View Full Version : VC10 JFK LHR fastest times?

23rd Feb 2008, 17:55
Anyone have any info on the fastest BOAC/BA flight times JFK to LHR in the world's nicest subsonic airliner?

It will settle an argument that has been rumbling in the Aviate1138 household
for about 11 years. :rolleyes:

Thanks in advance

24th Feb 2008, 07:15
i recall that it was under 5 hrs?

24th Feb 2008, 08:50

Damn! Lost my bet! :rolleyes:

24th Feb 2008, 12:47
Damn! Lost my bet!

Don't pay up yet. Check it out / ask at http://www.vc10.net/

3rd Mar 2008, 20:20
I don't think that you'll be able to find the answer on my site, at least not yet but you could ask in the forums of course.

The 1968 summer timetable has a 2:00 departure and 8:40 arrival for the NY to London flight listed (times in GMT). As to how long it took on a good day... that remains the question.

Edit: Figured I might as well add it myself: http://www.vc10.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=261

3rd Mar 2008, 21:03
Well purely as a theoretical exercise...

Assuming OAT of -56c M 1.0 would equal 572kts
A cruise of M 0.92 (I've seen 0.925 quoted as max) would be 526kts TAS
JFK-LHR is 2996NM (3000 for cash!)
Assuming 526kts TAS from takeoff to touch down and an average tailwind of 100kts it should take 4.8 hrs.

Given that we were seeing winds of over 160kts at altitude this weekend and in the past I've seen 210kts+, sub 5hrs looks possible.

4th Mar 2008, 15:57
I've never landed with a 100kt tailwind!

We used to cruise at .84 and .86M indicated usually and were natuarally
restricted within the NATS system on the ocean. During the 'Air Race' JFK-LHR some good crossing times were converted to 'nil point' by long taxy foul ups either end.

I personally sat mesmerised one night as the G/S increased to 676 Kts in very
smooth air on a crossing from Chicago. The block time I recall beat the schedule by an hour.

Brain Potter
5th Mar 2008, 18:58
I don't know about JFK-LHR , but Dulles-Brize Norton has been done in less than 5 hours. However, it is probably much quicker to dive into Brize with no delay than into LHR. Also, the RAF log take-off to landing and the civvies use block time - so the evidence of BOACs fastest flight time would be harder to find.

6th Mar 2008, 12:36
I used to fly with an ex. RAF VC-10 pilot who took Maggie Thatcher to Washington in a very fast time.

They were late leaving UK and a aid to Maggie asked if they could make up time so they could arrive before Pres. Mitterand of France.

I think he said they cruised at .92, landed with minimum fuel and beat the French.:D

Fake Sealion
6th Mar 2008, 12:47
This thread raises a question in my mind.
Apart of course from the Concorde, is there a recorded fastest block time for JFK - HRW flown by an aircraft operating a normal fare-paying flight ?

Just curious.

8th Mar 2008, 17:18
Afraid i don't know about JFK-LHR but I was part of the crew who held the Le Bourget - LHR record at 27 mins. I wonder if it is still current?

9th Mar 2008, 14:59
Bit more thread creep, sorry..
I recall that back in the early nineties during a spell of strong westerlies there was an unofficial competition among STN 146 crews to see who could do STN-BRU the quickest. (BRU, the only building site with its own airport!). I don't know what the record was but I remember we were very pleased with ourselves one evening when we did it (T/O to touchdown) in 29 minutes. (Gave us plenty of time to get to the DF shop for the beer!)

16th Jul 2008, 09:41
Wrecker, I don't know if it's still current but I recall a fast journey between LHR and CDG (35 mins flight time in a BA 767 during which a meal was served in Club!).

Slats One
16th Jul 2008, 10:45
VC10 times across the Atlantic?

There is a record -I think it was in December 1972 or 1975 - will try to find the proof, anyway, a block time of 5hours and 3 mins was achieved by a BOAC SVC 10.

Big jetstream activity west- east and straight up the A4 road -over Jock's cafe and onto Thiefrow's tarmacadam.

PPRuNe Pop
16th Jul 2008, 13:10
There are a couple of VC10 Captains, RAF and civil, willing to do the calcs on that one I'm sure.

Never flew them myself. :{


16th Jul 2008, 13:16
Thanks Slats, I will however not hold my breath! My soulmate was attending to the SLFs needs on one quick flight in '72. She lost all her notes/pics when her ex threw them on a bonfire. Well he was only a BA Snr Cptn 744s. You know how touchy some of the Hamble ones were! :rolleyes:

Captain Airclues
16th Jul 2008, 13:40
My shortest chock to chock time is 6 hours 20 minutes in G-ARVH on 5th October 1972 (BA508). Although I didn't record the flight time, it was probably very short, as there were generally long queues for take-off at JFK at that time of the evening.


Slats One
16th Jul 2008, 13:56
And my last post is meant to have read five hours and thrity minutes - 5 Hr 30mins not 5 hours and 3 mins!

Apologies. The record, I am now anecdotally told was indeed on a December 9th - 1972 or 1975 - can anyone substantiate this?

Oh and G-ARTA proving flights from LHR to LOS and straight back in day must have poured on the power too... Out at 5am and back just before midnight!

An Easy Jet VC10 then...

I must go other wise I shall recount childhood stories of rides on BOAC, Nigeria, Ghana and EAA VC10s and SVC10s around Africa. Oh what wonderful trips you old timers must have had actually flying them...

Kano, thrust reverse, rocks hitting the fuselage, the airport garden, chap on a camel blowing horn to announce BOACs imperial arrival: BOAC girls in startched bras and ex Atlantic Barons slumming it in the heat- pure nostalgia..

17th Jul 2008, 15:30
I don't know about JFK-LHR times (although I did fly it in a Super as a teenage pax in '67) but this seems quite impressive - courtesy of the Brize Norton website:
On the 8th April 1987 101 Squadron celebrated its 70th Anniversary by breaking its own non-stop speed record from UK to Australia. Wg Cdr Jim Uprichard flew a VC10 K3 from Brize Norton to Perth in just under 16 hours, refuelling twice in the air on the way.

18th Jul 2008, 13:59
Seloco, yes, that was 'Exercise Pup', when Jim Uprichard flew non-stop UK-Australia. There were 2 refuelling brackets, one in the Eastern Mediterranean (from a VC10K) and the other in the Indian Ocean (from a TriStar).

I was the captain of the supporting VC10K which did the first bracket. We'd pre-positioned in VC10K3 ZA149at Akrotiri beforehand, having checked the centreline hose over the English Channel on the way. I'd also spoken to the special frequency assignment people at Bampton Castle to sort out an HF frequency for the RV. We would be crewing in at Akrotiri at around 0-dark-00 local time and they would be somewhere over France. So some obscure 2 MHz-ish frequency was obtained and given to Jim's co-pilot, JF.

We crewed in as planned and listended for their call. Sure enough, exactly on time we heard their call. JF had one of those "This'll never work, but I suppose I'd better try to show willing" tones to his voice and was astonished to hear our respnse! We started up, had a couple of snags on start which I was prepared to take - then 'Lofty' our Air Engineer did some piece of wizardry which coaxed whatever it was back into life. So off we taxyed, needing to depart on the Easterly runway. Which was a bit of a shame as a Royal VC10 was parked by the terminal with Prince Charles on board on his way back from talking to the trees in Africa.

A full power take-off (sorry, your Highness!) at 0200Z, then down to APLON, RASDA, OTIKO and a right turn at El Daba up W727 to the RV Datum between KANAR and METRU. Knowing out boss as we did, the last thing he was going to be was late, so we'd anticipated that and after another HF call soon had him on UHF and TACAN. Our RV Bravo worked out fine and Jim made contact first time in his usual manner. We crept the speed up slowly until we were going as fast as we dared, watching some 40 tonnes of fuel going into his jet.

As we crossed El Daba again, we asked how much more gas he'd need. "Just keep pumping" came the reply - until eventually all their tanks were full. As soon as he disconnected, we turned gently away so that he didn't need to slow down, then watched as he hurtled off across Egypt.

We were cleared from Fayoum to Cairo, back to RASDA and APLON. Just in time for the first APC wave to carry out a practice intercept and an accompanied run-in-and-break at Akrotiri!

Then a day in the sun and, of course, a kebab on the strip before waiting to hear news of their landing in Australia back at the Officers' Mess. Which, of course, we then toasted in Keo. Next day we pottered off to Palermo for the night, then home on the 10th. All carefully timed to claim 2 lunch allowances at Palermo, of course! This was in the days of fun, long before the days of mean-minded bean counters, otherwise we'd have had to fly home 12 hours after landing on the 8th, no doubt.

21st Jul 2008, 12:41
All this jolly good VC10 stuff has prompted a question in the context of seeing our "prime minister" turning up at recent global events in rented bunny jets. Why do we not still use the mighty 10 to transport VIPs? Is it because:

we don't have enough to spare anymore
they're all tankers now
they're too noisy to be let in to anywhere civilised
VIPs don't like flying backwards

Personally I can think of nothing more impressive than have our head of state or head of government turning up in a pristine 10 painted in the Royal Flight livery. And what a thunderous departure they'd make too!:ok:

Slats One
22nd Jul 2008, 13:23
Sadly the VC10 is too noisy- although Ministerial rank really ought to get that rule lifted. Oh and there are some wing corrosion issues.

The VC10 VIP cabin kit by the way had a forward facing seat -across a table and rear wards facing seat the otehr side of said table. And a little bench job for flunkies opposite.

Her delightful Majesty and the good Duke loved the VC10- as did Maggie Thatcher and Jim Callaghan. Thatch used to use it all the time- especially to go and see Ronald Reagan in Washington.

There are tales of Prime Ministerial VC10 syndrome - ie power and Rolls Royce Conway power, goes to your head.

Would it not be great to see the British PM descend into world lrader conferences in a white RAF VC10 with the blue side flash and Union Jack flag rampant.... And Conway's howling in thrust reverse. Oh what memories of when this country designed and made the best of stuff!

22nd Jul 2008, 14:11
Sadly the VC10 is too noisy.

I thought that Military aircraft were exempt, internationally, from Noise Rules. No?

Guest 112233
22nd Jul 2008, 20:23
A Little VC10derness (http://www.vc10.net/) This site is an absolute must link for anyone researching a technical historical analysis of the decline / erosion of the British engineering - PS FS98/2000 users (God bless us all !!!!! ) are in for a Treat too. Full marks to PPRUNE.