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News Archive - 2001/2002

Flight uses VC10 photo

Flight International, 17-30 December issue

In itself the fact that there's a VC10 related image in this magazine is nothing special, but the fact that they got it from this site is! Readers may recognise Andy Townshend's photo of a local modification to the cockpit of ZD240 that can also be found on the Photo Archives - Inside the VC10 page.

This page features the answers to Flight's 'Uncle Roger's Quiz of the Century', and for those who would like to try their hand at it: aircraft photo no.2 should be a dead giveaway after you've visited this site!

Christmas & New Year

Goings on at St. Athan

St. Athan newsletter, November 2002

VC10 K3 ZA149 arrived on 18 November to undergo major servicing. Shortly after that VC10 C1K XV108 flew airtests on 20, 21 and 22 November after its major service had been completed. She left St. Athan for her base Brize Norton on 29 November.

On 20 November the scrap axe finally caught up with C1K XV103. She was smashed to pieces and the remains were taken away in a trailer.

K2 ZA142 is still in a partly dismantled state, stored just outside the scrap bay, while K4 ZD235 is in long term storage.

VC10 video released from Avion Video

Avion Video, October 2002

Image copyright Avion Video

Surrey based Avion Video have recently released a new title in their long list of aviation videos, titled 'Classic Wings - Vickers VC10'. Yep, you guessed it, 65 minutes of pure viewing pleasure for the true VC10 aficionado! The video can be ordered from the Avion Video website for £17,95 plus postage.

Below is the description of the video as posted on the Avion Video website. For a full review click here.

Classic Wings - Vickers VC10

Superbly engineered, but too late and tailored to the needs of only a small proportion of its potential customers, that's the VC10, a very British airliner indeed.

Using some amazing fully restored archive cine film, we present the story of the VC10. It's all here; construction, pre-delivery flight testing, displays at Paris and Farnborough. BOAC's Ist Standard VC10 service to Lagos, and BOAC Cunard's inaugural Super VC10 to New York. BUA and British Caledonian at Gatwick. The Commonwealth customers; Ghana, East African and Nigeria Airways, plus MEA and Gulf Air.

The civil use of the VC10 is drawn to a close by the Sultan of Oman's executive model, flying back to its Brooklands birthplace.

From the hand-over of the first aircraft to 10 Squadron, we follow the RAF's use of this versatile machine as an airliner and later as an air to air refueller. Stunning shots of Tornadoes and Jaguars 'at the pumps' and an amazing sequence refuelling a prototype AEW Nimrod, are complemented by recent video of VC10s in action at Brize Norton.

In full colour throughout, together with superb digital stereo sound, it's a unique video that's an absolute 'must' for all VC10 fans.

St Athan News

St Athan Newsletter, September 2002

The September issue of the St Athan newsletter notes that XV108 is still inside the VC10 hangar undergoing major servicing. ZA142 and XV103 were to be found on the airfield in a partially dismantled state, with scrapping of XV103 to start at the end of September. ZD235 was noted in open storage all through the month of August. The cockpit section of ZA144 was also spotted during a visit to the base by the St. Athan Aviation group on 16th September.

Scrapping continues at St. Athan

Tenweb, August 2002

At DARA St. Athan the process of scrapping VC10s still continues. The photos below show K4 ZD235 and K2 ZA142 in a partially dismantled state and awaiting attention, while C1K XV103 is slowly having all its reuseable parts removed.

In contrast to these activities other VC10s have also recently been spotted at St. Athan, but this time for major servicing instead of scrapping purposes. The St. Athan newsletter records the following movements for the month of July:

XR810/-  Departed to RAF Brize Norton 17.07.2002.
XV108/- 10Sqn, Arrived 15.07.2002, C/S, ASCOT 849. For Major.

With thanks to the newsletter's editor Mervyn Thomas for keeping me up to date!

Photos from Tenweb

VC10s salute Queen on her Jubilee

Aeroplane Monthly, August 2002 issue

Although there were no preserved historic machines among the 28 aeroplanes participating in the Queen's Golden Jubilee Flypast over London on June 4, there were three British "classics" in the formation: two English Electric Canberra PR.9s from 39 Sqn at Marham and Vickers VC10 XV109 from 10 Sqn at Brize Norton. The VC10's appearance was particularly timely, as it came at the beginning of a month which saw the 40th anniversary of the first flight of Vickers' T-tailed beauty at Weybridge on June 29, 1962. A 10 Sqn VC10 was also due to be included in the Jubilee Flypast over Portsmouth on June 27, to end the Queen's Jubilee month celebrations. Nos 10 and 101 Sqns at Brize Norton are the world's last operators of the VC10, with 101 Sqn flying the K.3 and K.4 tankers, and 10 Sqn operating the C.1K transport/tanker version. Twenty of these majestic icons of the 1960s are currently based at Brize Norton and some are expected to remain in service until at least 2006.

VC10 Spare parts found

R. Malmfors, July 2002

Baltic Alloys AB from Stockholm, Sweden, recently gave an auction bid to the custom department in Cyprus for 15 loaded containers. The containers have been stored in Cyprus for eight to ten years and no owner has appeared in these years.

When they opened up the containers they turned out to contain a collection of new aircraft spare parts, for example a new Rolls-Royce Conway 550B engine, plus many other things, everything very properly packed. The parts seem to belong to the Vickers VC10, but this has not been confirmed.

The VC10's Fortieth Birthday!!

29 June 2002

Exactly 40 years ago the prototype VC10 G-ARTA left the runway at Brooklands for the first flight of the VC10. Forty years on the VC10 is still one of the backbones of the RAF as a tanker and transport and serves in this capacity with 10th and 101th squadron.

To commemorate the event The Brooklands Museum held a luncheon on 5 July which also served to mark the 15th anniversary of the arrival of A40-AB, the Sultan of Oman's VC10, at Brooklands. The guest list included an impressive array of guests, amongst which Jock Bryce, pilot on G-ARTA's first flight, and Roy Radford who succeeded Brian Trubshaw as Chief Test Pilot.

The Norvic Pilatelics website provided me with these postmarks, to be used on covers flown on a VC10 I guess? I haven't been able to find the covers, so if anyone knows more about this let me know.


The picture is unclear unfortunately but the text on the first postmark is "40th Anniversary of the Vickers VC10".

Oxfordshire Jubilee sported the following news item:

Brize Norton: RAF join the party with birthday bash (June 8)
The RAF base at Brize Norton is joining in the Golden Jubilee celebrations with a Party in the Park.
The event will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of the VC10 aircraft, a mainstay of the RAF's transport and mid-air refuelling capacity.
It is being staged on the base's sports field on the evening of Saturday, June 8 but, because of security measures, is only open to people travelling on foot.
Among the attractions are the Red Arrows, Hawks parachute display team and the Central Band of the RAF. The event will end with a firework display and a fly-past by a VC10.

To support the event, and to provide the aviation press with some photos of the VC10 at work, a formation flight was organised, an account of which can be found here: VC10's Fortieth Formation Flight

Reflections on the VC10....

Photo A. Townshend

The sun isn't setting on the VC10 yet!

Photo A. Townshend

VC10 Postage Stamp

S. Ball, 17 April 2002

On May 2 the UK's Royal Mail will be issuing a stamp featuring the Vickers VC10 as part of a set of stamps that celebrate 50 years of commercial jet aviation.

the set also features the Airbus A340-600 (2nd class inland post) Concorde (1st class inland) HS Trident (European) and the Comet (65p Airmail)

Image copyright Royal Mail, 2002

Describing the images on the stamps, the Royal Mail website records the following facts about the VC10:

"The 45p stamp features the Vickers VC10, which is remembered as the British transport aircraft par excellence. It was a durable British product designed for the ‘Old Empire’ long-haul routes to Africa and the Far East and short fields in remote areas of the globe. A total of 54 VC10s were built for commercial service. It was developed into the Super VC10 that began services to New York in 1965.

Tony Blair follows a long line of previous Prime Ministers in using the ageing VC10 jets, owned by the Royal Air Force, to make official visits abroad."

For more information visit

ZD235 - arrives at St Athan for spares recovery

Tenweb, 17 April 2002

The first K4 to be retired in recent times ZD235 has arrived in DARA St Athan for Spares Recovery and eventual scrapping. Built in May 1965 and delivered to BOAC as G-ASGG, the K4 only entered service in the early nineties, however the airframes are older than K3s, and suffer from more problems due to their time in storage during the eighties.

Meanwhile little work has been carried out on either XV103 or ZA144 which still remain on-site albeit in a rather broken-down state.

The New Year has arrived!

6 January 2002

Let me start by wishing everyone a very happy New Year!

2002 is of course an important year as the 40th birthday of the first flight of the VC10 is just a few months away! I cannot predict whether there will be many 'official' celebrations but surely those who have been involved with the VC10 will use the opportunity to reflect on their memories. And surely with many VC10s still in operational service with the RAF this day shall not pass unnoticed!

Vanguard's Fortieth

29 November 2001

Another Vickers product - the Vickers Vanguard - celebrated its 40th birthday on the 29th of November 2001 and on this occasion the only remaining complete example G-APEP 'Superb' ran two of its Rolls-Royce Tyne engines at the Brooklands Museum, with many ex-crew members looking on. A fine example of what can be achieved with a dedicated crew of volunteers.

G-APEP with no. 1 and 2 engines running

Photo by J. Downey

Operation 'Veritas'

November 2001

VC10s are still involved in operation 'Veritas', the deployment of British Forces to the Middle East in support of the United States' operations against Afghanistan. Several images of VC10s refuelling US Navy aircraft can be found on the websites of the Ministery of Defence and the RAF.

ops4.jpg (193653 bytes)

A US Navy Tomcat refuelling from the port underwing pod

Crown Copyright

vc10_sunset.jpg (186745 bytes)

VC10 at sunset

Crown Copyright

vc10_hornet.jpg (35624 bytes)

Two US Navy Hornets refuelling from a VC10

Photo US Navy

The Ultimate Number Plate

I did a bit of thinking and figured that this news item would be better placed on the VC10 memories page.

Something for Christmas?

6 November 2001

Perhaps this is a bit premature, but the holiday season is definitely approaching again, and I came across these items:

Landseair offers a limited number of reproductions of Paul Whitehouse's painting 'A Little VC Tenderness' (now where did he get that name) for £29 per signed copy. From 1 February 2002 the company will be known as Powerful, visit the new site for more info (Website dead - April 2005).

'A Little VC Tenderness' by Paul Whitehouse

Another option that will make a nice Christmas present is a VC10 model. Collector's Aircraft Models, the aircraft model shop that is situated in the Sheraton Skyline Hotel on the north side of Heathrow Airport, sells them in several different types and sizes. In the British Classic Airliners section you will find 1/100 scale desktop models, and 'Heathrow Models' offer several options in metal models, amongst which the BUA Standard VC10 shown below, which sells at £109.95.

1/200 BUA Standard VC10 from 'Heathrow Models'

VC10s at the frontline

Local Newspaper, October 2001

VC10s are once again providing valuable frontline service as several aircraft have been deployed to the Middle-East in support of the United States' operations against Afghanistan.

XV103 scrapped

TenWeb, October 2001

The first CMk1 to be scrapped in recent years is XV103. The airframe is being slowly broken up at DARA St Athan during September 2001.

Brian Trubshaw remembered

This news item has been moved to the VC10 memories page.

All but one K2 scrapped

TenWeb, August 2001

Every K2 in service apart from ZA142 has now been broken up. The airframes were disposed of at DARA St Athan. The aircraft were first stripped of usable spares, and structural sampling was carried out on a number of airframes.

ZA142 awaits its fate. It is likely to be scrapped but could be kept in service if required.

CMk1(K) XV103 also sits at St Athan awaiting spares recovery and eventual scrapping, but again could be recommissioned if so required.

ZA142 makes last operational VC10 K2 flight.

Flypast, June 2001

The last operational tanker sortie of an RAF Vickers VC10 K2 took place on March 22, when ZA142 saw 'trade' from Panavia Tornados and SEPECAT Jaguars. The aircraft was piloted by Flt Lt Anton Hamilton with Flt Lt 'Jez' Lewry as co-pilot.
ZA142 began life as G-ARVI for BOAC and flew for the first time on December 1963, from Brooklands. Delivered in April 1964, in 1975 it was sold to Gulf Air, which re-registered the aircraft as A40-VI. The RAF purchased the VC10 in December 1977, converting it into a tanker and assigning it to 101 Squadron, Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, as ZA142 in 1984.
This particular VC10 saw operational use in both the Gulf War and the Kosovo conflict, and has amassed some 50,000 flying hours. It made its final flight on March 27, departing Brize Norton for St. Athan in Wales, where it is scheduled to be reduced to spares.

 03102.jpg (125611 bytes) 03103.jpg (97624 bytes) 03104.jpg (111116 bytes)

Pictures taken during the last operational VC10 K2 sortie

Photographer Darren Hall,  MOD UK

Brian Trubshaw passed away

Aeroplane, June 2001

On 24 March 2001 well known test pilot Brian Trubshaw passed away, aged 77. While Trubshaw was co pilot on the first flight of G-ARTA, Jock Bryce who shared the cockpit on that occasion soon moved on to other projects, leaving Brian Trubshaw in charge of the development work on the VC10. Later on Brian Trubshaw became a household name as he piloted British built Concorde 002 on it's first flight from Filton, Bristol.

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