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News Archive - 2011/2012


RIAT news is indicator for postponed VC10 retirement

RIAT Website, December 2012

Announced as a 'Christmas gift' on the website of the Royal International Air Tattoo, which is held at RAF Fairford each year, the RAF has announced that a VC10 will be present at the 2013 edition of the airshow in July 2013. Previous indications of planned retirement dates all pointed towards a date in the spring, but this means that the type will be operated into the summer as well, perhaps retirement has been postponed to the fall of 2013?


XV106 and XV108 retired on 7 November

Facebook page, 7 November 2012

As announced below two more C1Ks have been retired to Bruntingthorpe. Work on the VC10s which have been delivered to the airfield seems to have slowed down some as the previous airframes are still around, although they are slowly being dismantled. For photos have a look at the Facebook page through the link above.


Next two C1Ks due to be retired on Wednesday 7 November

Forum & Facebook page, 3 November 2012

A post on my forum and on my Facebook page mention that the last two C1Ks to be retired are due at Bruntingthorpe on Wednesday 7 November. There are currently three C1Ks still active but XR808 will be going to the RAF Museum at Cosford so that leaves XV106 and XV108 as the next two to be 'reduced to spares'.


101 Squadron hands over to 216 Squadron in the Middle East

RAF website, 4 October 2012

On 4th October 101 Squadron officially handed over their duties in the Middle East to the Tristars of 216 Squadron. After 22 years of continuous VC10 operations in this area this era has come to an end. For more about this have a look at the link above. This is another step towards the final flight of the VC10 which is scheduled for 2013.


New VC10 model in 1:500 scale from Herpa

Herpa website, October 2012

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the VC10's first flight model maker Herpa will soon release a 1:500 scale VC10 model. This will portray a BOAC-Cunard Super VC10 in the 'Golden Speedbird' colours which were introduced together with the Super VC10 in 1965.


VC10 50th Anniversary Raffle Result

RAF/BAE Systems, September 2012

Thank you to everyone who supported the recent VC10 50th Anniversary Raffle in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund. Thank you to Wotton Travel Limited, Cycle Surgery and Runners Need for their help and a huge thank you to BAE Systems, Snow and Rock and Serco for their support and sponsorship.

The result of the raffle which was drawn at the Bournemouth Airshow on the 2nd of September 2012 is as follows:-

1st Prize – Flights and 10 days accommodation in Barbados - Ticket number 03772 - P. Dawson, Oxfordshire.

2nd Prize – Flights and 5 days accommodation in Dubai - Ticket number 03460 - A. Deas, Lincolnshire.

3rd Prize – Flights and 3 days accommodation in Rome - Ticket number 04645 - A. O’Hora, Oxfordshire

Thanks also to everyone all over the UK who helped and worked so hard in selling tickets. 

The final total raised for the RAF Benevolent Fund was £5234.74

Thank you

Rod Marshall


Three ship flypast over several RAF bases announced

RAF Lossiemouth Facebook page, 21 August 2012

The RAF Lossiemouth Facebook page has an announcement about a three-ship VC10 formation which will overfly several RAF bases on 28th August 2012. This is a provisional date, with an equally provisional timing of 1305 hours overhead Lossiemouth. Don't be fooled by the 'retirement announcement', the VC10 will still fly on until March 2013, there's a comma missing in a sentence there!

The three-ship will consist of the three different VC10 variants which are currently in service, K3, K4 and C1K, as this will be the last opportunity to fly them together. The C1K version is the modified transport/tanker variant which has been in RAF service since 1966 while the K3s are ex-EAA airliners and the sole remaining K4 was originally delivered to BOAC as G-ASGM.

Update: the provisional plan according to some informed sources is along these lines.

Departure from RAF Brize Norton around 0900Z (10:00 local time).
One hour of Air Refuelling in RA5.
RAF Lossiemouth
RAF Leuchars
RAF Waddington
RAF Cranwell
RAF Coningsby
RAF Marham
Return to RAF Brize Norton with a flypast from West to East down runway 08 at 700ft AGL. Break to land around 1415Z - 1430Z (15:15 - 15:30 local time).

Obviously weather and aircraft serviceability may cause changes to these plans.


XV104 retires to Bruntingthorpe and schedule for remaining months

Facebook page, 4 July 2012

In May a rough schedule turned up for the retirement of the remaining active VC10s and XV104 was slated to be next. A bit later the date 6 June 2012 was provided for its last flight to Bruntingthorpe. Shortly before this flight the date was moved, as technical issues (?) kept the aircraft at RAF Brize Norton. During the VC10 at 50 event at The Brooklands Museum to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the VC10 a new date was confirmed by the OC 101 Sqn during his talk: 2 July 2012.

2 July came and went but XV104 stayed at Brize, as the weather was not good enough to enable a visual arrival at the Bruntingthorpe airfield. The flight was scrubbed in the afternoon and rescheduled for 4 July 2012. This time the weather cooperated and around 15:00 VC10 C1K XV104 made its last landing after 45 years of service. Damien Burke took some photos which can be seen through this link if you have a Facebook account, or here:


First Flypast

Missed approach

Final approach

Final touchdown

There's always somebody in a white van to get in the way...

XV104's crew

"SPEED QUEEN 4 EVA" in the dirt on one of the main wheels

"Speed Queen" again

Photos Damien Burke / Handmadebymachine.com

This leaves 8 VC10s in active service with 101 Squadron and this will continue until September 2012, when two more C1s will retire, leaving XR808 as the only C1 left in service. The other active VC10s include ZD241, the only remaining ex-BOAC Super VC10 converted into a VC10 K4, which is semi-permanently stationed with 1312 Flight on the Falkland Islands, and the four ex-EAA Super VC10s. These four K3 'Super Tankers' will be the backbone of 101 Squadron's air-to-air refuelling tasks. The final flight of the VC10 is scheduled to be around March 2013 when the last 6 aircraft will be retired.


A Raffle to Celebrate 50 Years of VC10 Flight in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund

RAF/BAE Systems, June 2012

To celebrate 50 years of flight of the VC10 a raffle is to be held in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund. The RAF Benevolent Fund provides a spectrum of care, supporting everyone from children growing up on RAF stations, to those serving today, to the veterans who fought for our freedom.  Our aim is to raise £10,000.  The prizes will commemorate former civil routes of the VC10.  
 
The raffle prizes are flights to Barbados (plus 10 nights accommodation), Dubai (plus 7 nights accommodation) and Rome (plus 3 nights accommodation).  The price of the tickets will be £1 each.
 
The RAF Benevolent Fund will also sell tickets at their stands at UK Air Shows including Bournemouth Air Show where the draw will take place on 2 September 2012 at the end of the show.  The resultant profits will be presented to the RAF Benevolent Fund at RAF Brize Norton later in September.
 
BAE Systems and Serco have already generously given the raffle their support; however, we are only permitted to sell a limited number of tickets, therefore we are still looking to fund the remainder of the prizes through sponsorship in order to keep our costs to a minimum and thus generate the maximum amount possible for the RAF Benevolent Fund. 
 
The terms and conditions of the raffle dictate that the prize must be booked by 31 October 2012 and must be taken between 30 September 2012 and 31 March 2013 (but can not be taken between 9 December 2012 and 5 January 2013). The prizes will be administrated by Wotton Travel Limited.
 
If you wish to purchase tickets; or indeed wish to help by selling tickets in your area, please contact Rod Marshall at rodjm@me.com
 
(The value of prizes is limited to: First Prize £2100, Second Prize £1200, Third Prize £700)


VC10s to participate in two events for 16/17th June weekend

E-mail/website, 15th June 2012

On Saturday 16th June the VC10 will be featured in the Flypast for HM the Queen's birthday. Two VC10s will participate, joined by two Typhoons and two Tornados, along with waves of other aircraft.

Also, a VC10 will perform a flypast at the RAF Cosford Air Show, which is held on 17 June 2012. This has been confirmed on the news page for the air show. There are more reasons to go though, one of which is a Jaguar taxi demonstration. For the full list of participants see here: http://www.cosfordairshow.co.uk/intheair.html


Two VC10s to feature at RIAT and XR808 sports new artwork

RIAT website, June 2012

Two VC10s will be at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. One in the static park and one flying, together with a C-130, A400M, Tristar and other transport aircraft in a unique formation. There is a good chance that XR808 will be one of the two VC10s present, seeing as it has recently been adorned with anniversary markings on its tail to celebrate both the 50th anniversary of the VC10 and the 95th anniversary of 101 Squadron. XR808 being at RAF Fairford on 7th July 2012 will be a nice event in itself as that will be the exact 46th anniversary of its handover to 10 Squadron, on 7th July 1966, which was then temporarily based at Fairford!

Have a look at the anniversary tail on UK Airshow review through this link.


XV104 next to be retired

E-mail, 31 May 2012

XV104 is scheduled to perform its last ever flight to Bruntingthorpe sometime in June. The date was initially set at 6 June but this has now been changed due to technical issues. This next retirement is in line with a recent post on the Keypublishing forum which provided a rough schedule for the final VC10 airfames.

On a related note, the scrappers at Bruntingthorpe recently reduced the airframes of the four previously retired VC10s to a heap of scrap metal. For the exact dates have a look at the table on the RAF VC10s page.


XR808 receives special tail markings to celebrate 50 years of service

Forum, 31 May 2012

VC10 C1K XR808 is currently having its tail repainted with a special design to celebrate the VC10s 50th anniversary. A first photo is on 101 Squadron's Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/356898101016170/ (you have to be logged in to Facebook to see this.


RAF salutes HM The Queen in flypast

RAF News, 17 May 2012

The RAF will salute HM The Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year with a large flypast on May 19th. For details of this flypast click the link and have a look at the graphic illustration at the bottom of the page. Section 5 of the flypast consists of a VC10 tanker and two Tornado GR4s. There will be live coverage of the event on BBC1 starting at 10:30am. During the Central Diamond Jubilee weekend there will be a second (perhaps smaller) flypast on Tuesday 5th June. Details of this flypast are not yet known.


VC10 at 50 event at Brooklands Museum

Brooklands Museum, March 2012

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of G-ARTA's first flight Brooklands Museum is hosting an event on the 29th June. Details can be found through the link above. Some details may be changed between now and then subject to availability of a 101 Squadron VC10 for a flypast.


St. Athan delivers last ever serviced VC10

BBC News, 23 February 2012

It's the end of an era as the last ever RAF aircraft to undergo servicing at St. Athan leaves to rejoin 101 Squadron. VC10 C1K ZA147 took off at 15:50 into an overcast sky on the short flight back to RAF Brize Norton, leaving the workforce and facilities there for the last time. With this last minor star service performed the VC10 fleet is left with a limited allowance of flying hours and cycles until the type is stood down sometime in 2013.


Photo J. Thomas


Last VC10 arrives for servicing at St. Athan

Flypast Forum, 17 January 2012

With the VC10 fleet slowly diminishing the need for servicing at RAF St. Athan is also diminishing. The last two VC10s to undergo minor servicing here shared a moment together before K3 ZA150 left on 19 January leaving K3 ZA147 in the capable hands of the experts there. ZA147 is scheduled to be ready in March 2012 which will bring over 70 years of RAF aircraft servicing to an end at St. Athan, and is also a major step towards the final flight of a VC10.

In December 2010 ZA147 was also the aircraft to undergo the last major servicing at St. Athan, so this K3 signifies the end of an era for the workforce there.

Photos can be seen through the link above.


XV101 has been retired on 20th December

Forum, 20 December 2011

As announced below XV101 has also made its final flight to Bruntingthorpe to await the scrapman's axe. The final landing was around 11:40 local time after two passes over the field. There are now four VC10s at Bruntingthorpe all in line for spares reclamation and scrapping. XV101 joins XV105 which has already lost most of the parts needed to keep the rest of the fleet flying, and XV102 and XV107, both of which were delivered last week.


XV101 to retire on 20th December

Forum, 17 December 2011

The next airframe to be ferried to Bruntingthorpe will be XV101 and the out of service date is set for 20th December. It will join the other VC10s already awaiting their appointment with the scrapman.


Another two retirements from the fleet: XV102 and XV107

Forum, 12 December 2011

Today two VC10 C1Ks made their way to Bruntingthorpe on their final flight as they too have an appointment with the scrapman. XV102 and XV107 should have arrived there today to join XV105 in the scrapper's que. The 'spares reclamation' process on XV105 is currently on hold while a 737 is processed. Photos of XV105 can be found in this topic on The Buccaneer Aviation Group forums.

Later this month XV101 is also scheduled to make its last flight to Bruntingthorpe.

Update: XV107 went 'tech' before departure and therefore only XV102 was delivered, bursting a tyre just after landing. Photos here: VC10 XV102 retires (Buccaneer Aviation Group forums).

Update 2: XV107 was delivered a day later, on 13 December 2011 as 'Ascot 859'.

Update 3: the two links above seem to be dead, the topic doesn't exist anymore on the forums. This page on the Keypublishing forum does show photos of both XV102 and XV107 landing (scroll down).


British Airways ad featuring the VC10

British Airways Youtube channel, September 2011

British Airways launched their new advertising campaign with a video called 'To Fly. To Serve'. Using footage shot at Duxford, Shuttleworth and other locations as well as some clever digital manipulation it shows scenes from its past. These include several historic airliners with the VC10 part being played by Duxford resident Super VC10 G-ASGC. Click the link above to watch it.


Video still from the ad showing a recreated scene.
Image copyright British Airways

There is also another video which shows more of the story: British Airways people & planes over the last 90 years

And a 'making of' video here: British Airways - the making of our advert


XV105 retires today

E-mail, 30 August 2011

VC10 C1K XV105 was scheduled to fly to Bruntingthorpe on Friday 26th August but bad weather meant that this delivery had to be delayed. The plan is now to depart from RAF Brize Norton late in the morning for its last ever flight, with an estimated arrival time around 12:30. At Bruntingthorpe she will undergo spares recovery and scrapping at the hands of GJD Services in a similar fashion as XR807 and XV109 were processed last year. Public access to the airfield around the time of XV105s arrival will not be possible.


BBC news item about VC10 deployment over the Mediterranean

BBC website, 27 June 2011

The BBC was aboard a 101 Squadron VC10 which is deployed on refuelling duties over the Mediterranean to support the bombing raids on Libya.  Click the link above to see the video.


G-ASGC is prepared to star in British Airways commercial

Flypast forums, June 2011

Recent activity at Duxford saw resident Super VC10 G-ASGC undergoing washing and a facelift in preparation for a British Airways commercial that will be filmed there. Rapide G-AIYR sported Imperial Airways colours for the same purpose, as well as Shuttleworth's DH.51 G-EBIR which was standing in for a DH.16. It looks like 'GC will retain the BOAC/Cunard colours, but I'm hoping that the finish will have more of the golden shine of the original scheme.


Photo B. Marshall

Photo B. Marshall

Photo D. Whitworth

10 Squadron to be reformed on 1 July 2011

Royal Air Force, May 2011

10 Squadron, for years the main military operator of the VC10, is to be reformed on 1 July 2010. It will then continue in its role as a tanker/transport squadron operating the new A330 tanker for the Royal Air Force. In service the aircraft will be known as the KC-30 Voyager Tanker. It will start out with two A330s but will build up to 14 aircraft eventually.


A4O-AB moves at Brooklands to enable Concorde turnaround

Brooklands Museum, May 2011

On 10 May 2011 A4O-AB was pushed back several yards to create the needed room to turn Concorde G-BBDG around. Assisted by a team from British Airways Engineering 'DG was pulled forward on 11 May, turned around and parked back in its spot. But this time with her nose into the prevailing wind which should lessen the stress that high winds put on her airframe. VC10 A4O-AB was subsequently moved back to her original parking spot, as well as BAC 1-11 G-ASYD which also had to make way.


Pushing the VC10

'DG into the first turn, showing her proximity to the VC10

Job done!

Photos J. Downey


ZA149 assists in A400M development

Forum and e-mail, February 2011

K3 ZA149 was flown to Toulouse to assist in developing Airbus' latest military transport, the A400M. To clear the large airframe for air-to-air refueling the pair performed dry contacts in preparation for full refueling trials later in the program.

Article on Flightglobal.com with photos here.

Added: Video posted by Airbus on Youtube


RAF Photographic competition

Daily Mail, 10 January 2011

One of the entries in the annual RAF photographic competition is a stunning overhead shot of two VC10s in close formation over Buckingham Palace during the Queen's Birthday flypast. It is just one of a number of wonderful images which have been entered and which show the diverse tasks of the RAF. Although not the winner, the image is at the top of the Daily Mail article about the competition which can be found through the link above (or click here). The other entries are also well worth viewing.


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