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Old 27th Aug 2013, 22:57   #341 (permalink)
 
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BOAC Review from April 1964 - Special VC10 Issue


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Old 27th Aug 2013, 23:07   #342 (permalink)
 
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Some facts and figures from the same issue ...


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Old 28th Aug 2013, 07:50   #343 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D120A View Post
You were lucky, G-ALHI! I was a passenger on the inaugural Hong Kong to London (G-ARVF) on 29 September 1964. Not only no silk tie, not even the commemorative certificate for which I carefully filled in the card and which never subsequently arrived.
My commemorative certificate, which is somewhere in a box, showed the VC10 in the original B.O.A.C. scheme, and was signed by Captain Atkinson, who was in command. 'VI was in the new 'Golden Speedbird' scheme, which had been a fairly closely guarded secret, and first sight of it on the apron at Ikeja was quite a surprise. By the time I started working for BOAC in 1966, the window cheatline scheme had been modified.

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Old 28th Aug 2013, 09:10   #344 (permalink)
 
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BOAC VC10 G-ARVF was sold to United Arab Emirates in 1974 for 690,000 and included two spare engines.

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Old 28th Aug 2013, 12:46   #345 (permalink)
 
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I have very fond memories of the mighty VC10. As a jobbing writer and photographer I spent many hours lurking at the windows photographing receivers. The C1 had pretty grim windows in its latter years and the former airliner aircraft were easier to get a clearer photo from, but sitting in the freezing cold was never much fun. I think the most enjoyable flight was a Birthday flypast rehearsal, running in over Wittering with two Tornados off the wing tips. Back along the empty fuselage the Conways were kicking out some delightful tunes as the throttles were jiggled back and forth to maintain the perfect formation. Just a real delight!

I also recall a great evening take-off from Al Jubail, with a very commendable steep climb for the benefit of some observers. Good to see just what a sprightly aircraft the VC10 could be, given an opportunity.

It's very sad to be losing what is, in many respects, the RAF's very last "real" aeroplane. Computer whizzery is all very nice but for an enthusiast it's no substitute for great design, engineering and nostalgia!
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Old 28th Aug 2013, 12:48   #346 (permalink)
 
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Taildraggerman,

Are these details predictable? I'm only about two hours away...

Just noticed on the Military thread that ZA148 (ex-5Y-ADA) is heading off to St Mawgan (Newquay still sounds funny) today, on delivery to the Classic Air Force. And I've missed it.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 09:26   #347 (permalink)
 
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I am fairly new to PPRuNe and to this thread, which I have speed-read to catch up!

My father worked for the government and was posted to USA in 1964 when I was 8 and my brother was 10, we were at boarding school in UK and flew out to USA for holidays.

We had flown on several 707s and DC8s then had our first flight in a Super VC 10. Even at that tender age we sensed that it was the greatest and were thrilled by the 10, and the impression and love we both have for this plane is indelibly etched in our memories.

On our first flight we sat in the rear most seats and I had the aisle seat, I recall looking up the aisle to the flight deck curtains and to me it seemed like we were almost vertical and going up like a rocket. Certainly, as others have said, there was something "Thunderbirds" about the VC 100. Going up and down the stairs just in front of the Conways and peering into them was part of the fun.

As for the history of the rear engine/T tail design I have a relative who worked in the British aviation industry at the time, and a US friend who worked in aviation over there. Both have told me that part of the deal for US help in both World Wars was a Technology Sharing agreement, but often this was "influenced" by powerful US interests!

Both these people have told me that Boeing needed more information about the behaviour and performance of rear engines and T tails and knew that UK was ahead. Plans were drawn up under the Agreement for Boeing staff to visit HS for 3 months to learn from them, then later HS were to visit Boeing for 3 months to see what they knew. A while after Boeing's visit HS asked when they would get their reciprocal visit to Boeing. Boeing had learned all it needed to known and replied with words to the effect of "You don't!"

British history tends to politely "overlook" matters like this, and many projects such as the Miles M 52, the UK rocketry programme, TSR2, and our nuclear weapons programme were given various public reasons for cancellation, but it seems that many were actually cancelled due to US interests. It is widely known that Canada cancelled its Avro Arrow due to US pressure, but when UK projects were cancelled in similar circumstances different reasons were given to avoid damaging our Special Relationship.

This is what I have been told by people on both sides, and it does sound plausible to me, but happy to be corrected!
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 21:59   #348 (permalink)
 
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Can't comment on all the projects you mention but I can assure you that TSR2's demise had absolutely nothing to do with the US. It was a victim of our own country's political ineptitude and was finally abandoned when the RAF realised that it could get a much better deal by purchasing F-111. In fact the VC10 was (to a small degree) part of TSR2's eventual demise; George Edwards was too wrapped-up in the VC10 to give TSR2 the proper attention that it deserved.

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Old 30th Aug 2013, 10:02   #349 (permalink)
 
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"It is widely known that Canada cancelled its Avro Arrow due to US pressure".

Eisenhower's veiled threats to the Canadian Prime Minister, Diefenbaker ensured the cancellation of the CF-105.

"Can't comment on all the projects you mention but I can assure you that TSR2's demise had absolutely nothing to do with the US".

Well the cancellation of the HS.P1154 and the HS.681 certainly benefitted the American aircraft industry, and the RAF failed to get a "better deal" by first ordering the F-111 and then cancelling the order.

60 P.1127(RAF), later the Harrier and ex. RN and new build Buccaneer were also ordered, so HSA did well out of the "shambles" of aircraft procurement for the RAF during the mid/late sixties.

There may be no evidence of US involvement in the cancellation of the TSR.2, but it took 50 years for the real reason for the cancellation of the CF-105 to become public knowledge.

Ciarain.
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Old 30th Aug 2013, 10:10   #350 (permalink)
 
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In 1965 I enjoyed a most memorable flight to Rome in a VC10 and still have my cigarette lighter purchased on board.


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Old 30th Aug 2013, 10:24   #351 (permalink)
 
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WH904,

Yes, and what a great success the F111 was...

There is anecdotal evidence to support some of joy ride's argument. Boeing allegedly played very dirty with HS (Hawker Siddley) over the Trident/727 (and BEA did the rest). Boeing and the US govt fought dirtily with the marketing of the 707, which - notwithstanding the excellence of its basic configuration - was a bit of a dog initially. Instead of ordering the V.1000, BOAC insisted that Vickers produce a long-haul airliner for hot/high/short-runways, and then proceeded to buy the 707 in large numbers, once the same engine (albeit less powerful) had been fitted to it.

At risk of repeating myself, the VC10 is the loveliest jet airliner to look at, and in most respects to fly. Despite its heavy tail and consequent deep wing-root and payload limitations, the 54th and last 'Ten to be built was a vastly superior a/c to the 54th B707. It would have needed a new turbofan engine to try and bring the fuel flows down closer to the later, JT3D-powered, 707s and DC8s. No such engine was available. The later fuel crisis of 1972 left BCAL's VC10s, for example, dead in the water. It's doubtful that later developments could ever have offered the 39-tonne freight payload of the B707-320C or DC8-50s, but it was a superb passenger carrier.

In most respects the 'Ten is far superior to its US rivals in terms of safety systems and redundancy, and was much more robust. But the pairing of the Conway engines did mean that we had seriously to consider the possibility of a double engine-failure on take-off, and practise it in the sim. This was just about do-able at even high weights at sea-level, but not at RTOW out of Nairobi. I wonder if the regulators might have insisted on later versions being treated as twins for the purposes of take-off performance. If so, it might have been expedient to use an RB211 engine (as once installed on a VC10 test-bed) and make it just that. Unfortunately, the RB211-524 came too late...

Last edited by Chris Scott; 30th Aug 2013 at 11:13.
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Old 30th Aug 2013, 18:20   #352 (permalink)
 
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VC10 was part of TSR2's problems. George Edwards was wrapped-up with VC10 and BAC-111 and didn't give TSR2 the attention it needed until it was too late. Conversely, he seemed to think Vickers had a divine right to handle the programme when by any standards it would have been better under EE's control. He even demanded that the prototype should make its maiden flight from Brooklands on the basis that the VC10 had just succeeded in doing the same thing, which demonstrated how poor his grasp was of TSR2's potential and performance.

Ultimately, it was the Government's fault for driving the programme by committee and for blackmailing Vickers and EE into a merger in order to get the contract for TSR2. It ran out of control with over-specification being added repeatedly until it was so expensive (and arguably obsolete, once East of Suez was abandoned) that the next Government was certain to scrap it in favour of F-111 and AFVG. Edwards was a great man but he really should have concentrated on the VC10 and BAC-111 and left TSR2 to EE, and then it might have survived.
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Old 4th Sep 2013, 06:56   #353 (permalink)
 
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This ad still makes the hairs on my neck stand to attention!

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Old 4th Sep 2013, 10:42   #354 (permalink)
 
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Pity the pilot didn't de-crab...

...Which led me to this one:

BOAC VC10 Advertisement 1960s/70s - YouTube

Clever editing to "fly"a camera in through the captain's D/V window, into the cockpit (sorry... flight deck), and then along the cabin. All apparently seamless, and decades before CG were invented.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 4th Sep 2013 at 10:46.
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Old 4th Sep 2013, 14:02   #355 (permalink)
 
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Guess the J31 and the 1-11 didn't do the same for you then Crewmeal
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Old 4th Sep 2013, 20:36   #356 (permalink)
 
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The safety issues regarding paired engines was something that was tested on the 27 November 1969 when G-ASGK #3 lp turbine failed and the reverser of that engine fell off. Damage to #4 started a fire.
Not long after that a mod was introduced to fit pieces of, if I remember correctly, 0.5" armour plate to the firewalls between the two engines.

Richard
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Old 4th Sep 2013, 23:10   #357 (permalink)
 
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sandringham 1,

It's 40 years since I was on the VC10, but must admit I don't remember having heard of the G-ASGK failure, and presumed the armoured shielding was original equipment.

The other potential problem was identified, IIRC, during the investigation into the EAA accident at Addis: ingestion of disintegrating tyres, including the nosewheel tyres.
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 05:51   #358 (permalink)
 
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Chris

It got airborne from 28 at LHR en route to the US, had the described incident and returned from around Woodley, if my memory serves me correctly.

May even have landed on the 10's but I can't remember.

Johnny Smurthwaite was the captain I think.

Alan
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 07:22   #359 (permalink)
 
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Yes. Johnny Smurthwaite was the captain. A double engine failure also happened again at New York with Roger Whitefield as the captain. I can't remember which aircraft it was but they did a very rapid return!

Following these failures, we even practised double engine failures during command courses at Prestwick on the real aircraft. Obviously it was done at light weight. You set off down the runway, throttled back one engine just after V1 and then throttled back the other on the same side just after lift off. The training captain kept his hand on those throttles all the time just in case!

Looking back I shudder at the memory and think it was daft. The simulator is the only place for antics like that!
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 09:00   #360 (permalink)
 
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I believe in Roger's case at JFK, debris from the failed engine damaged the adjacent engine's fire detection system causing a false fire warning, rather than a second engine failure as such.
If I remember correctly I believe he realised this and in view of the critical nature of the event (max weight, high air temperature), kept that engine running until they got down safely.

One of those fine examples where, in an emergency, it may be necessary to break all the rules and live to argue your case at the subsequent enquiry from the safety of an office chair ....
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