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Memorabelia - Royal Air Force

This second page of memorabelia items shows some of the publications and other artefacts that are related to the VC10 in RAF service.

Beer Mats and Stickers

VC10 in Print

Flown Covers

RAF Safety Cards

Passenger Information Brochure

Squadron Badges

RAF Squadron Medaillon

Ballpoint pen

50 Years Water Glass

Limited edition Glen Moray whisky

ESAG Calendar

2013 VC10 Calendar

ZD241 2016 Calendar

Last Flight Souvenirs

VC10 skin keytags and other souvenirs

Limited edition ZD241 watch and other memorabelia

VC10 Prints


Beer Mats and Stickers

Where better to park a pint.....
The third and fourth images are stickers from 101 Squadron with one showing the official crest and the other one a variation on this. The fifth image shows a coaster that was produced for the 95th anniversary diner of 101 Squadron, at the Brooklands Museum on 28th June 2012.

 

Photos A. Townshend & J. Hieminga

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VC10 in print

The VC10 reached many a magazine cover, especially in the first years of its existence.

1. Aircraft Illustrated, June 1972
2. Aircraft Illustrated, March 1981
3. Aircraft Illustrated, October 1977

   

1. Battle of Britain souvenir book, September 1962
 

Images via P. Robinson

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Flown Covers

This cover was flown to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the VC10. Several versions were produced, where one was signed by the five living British Prime Ministers as well as other VC10 related persons, another version featured signatures from designers and test pilots.

Image via www.aviationcollectables.co.uk

As far as I can tell this particular cover was issued to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, it includes a commemorative Gibraltar crown coin, issued in 2008, and is most likely part of a larger series about the history of the Royal Air Force.

The cover below is also linked to the 80th anniversary of the RAF with the insert summarising the story of those 80 years. The cover was flown on a towline sortie carried out by XV107, I guess on 1st April 1998. Interesting to see that the stamp shows a Vickers Varsity, the next cover below also has a Varsity link.

When you want a flown cover, the VC10 is a useful subject, if only because of the many destinations on the 10 Squadron route structure. The well-travelled example below was flown on both a Vickers Varsity and three VC10s, with the latter stopping at Akrotiri, Nairobi, Capetown and Masirah along the way, leading to a large number of stamps and signatures from two captains and an unknown third person.

Three very high-profile flights were carried out by 10 Squadron VC10s in 1991 when they brought John McCarthy, Jackie Mann and Terry Waite to the UK after their long periods as hostages. Commemorative covers such as this one were carried on the flights. This example has been signed by the detachment commander and the two captains, the ones with autographs from one or more of the passengers are more sought after and therefore more expensive.

For many years 10 Squadron maintained a regular service between RAF Brize Norton and Washington Dulles Airport. The following cover was flown on XV101, which flew the final scheduled service in August 1995, and also aimed to raise funds for the rebuilding of the Royal Air forces Association home at Sussexdown.

The 25th anniversary of the entry into service for the RAF VC10s was commemorated with the cover shown below, but this event happened to coincide with the end of the first Gulf War and because of this several versions of this cover were flown. Both covers were carried by ZA149 during 101 Sqn's return from the Gulf but the second cover was also flown on ZA140 for the OP GRANBY flypast that had to be cut short due to inclement weather over London.

There was also a 10 Squadron version of this anniversary cover, with an insert about the squadron's history. The following cover was flown on XV103 during a resupply mission to the Gulf, routing via Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and RAF Gutersloh before returning to the UK.

The cover below was issued for the 75th anniversary of the formation of 10 Squadron. It was flown on VC10 C1 XV107 during a training flight that overflew the former bases of the squadron.

The covers below were flown on two high-profile flights to commemorate the award of the Victoria Cross and the Appointment to the Most Honourable Order of the Bath as shown on these covers. I have not reproduced the inserts here but they provided brief summaries of several recipients, including WC R.A.B. Learoyd VC who has signed the first cover alongside the captain, WC G. Bunn MBE.

The cover below was created to commemorate 50 years of probe and drogue flight refuelling. The cover was flown on a 101 Squadron VC10 tanker on 11th November 1999, unfortunately the airframe is not identified. By that time the VC10 had been supplying AAR services for sixteen years, but eventually VC10 tankers have operated in this role for thirty years and two months.

The cover below was issued to commemorate 60 years of inflight refuelling, a timespan that includes several years of VC10 participation in this particular sport. It shows two VC10 tanker and tanker/transport variants alongside a Tristar. The insert offers an overview of those sixty years in images and text.

The images below show a cover that was issued in 1996 to highlight the replacement of the C-130 C1K tankers with the new VC10 K2 tanker at RAF Mount Pleasant on the Falkland Islands. From March 1996 on a VC10 tanker would be stationed with 1312 Flight at this remote location, supporting the based fighters of 1435 Flight. Over time this job would be carried out by other VC10 subvariants and in the twilight years of the type's career K4 ZD241 would become the airframe most associated with this task.

An important role that is sometimes overlooked is the aeromedical evacuation task for the VC10. This role is connected to the Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service and in 1973 the 50th anniversary of the granting of the Royal Charter to the PMRAFNS was commemorated with the cover below. It was flown from RAF Brize Norton to RAF Akrotiri on an aeromedical flight in XV107.

The VC10 also served as a useful carrier of covers when the official subject was not available, such as in this case for the anniversary of the first flight of the Vickers Valiant. At this point in time no airworthy Valiants were left and the VC10 served as a substitute, with an unidentified K3 tanker carrying these particular covers. The signatures are relevant for both types in this case, with the same two test pilots who carried out the VC10's first flight alongside designer and managing director Sir George Edwards. The inserts offer an overview of the careers of these three signatories and the Vickers Valiant.

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Safety Cards

Two images of the safety cards that were used on the K2/K3 tankers when carrying passengers. The next one is a special one, ZD241 was the only preserved VC10 that was allowed to carry passengers during taxi runs and therefore had its own safety card. Sadly, the last run was carried out in 2019 and ZD241 was scrapped in 2022.

Images via A. Townshend / collection J. Hieminga

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Passenger Information Brochure

Back in 1967 David White flew from Singapore to the UK, or to be more specific, RAF Tengah to RAF Lyneham via RAF Gan and RAF Akrotiri, on VC10 K1 XV101. The captain let him visit the flight deck and also signed the passenger information brochure for him. Here is the complete brochure together with the menu insert. If anyone recognises the signature on the cover, please get in touch!

   

Images via D. White

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Squadron Badges

Two badges as in use with the RAF. The second one is for the lesser known 1312 Flt, a detachment operating a single VC10 and a Hercules from the Falkland Islands.

Photos A. Townshend

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RAF Squadron Medaillon

A medaillon showing a front view of a VC10 on the Union Jack and on the other side the 101 Sqn crest. The text reads '101 Squadron - Mens Agitat Molem' on one side and surrounding the crest 'No one kicks ass without tanker gas'.

Photo J. Hieminga / Via S. Frampton

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RAF VC10 Ballpoint pen

A simple ballpoint pen showing a side view of the VC10.

Photo J. Hieminga / Via A. Townshend

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50 Years water glass

This water glass was produced for the dinner at the Brooklands Museum on 28th June 2012, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the VC10's first flight and the 95th anniversary of 101 Squadron. The Squadron crest and the VC10 50 years logo is on one side and the Airbus Military logo on the other.

Photo J. Hieminga

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Limited edition Glen Moray whisky

In 2013, Morayvia together with the Glen Moray distillery produced a limited edition run of 242 bottles of malt whisky to commemorate the end of the VC10's RAF service. The whisky is a Glen Moray, 10 year old, Cask strength (61.3%) single malt, drawn from a single cask by hand. All the bottles were flown on ZA147 from RAF Lossiemouth to Brize Norton on 24 June 2013, and although the VC10 burst two tires on landing, the bottles were unharmed.

The 242 bottles were delivered in a smart presentation box, with a certificate of authentication and a leaflet describing the VC10's military career and the two Squadrons that operated the type.


Image copyright Glen Moray / Morayvia

Photo J. Hieminga

Photo J. Hieminga

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The Engineering Science Aviation Group 101 Squadron Calendar

This calendar was produced by The Engineering Science Aviation Group or ESAG. Based at the Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, it comprises a membership from various backgrounds who share a passion for Military Aviation. The group actively raises money for the RAF Benevolent Fund and has produced various products in support of this. These can be obtained from their website. The limited edition 101 Squadron calendar is still available so get yours while supplies last. The only downside of this calendar is that there are women blocking the view of the aircraft in many photos but for a price of £1 we won't complain too much about that.

Have a look at their website as they also have four free wallpapers available with the same subject material (under 'merchandise').

Photos J. Hieminga

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End of the VC10 2013 Calendar

This calendar was produced by two 101 Squadron members to celebrate the VC10's career. As the text on the front states 'This collection hopes to evoke a few memories from the many years of valuable service'. Opening with Geoffrey Lee's wonderful air-to-air photo of the three-ship that flew on 28th August 2012, the calendar shows a lot of images from the VC10's long RAF career and some from the tanker's previous civil careers. Various significant dates from the VC10's career are marked on the calendar. The profits of the calendar went to charity.

Photos J. Hieminga

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ZD241 2016 Calendar

This calendar was produced by the group that looks after VC10 K4 ZD241 at Bruntingthorpe airfield. Sold through their Facebook page and initially also an Ebay shop, the proceeds will help keep ZD241 running for the years to come.

Photos J. Hieminga

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Last Flight Souvenirs

I was fortunate enough to witness the last landings of ZA150 at Dunsfold and ZA147 at Bruntingthorpe. As a memento I managed to get a headrest cover from ZA150 signed by the crew. After ZA147's landing I had to run off to the airport and missed meeting the crew myself but a friend managed to get a safety card (which is originally from a C1 but I'm not complaining!) signed by the crew who carried out the last ever VC10 flight.

Photos J. Hieminga, with thanks to R. Voice

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VC10 skin keytags and other souvenirs

Unfortunately a lot of VC10s have been scrapped by now. Small parts do occasionally turn up on various sites having been upcycled to keytags or other souvenirs. The examples below are from Doors2Manual.org and Aviationtag.com. Another source for a VC10 keytag or other bit of metal is AvroDesigns.co.uk. They produced some great mounted Conway compressor blades. Keep an eye on these websites and their social media feeds as different souvenirs are available and new ones may turn up.


A keytag made from a bit of skin from XV101, showing the dark grey colour used on the cheatline.

Every keytag is slightly different, this one has some rivets from a skin panel join.

A keytag made from ZD241's fire bottle access panel.

The difference in colour and appearance shows two different parts of VC10, fabricated and painted differently. Both tags are from Doors2Manual.

A small skin section from ZA147 with a certificate of authenticity from Doors2Manual.

This skin section shows both of the grey colours of the RAF colourscheme.

The rear surface includes a part of a fuselage stringer.

A keytag made from a piece of ZA147's skin.

The reverse of the card with mounted keytag, as produced by Doors2Manual.


A laser engraved bit of aircraft skin from XV106. Created by Aviationtag.com.


Avro Designs produced these mounted Rolls Royce Conway compressor blades. Later versions have not been polished.

Photos J. Hieminga

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Limited edition ZD241 watch and other memorabelia

In 2017 the main force behind ZD241's merchandise, Steve Jones, came up with a new idea: a limited edition stainless steel men's watch. Based on a waterproof quartz watch, it is customised with the VC10 logo, a top view drawing of a VC10 K4 and a Vickers Armstrongs logo on the black face. Also, the rear cover is laser etched with a K4 outline and an individual number, only 101 pieces have been produced. The Vickers Armstrongs logo is laser etched on the clasp, as well as on the black watch presentation box.

Photos J. Hieminga

Over the years the team looking after ZD241 has come up with many different merchandise options. Now that the airframe is no longer with us, some of this memorabelia has been donated to East Midlands Aeropark where it will be sold to support the upkeep of their XV108 VC10 fuselage section. With thanks to the team, I can now show some photos of several of these items.


Easily one of the most popular items, a VC10 bottle opener. Various other aircraft types available as well.

Both sides of a commemorative coin, with the reverse showing the logo from the control wheel buttons on a VC10.

This replica of the control wheel button looks the part and is a direct replacement for the real thing.

Two VC10 tie pins.

A leather wallet with a VC10 top view on the front and a front view of the aircraft inside.

A pen with VC10 logo and side view.

Photos J. Hieminga via P. Stephens/D. Warren

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VC10 Prints

The VC10 has inspired many artists over the years since 1962, including Sir George Edwards himself. Not everyone has the money for a painting on the wall, but art prints can be somewhat more affordable. This is just a small selection of the many prints that have been produced over the years. Some are still available and lets hope that the VC10 will inspire artists to create more of these wonderful images. For more images of prints, have a look at this post in the forum.


This image from Keith Woodcock is called 'Godsend'. It shows a K3 tanker refuelling US Navy aircraft over Afghanistan. This particular print is from a limited edition of 1000 signed prints. The original painting hangs in the officer's mess at RAF Brize Norton.
With thanks to L. Gutsell

This print was sold by 216 Squadron during the September 2013 enthusiasts day at Brize Norton. The small images on the bottom left show ZD235 'L' in its previous BA career as G-ASGG and also Tristar ZD952 as BA's G-BFCE. The painting is by Robert Tomlin and is titled 'Global Support'.

This small print is of a painting that was commissioned for the leaving OC 10 Squadron, Peter Bingham, from artist Alan Stephens, showing a row of ten VC10s of 10 Squadron. The original was painted in acrylic (16"x9") and 500 prints were made around December 1991 to be sold in aid of the RAF Benevolent fund.
Image copyright A. Stephens.

This print shows a profile drawn by Keith Broomfield for British Aerospace, depicting ZA140, the first tanker to be handed over to 101 Squadron.

The company Squadron Prints has been creating aircraft profile prints since 1977. This is one of their VC10 prints showing C1 XV102 in the original 10 Squadron colours. For more of their VC10 products click the link below.
Squadron prints

The company Squadron Prints has been creating aircraft profile prints since 1977. This is one of their VC10 prints showing C1K XV101. For more of their VC10 products click the link below.
Squadron prints

Morayvia commisioned this print from Andrew Hay / FlyingArt.co.uk, together with the limited edition VC10 whisky, to commemorate the VC10's military service. The prints were flown in, and show, XR808. See the FlyingArt.co.uk website for more VC10 prints.

The team looking after ZD241 at Bruntingthorpe produced this print, showing the liveries worn by their airframe throughout its career. This print has been signed by various team members.

Not to be outdone, this print was commissioned from AirlinersIllustrated.com by the team looking after ZA150 at Dunsfold. Have a look at their website as they also produce a print showing G-ASGR in BOAC livery.

This drawing by John Applegarth was used as the basis for a limited edition print, available from the team looking after ZD241.
   

Photos J. Hieminga

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