Home Classic Airliners Could the VC10 Return to Flight?

Could the VC10 Return to Flight?

by Matt Falcus
Brize Norton VC-10

The Vickers VC10 was a much-loved airliner of the 1960s, iconic for its high T-tail and four rear-mounted engines.

It flew for airlines like BOAC, British Airways, Air Malawi and, later in its life with the Royal Air Force as both a troop transport type and aerial refuelling tanker.

The last VC10 flew on 25 September 2013 when the final example was retired, with all remaining examples scattered to museums or the scrapman.

However, it now seems one group is trying to reactivate one example and fly it again, according to this article.

ZA150 was retired to Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, England, where it has been kept in a taxiable condition with all systems active, on 24 September 2013.

Now GJD Services Ltd have acquired the aircraft and two VC10 simulators and plan to get the aircraft airborne again on behalf of Keplar Aerospace, who, believe it or not, want to use the aircraft as an aerial refuelling tanker again.

Whether this happens, we’ll have to wait and see. There’s no reason to suggest the aircraft can not fly again since it has been kept essentially active. However, the lack of spares or other active VC10s means it will be difficult to support the aircraft and its maintenance needs.

But I, for one, would love to be there to witness this noisy, iconic jet take to the skies again!

[Vickers VC10s: Where Are They Now?]




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Mr Peter Kearsey August 26, 2020 - 6:09 pm

Hi i have a BOAC captain on VC10 living in the same Village as me often chat to him when passing I would like to be able to take him to see that VC10 I think that you make his day because he tells we many stories about when he flew the fleecy tens backwards and forwards around the world

Matt Falcus August 26, 2020 - 6:49 pm

Fantastic! Hope he gets to see it!

Mr Peter Kearsey August 26, 2020 - 6:09 pm

I’ve just watched the video of it and it brings back many memories because I used to work for British Airways and I’ve worked on the VC10 since 1977

Sean mclaughlin August 27, 2020 - 1:27 am

I came to Australia as a child on a VC10 eould love to see one in the air again

Stephen Kernaghan August 27, 2020 - 8:00 am

May be when flying and it could be used as a private air refueling system for different air forces in and overflying Britain.

MERVYN CROWE August 29, 2020 - 1:14 am

AHHHHH..The beautiful VC10, nothing like it…would be absolutely great to see one flying again, and I have great memories flying in them with BOAC and BUA. However, I think hard reality just might stop this, spares support and all that, but lets make sure we can still see and hear them start up and taxy!

Raymond John August 31, 2020 - 12:59 pm

British u nited were one of the most important akrlines flying the vc10 thanks to freddie lakerand you do not e en me tion them.

IAN BROWN October 1, 2020 - 6:01 pm

Would be amazing to see a VC10 in the air again. I was lucky enough to work on the BAe Systems support contract for 6 years keeping the type flying for the RAF until it’s retirement. A major problem the RAF experienced was that when tanking the tail plane was very active resulting in the Tail plane Incidence Jack (TPI Jack) having a very short period between servicing. This was very expensive and the only jigs held by a company at Stansted, where they are now who knows? The wing spars were becoming a major problem also, hopefully 150 has low hours.
I hope GJD are successful and we again see an example of the Queen of the Skies in its rightful environment.

emmanuel October 20, 2020 - 4:19 pm

I love the roar of those Conway.I wish it is rebuilt in its current shape but with improved CONWAY and updated flight systems.Can you imagine a modernized VC 10 carrying passengers.It will sell like hotcakes.

Mark Tamplin July 28, 2021 - 3:14 pm

Having serviced these on Major and Minor servicing’s at St Athan from 1996 to the last one ZA147 in 2012, I would love to see these flying again. I think the wing spar’s should be OK on this Aircraft was one the last through the final servicing and had Major work carried out the the Center Member at Rib 19-21. I’ve got unpublished pictures of every aircraft that arrived and took off from St Athan for the 2 final years and video footage of a 4hr tanker mission over the North Sea, and would love the chance to get hands on with this aircraft again . ZA150 was the first aircraft that I flew on. I will keep my eyes open for this one

Matt Falcus July 28, 2021 - 3:18 pm

Thanks Mark. You sound the ideal person to help them out with getting it flying again. You should contact them!


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