC10 in the past but he has now picked up a new take on its story. His latest title was released by Pen and Sword on 2nd March and covers the political side of the VC10's story. Amazon's page about this book is here, but please note that the reviews are actually about Lance's previous book and they have used an incorrect cover image. Hopefully Amazon will correct this before too long.
The press release for this new title is below, a review will be added to the site soon.
25 April 1928 – 4 March 2017
Well known for his flights in BAC 1-11 G-ASYD and Concorde, Roy Radford also captained the first flight of the K2 tanker variant of the VC10 on 22nd June 1982, together with John Lewis. Roy had been in the RAF since 1946 and flew both Valiants and Victors before taking an ETPS course and joining A&AEE at Boscombe Down. In 1964 Roy left the RAF and became a test pilot for BAC under Chief Test Pilot Brian Trubshaw. He captained two first flights for G-ASYD and became Chief Test Pilot himself in 1981. In 1985 he became the Flight Operations manager at Filton, a post that he held until his retirement in 1989. Roy Radford passed away on 4th March 2017, aged 88.
Open day for ZA150 at Dunsfold
Brooklands Museum, February 2017
On Saturday 11th March there will be an open day at Dunsfold Aerodrome for VC10 K3 tanker ZA150. The team that looks after the aircraft will conduct tours of the inside and will also perform a taxi run on the runway. Entry is by pre-booked ticket only, so visit the Brooklands Museum website if you want to get up close to this VC10.
Article about BOAC's VC10 orders
The Aviation Historian, 15 January 2017
Anyone interested in the political background of BOAC's VC10 orders might want to take a look at the latest issue of The Aviation Historian. In issue 18 of the quarterly magazine Professor Keith Hayward continues on from his previous articles on the Vickers 1000 and Hawker Siddeley Trident with a good look at the troubled process of the VC10's procurement. For the full story have a look at the back issues and get hold of issue 14 for the story about the Vickers 1000 and issue 16 for the story about the Hawker Siddeley Trident. The Aviation Historian is not available in the shops but only online as single issues or through a subscription. The editors have a lot of experience in aviation publishing and have combined forces to create a unique, high quality and different magazine that features articles that would not normally reach the regular high-street aviation magazines. See the link above for more info or to order your copy.
More VC10 bits for East Midlands Aeropark
XV108 Facebook site, November 2016
At the end of November a lorry delivered a complete left-hand engine nacelle and a Rolls Royce Conway engine to the East Midlands Aeropark for display next to XV108's forward fuselage. The team quickly got started with some restoration work on the nacelle and the Conway will also receive some TLC in due course. The plan is to get the nacelle back in original 10 Squadron colours with the registration XV108 on it.
XV108 itself has not been forgotten in the meantime. Lighting has been installed in the cabin roof with work started on the sidewall cove lighting. The flightdeck flood lighting is working and on the outside the team is re-wiring taxi lights and anti-collision lights so that these can be shown in working order, without blinding all the visitors.
Book signing at Brooklands Museum
ZA150 Facebook site, November 2016
With apologies for the late announcement, author Keith Wilson will be signing copies of his Haynes VC10 manual at the Brooklands Museum on Sunday 20th November from 11:30am.
Haynes Manual about the VC10 has been released
Haynes Publishing, 6 October 2016
Earlier this year news emerged that a new Haynes manual was being written about the VC10 by air-to-air photographer and aviation journalist Keith Wilson. After an initial planned release date in June that had to be postponed (as Keith was determined to make the book even better than it already was), the first copies have now reached UK shores and have been on sale since October 6th. Orders can be placed through Amazon, Haynes Publishing through the link above, or via your favourite bookseller of course.
Click here for a full review of this book. And read on for the press release:
XV106 nose installed at Avro Heritage museum
Facebook, 8th September 2016
On Thursday 8th September the nose section of VC10 C1K XV106 was moved from Bruntingthorpe to the Avro Heritage Museum at Woodford and installed on a purpose-built cradle. See the museum's Facebook page through the link above for photos of the move. On the same day the nose of Nimrod XV235 also made its journey from Scampton to the museum. Both cockpit sections will be open to visitors on dedicated days throughout the year.
ZA150 highlights at Wings & Wheels 2016
Brooklands Museum, August 2016
The weekend of 27th and 28th August featured not just one but two VC10 taxi runs of course. One of these I announced below, but at the 2016 Wings & Wheels show at Dunsfold Aerodrome ZA150 was also given the opportunity to stretch its legs and exercise its Conways on the Sunday morning. After a pushback onto runway 25 the VC10 K3 accelerated away with a satisfying Conway roar, returning in the opposite direction after a quick check of the tyres and a bit of musical chairs on the flight deck. The video below shows the whole performance from several angles, including a chase car. There are more photos on ZA150's own page.
Taxi run coming up at Bruntingthorpe
Bruntingthorpe Aviation website, August 2016
On Sunday 28th August Bruntingthorpe Airfield will once again host the Cold War Jets open day. This should include a taxi run by resident VC10 ZD241 as well as Lightnings, Canberra and many other aircraft. See the poster or the website linked to above for more details. The team is also planning to open up the VC10 for visitors, subject to this fitting in the day's schedule.
ZA149 installed at Al Mahatta museum
The ship that carried ZA149's front fuselage to the UAE docked at Khor Fakkan on 30th April and within the next 24 hours a lot of containers and one bit of VC10 were unloaded. After being placed on a truck and covered with a tarpaulin the VC10 set off again on a road trip to Sharjah. At the museum site the fuselage section has been mounted in place against the outer wall of the museum. To accommodate this new exhibit at the museum a section of wall has been removed and a new custom window fits around the VC10 fuselage. Inside the building a staircase and walkway leads to the rear of the fuselage section so that visitors can enter the inside of the aircraft. Martin Slater has spent several days at the museum to get everything installed and connected. When he left only the Heron needed to be moved into the corner and the information boards mounted against the walls. Apart from that ZA149, ex 5X-UVJ, has safely arrived at its new home.
More photos are on the page about 5X-UVJ / ZA149. With thanks to Martin Slater who took all these photos and shared his experiences in getting the fuselage section to the museum and installed.
Taxi runs coming up at both Dunsfold and Bruntingthorpe
There are two VC10 related events planned for the upcoming weekends. On 29th May Bruntingthorpe will hosts its Cold War Jets day during which ZD241 will take to the runway again. If you have served with the RAF you might also be interested in the 10/101 Squadron reunion event that will take place after the CWJ day, for details of this have a look at the Facebook page for ZD241 (I hope the link works, I don't always get Facebook links to work).
On June 4th there will be an open day for ZA150 at Dunsfold during which the aircraft will perform a taxi run on the runway and will be open to visitors afterwards. Tickets for this event are limited in number and can be obtained through the Brooklands Museum link above.
New VC10 K3 model kit available
Roden, May 2016
Earlier this year Roden released two new 1:144 scale model kits that allows you to build either a BOAC or EAA Super VC10. They have now also released a kit that will enable you to build a K3 tanker. The parts for this had already been spotted in the civil kits so the adventurous may already have used this to build a tanker, but now the kit also includes decals to build a model of ZA149 in one of two possible colour schemes. If you are interested, ask your supplier to order kit #327. I expect this kit to become available in specialised stores soon.
5X-UVJ/ZA149 is on its way to Sharjah
Bruntingthorpe, April 2016
On 23rd March the forward fuselage of ex-EAA Super VC10 5X-UVJ, later K3 ZA149, left Bruntingthorpe on the back of a trailer, headed for the United Arab Emirates. Over a period of almost two years the forward fuselage section of this aircraft has been repainted into a Gulf Air 'Golden Falcon' colour scheme and modified inside to serve as a display commemorating the five Standard VC10s that flew for Gulf Air between 1974 and 1978. The forward fuselage section will be mounted against the outside of the building, standing on two supports and its own nosewheel, and will be accessible from inside the building. For an impression of the inside once the display boards are finished, have a look at Jem Shaw's blog about his design.
The journey that ZA149 set off on is a long one. From Bruntingthorpe the trailer moved it to Southampton harbour where it was loaded inside the containership Marco Polo. This ship set off from Southampton on 6th April and is currently in the Mediterranean on its way to the Suez canal. Around 29th April it will dock at Khor Fakkan, which is a deep water port on the Eastern side of the UAE, and ZA149 will be moved by road across the UAE to Sharjah.
Haynes Manual on VC10 due out in June 2016
Amazon.co.uk, March 2016
A few weeks ago news emerged that a new Haynes manual was being written with the VC10 as the subject. Today the front cover has been shown on the Amazon page for the first time. The Haynes manuals are well known to everyone who has ever maintained their own car, but over the past years they have branched off into different directions, producing manuals on subjects as diverse as the Avro Vulcan, London Heathrow Airport and Star Trek's Enterprise. Author for this volume is Keith Wilson who has also produced the well-received manuals about the Shackleton and the BBMF operations manual in the same series. Going by previous issues, this book is sure to include many photos, for which, amongst others, XR808 and ZA147 at Bruntingthorpe have posed as the main subjects. The book is due out in June of this year but the above link to Amazon will allow you to pre-order your copy.
XV106 cockpit moving to Woodford
Facebook, January 2016
When XV106 was scrapped in August 2013 the front fuselage was set aside and recently the Avro Heritage Museum announced that they will take delivery of this VC10 cockpit for display at Woodford. On a long term loan from GJD Services, this cockpit section will join resident Vulcan XM603 and a Vulcan cockpit section and will become available for cockpit tours. Woodford became the design authority for the VC10 after Weybridge closed and for many years supported the RAF's VC10s.
New 1:200 scale models
SMTS Models, January 2016
The Hastings based company SMTS models will be creating some new 1:200 VC10 models based on the tooling from Skyline and other sources. Have a look on the models page for some more details, I hope to be able to add some photos to that page soon.
News Archive - 2015/2016 (only 2015 so far)