The Vickers VC10 is a mid-sized, narrow-body long-range British jet airliner designed and built by Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd.
Vickers VC-10 K-3 Tanker
British commercial aircraft
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The Vickers VC10 is a mid-sized, narrow-body long-range British jet airliner designed and built by Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd and first flown at Brooklands, Surrey, in 1962. The airliner was designed to operate on long-distance routes from the shorter runways of the era and commanded excellent hot and high performance for operations from African airports. The performance of the VC10 was such that it achieved the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by a jet airliner, a record still held to date for a sub-sonic airliner, of 5 hours and 1 minute; only the supersonic Concorde was faster. The VC10 is often compared to the larger Soviet Ilyushin Il-62, the two types being the only airliners to use a rear-engined quad layout; the smaller business jet Lockheed JetStar also had this engine arrangement.
Although only a relatively small number of VC10s were built, they provided long service with BOAC and other airlines from the 1960s to 1981. They were also used from 1965 as strategic air transports for the Royal Air Force, and ex-passenger models and others were used as aerial refuelling aircraft. The 50th anniversary of the first flight of the prototype VC10, G-ARTA, was celebrated with a "VC10 Retrospective" Symposium and the official opening of a VC10 exhibition at Brooklands Museum on 29 June 2012. The type was retired from RAF service on 20 September 2013. It has been succeeded in the aerial refuelling role by the Airbus Voyager. VC10K3 ZA147 performed the final flight of the type on 25 September 2013.
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In 2001, Oman-based VC10s were used in some of the first missions of the war in Afghanistan, refuelling US carrier-based aircraft carrying out strikes on Afghan targets. The VC10s provided air transport missions in support of British and allied forces stationed in Afghanistan fighting against the Taliban, codenamed Operation Veritas. VC10s remained on long term deployment to the Middle East for twelve years, ending just before the type's retirement.
Vickers VC-10 K-3 Tanker
A total of 12 Type 1101 VC10 were purchased in 1964–65, followed by 17 Type 1151 Super VC10 in 1965–69. The VC10 became an immensely popular aircraft in the BOAC fleet, both with passengers and crew, being particularly praised for its comfort and low cabin noise level. BOAC (and later British Airways) obtained higher load factors with the VC10 than with the 707 or any other aircraft of its fleets.
Role Narrow-body jet airliner and aerial refueling tanker
National origin United Kingdom
First flight 29 June 1962
Introduction BOAC, 29 April 1964
Retired Royal Air Force, 20 September 2013
Status Retired Produced 1962–1970
Number built 54
Unit cost £1.75 million
Crew: 4 + 3 flight attendants
Capacity: 151 passengers
Length: 158 ft 8 in (48.36 m)
Wingspan: 146 ft 2 in (44.55 m)
Height: 39 ft 6 in (12.04 m)
Powerplant: 4 × Rolls-Royce Conway Mk 301 Turbofan, 22,500 lbf (100.1 kN)
Maximum speed: 580 mph (933 km/h)
Range: 5,850 miles (9,412 km)
Service ceiling: 43,000 ft (13,105 m)
Wing loading: 110 lb/ft2 (534 kg/m2)
Vickers VC-10 K-3 Tanker/Transport
The Vickers VC10 is a mid-sized, narrow-body long-range British jet airliner designed and built by Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd and first flown at Brooklands, Surrey, in 1962.