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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
C/n 853 - G-ASGC
C/n 854 - G-ASGD
C/n 855 - G-ASGE
C/n 856 - G-ASGF
C/n 857 - G-ASGG - ZD235
C/n 858 - G-ASGH
C/n 859 - G-ASGI
C/n 860 - G-ASGJ
C/n 861 - G-ASGK
C/n 862 - G-ASGL - ZD240
C/n 863 - G-ASGM - ZD241
C/n 864 - G-ASGN
C/n 865 - G-ASGO
C/n 866 - G-ASGP - ZD242
C/n 867 - G-ASGR
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 883 - 5Y-ADA - ZA148


March 1965 Contract for purchase of three Super VC10s from BAC signed in Nairobi.

21 March 1967

First flight from Brooklands to Wisley.
31 March 1967 Delivery to EAA as 5Y-ADA, registered in Kenya.
16 August 1967 Aircraft delayed overnight at London with servicability problems with the Elliot-Bendix 200 series gyros.
30 May 1967 Suffered a four-engine flame-out at night over the Indian Ocean.
1967 When back-tracking after landing at Entebbe the aircraft failed to complete a 180 degree turn and the wheels sank into the tarmac.
26 January 1971 Carried Tanzanian President Nyerere from Bombay to Dar es Salaam to welcome exiled Ugandan President Milton Obote.
5 January 1972 Departed Dar es Salaam at 15:00 for Lusaka after a three hour delay. Shortly after take off the turbine of no.1 engine failed, raining turbine blades and pieces of the disc over a local cop on the ground. Captain Alan Burkitt diverted to Nairobi, landing at 18:00 after circling for 30 minutes to burn off fuel.
12/13 February 1974 Captain Reg Cartwright flew his last sectors on a Super VC10, London-Rome-Nairobi, before retiring.
7 December 1974 Aircraft fell off the tail jack during maintenance work in the hangar, damaging the rear fuselage and one engine beam. A repair was carried out after Vickers constructed a special one-off half engine mounting frame, leaving the aircraft slightly heavier than the others when it flew again three months later. According to Davis' book the cause was an error made when lowering the jacks, but a story here lists another cause.
23 April 1975 Operated from London to Nairobi.
25 April 1975 Operated Nairobi - Athens - London Heathrow with Vice President of Kenya on board.
28 January 1977 VC10s parked up at Embakasi airport upon collapse of EAA.
31 May 1977 Left Nairobi at 6:30GMT for Filton captained by Arthur Ricketts. Just after take off the aircraft had a total hydraulic failure and the landing at Filton ten and a half hours later was slat- and flapless but uneventful.
30 September 1978 Sold to RAF for conversion to tanker.
4 July 1984 First flight from Filton as a K3 tanker.
1984 - 1985 Used by AAEE for development while ZA141 was being repaired.
Feb-May 1985 Used on four occasions to examine the behaviour of the K3 behind a Victor tanker resulting in a BAe report from the Dynamics department at Weybridge.
27 March 1986 Delivery to 101 Squadron as ZA148, letter 'G' on the fin.
1991 Acquired 'The Empire Strikes Back' nose art during its Gulf War service, along with an impressive mission tally.
July 1995 Repaint into grey colourscheme.
21 June 1999 Hit a flock of seagulls during take off from Ancona Air Base. Captained by Flt Lt Gary Weightman.
17 June 2006 Took part in the flypast for the Queen's 80th birthday, leading four Jaguars from 6th Squadron.
  Name 'George Thompson VC' transferred to ZA148.
December 2011 Name 'Guy Gibson VC' transferred due to retirement of XV102.
November 2012 Name 'William Rhodes-Moorhouse VC' transferred due to retirement of XV108.
20 August 2013 Tim Skeet, head of the Classic Air Force, announces that they have purchased ZA148 during the 50th anniversary of the 1-11's first flight at Brooklands.
28 August 2013 Final flight. Left RAF Brize Norton at 9:10am and flew a practice approach at Bristol Airport before landing at Newquay (ex-RAF St. Mawgan) at 10:56am after a few low passes.
March 2015 ZA148 changed ownership after the Classic Air Force announced it would close its Newquay facility. It has been looked after since then by the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre.
July 2015 Moved to its new home next to HAS 3 along with resident 1-11 ZH763.
November 2017 A set of Conways was refitted to ZA148
November 2021 US registration N148ZA assigned. This is to be able to use parts from ZA148 in the restoration to flying status of ZA150.
October 2023 Work started on dismantling the airframe at Newquay. Undercarriage and other parts were removed, leaving the airframe lying on its belly.
17 November 2023 Forward fuselage moved to SWAM at St. Athan, Wales.

Additional information

The Old Lady needs a Hip Replacement


Photo copyright BAE Systems / Brooklands Museum archives

Photo M. Winter / NARA-Verlag

Photo A.J. Altevogt

Photo F. van Vliet

1. The tail of 5Y-ADA frames another EAA Super VC10 against a Nairobi sunset.
2. 5Y-ADA at Frankfurt.
3. 5Y-ADA seen at Paris Orly Airport on 4 June 1969.
4. 5Y-ADA taxiing past the photographer.

Photo S. Fitzgerald

Photo T. Russell

Photo T. Russell

Photo T. Russell

1. Steve Fitzgerald took this photo at Heathrow on 25 July 1974.
2. 5Y-ADA on a sunny day, standing on the engine run up area with a Dragon Rapide.
3. The EAA hangar in Nairobi with a DC-9, F-27 and Dakota in front of the damaged 5Y-ADA.
4. A close-up of the damaged fuselage of 5Y-ADA after being pierced by a jack.

Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

Photo via D. Williams

Photo via D. Williams

1. 5Y-ADA parked at the Heathrow maintenance base with a BOAC example in the background.
2. Parked at the gate.
3. Coming in for a landing.
4. In storage at Filton, awaiting conversion.

Photo copyright BAE SYSTEMS

Photo copyright Paul Davis

Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

1. In storage at Filton, awaiting conversion.
2. 5Y-ADA, now ZA148, during the early stages of dismantling.
3. A gleaming new ZA148 parked at Filton outside the Brabazon hangar in July 1984.
4. In 1984 and 1985, ZA148 was used at A&AEE Boscombe Down for flight trials to clear the new tanker type for service. This photo was taken there on 21st September 1985 showing a still un-coded ZA148.

Photo J. van Hest

Photo Peter R. Foster

Photo Crown Copyright

Photo Crown Copyright

1. The underwing refuelling pod seen on K3 ZA148, now coded 'G'.
2. Two French Mirages form the 'trade' for this photo.
3&4. ZA148 refuelling Lightning F.6 XR771, an airframe that is preserved at the Midland Air Museum, Coventry Airport.

Photo Crown Copyright

Photo collection J. Hieminga

Photo P. Robinson

Photo A. Townshend

1. ZA148 banking away from the camera ship.
2. A wonderful setting sun at Brize Norton, silhouetting ZA148 and two other tankers in the background.
3. ZA148 collected an impressive set of mission markings to go along with its noseart.
4. S3 Viking in contact on the centre line hose of ZA148. Seen through the screen on the engineers panel, the image comes from a camera on the belly that is used to monitor all refuelling activities.

Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

Photo Crown Copyright

Photo C. England

Photo C. England

1. By May 1996 ZA148 has received its new grey colourscheme, which can be compared to the short-lived blue variant on ZA149.
2. In 2006 ZA148 led a formation of four Jaguars over Buckingham Palace for the Queens 80th Birthday and the annual Trooping the colour parade.
3. Same airframe, another flypast, this time it would be one of its last (Newquay 28th August 2013).
4. ZA148 performed some flypasts at the Cornwall airfield that would become its new home.

Photo C. England

Photo A. Lathey

Photo C. England

Photo copyright Classic Air Force

1. Final landing for this ex-EAA Super VC10, ZA148 about to touch down on the Newquay runway.
2. ZA148 was given a fitting welcome at Newquay airport.
3. Crew for 148's final flight: Flt Lt Nick Millikin (Captain), Flt Lt Bruce Thomson (Navigator), Flt Lt Kev Booth (Air Electronics Officer), and Flt Lt Jess Gammon (Co-pilot).
4. Parked on the CAF platform after its last flight.

Photo C. England

Photo J. Temple

Photo C. England

Photo Ian Grinter via South Wales Aviation Group

1. Parked on the CAF platform after its last flight.
2. When seen in October 2013 ZA148 has lost its engines but seems to be otherwise complete.
3. As a tribute to the various VC recipients whose names flew on VC10s, ZA148 carried all the VC scrolls along both sides of its forward fuselage. In 2020 the decision was taken to preserve the additional scrolls and relocate the three that ZA148 flew with to their original positions next to the entry door.
4. On 17th November 2023 the forward fuselage of ZA148 arrived at the South Wales Aviation Museum at St. Athan. Apart from a small fuselage section, the rest of the airframe was scrapped.



EAA White fuselage top, grey tailplane and fuselage bottom. Four colour cheatline in black, red, yellow and green, broadening towards the rear. Sun logo on white fin with flags of three EAA parter nations, country of registration at top. East African in light blue above windows.
RAF First 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 along with 46 mission markings.
RAF All over grey scheme with large lightning flash down the side of the fuselage. Toned down roundels and fin flashes, code letter on fin. In later years the cockpit area and fuselage spine were painted with a different, lighter coloured, undercoat, to lower the temperature inside.

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