View Full Version : Duxford to scrap Super VC10?

Skipness One Echo
3rd May 2012, 23:27

My blood ran cold when I saw someone ask this in the Spectators Balcony. Now I was at Cosford the weekend they began scrapping the BA collection and I would rather not have my heart broken twice. I know one RAF airframe is earmarked for Cosford but are Duxford really thinking of scrapping the only preserved Super VC10?

4th May 2012, 08:44
Well that's spoiled my Friday morning. Someone from DAS please tell me this is not true! I have a very personal connection to the VC10 and this would be an absolute tragedy if it happened.

5th May 2012, 12:06
Insanity at its lowest level.

5th May 2012, 12:26
I hope this is not true, the Super VC10 is my favourite plane as you can tell from my name.
They will start scrapping Concords next I reckon. Bashttp://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/censored.gifs

5th May 2012, 14:02
I'd rather see them scrap a couple of Concordes before they look at the 10!

Agaricus bisporus
5th May 2012, 23:43
Sadly this is the almost inevitable fate of any aircraft left out in the weather unmaintained for years. There are plenty of similar cases in museums rotting quietly back into the earth. Duxford can't go rebuilding corroded VC10's can it?

Skipness One Echo
6th May 2012, 00:32
Is there no hope of ever seeing the Duxford airliners hangared?
The Comet at East Fortune looked like a scrap job when I saw it in 1988 and it's still there!

6th May 2012, 09:10
I'd rather see them scrap a couple of Concordes
Comet at East Fortune looked like a scrap job

After one of the Air Shows at East Fortune I happened to speak to a fairly senior person.

I'd mentioned that the Concorde display was impressive but it was a pity there wasn't any money to put the Comet under cover too - especially as it was actually a 'rarer' aircraft.

The senior person said money had been spent on Concorde because the general public were interested in it.

I suppose they have to get people to visit.

3rd Jun 2012, 20:44
A significant factor in the economics must be Local Authorities. Frankly, museums should be exempted from Rates of any description anyway, as they are non-profit/charities etc. Even when they are empty, buildings can attract vast demands from rapacious councils. I've seen many perfectly good buildings have had to be demolished because of this. It's complete and total insanity, especially when a large part of proceeds go to fund things that Councils should have bugger-all to do with in the first place. :ugh:

3rd Jun 2012, 21:03
Well the most they will pay will be 20%, from HM Revenue & Customs: Charities and tax: the basics (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/charities/tax/basics.htm#5)

Charity business rates relief

Your charity is also entitled to relief from business rates - you pay no more than 20 per cent on any non-domestic property which is used for charitable purposes. For more information contact your local authority.

4th Jun 2012, 18:54
It's interesting that this topic keeps popping up, has anyone bothered asking DAS or somebody at Duxford about this already? Just saying that it might be nothing more than an unfounded rumour.

4th Jun 2012, 21:15
No. Duxford / DAS are not going to scrap the VC-10.!

Agaricus bisporus
4th Jun 2012, 22:21
What's the big deal with Duxfords VC10? perhaps I'm wrong but aren't here many other ex Crab examples still in almost perfect nick that could b put into civvy paint to give the type another 20 yrs festering in the open before corrosion raises this same daft question? If we really want to preserve these things then we must Put them under cover, if we can't be bothered to do that then we must consider them expendable.

pretty basic, isn't it?

15th Jan 2014, 21:02
The duxford VC-10 is the last surviving type 1151 super (that has not been converted to an 1180) it also holds the subsonic transatlantic record, the only airliners to have crossed the Atlantic faster are concordes. One other 1151 does exist, at bruntingthorpe, that is ZD241, neé G-ASGM however that has been converted to a type 1180, (K4 Tanker) leaving GC as the sole surviving 1151.

I believe at this time GM is to be preserved as a 'runner' for 'fast taxing'

Shaggy Sheep Driver
15th Jan 2014, 21:09
A VC10 holds the subsonic transatlantic speed record? I'm amazed! It's a lovely aeroplane, my second favorite airliner after Concorde, but having been designed to meet a BOAC spec for good 'hot and high' short field performance on the Empire routes (just before those airfields were extended for the Boeings!) I'd assumed it carried a cruise performance penalty?

A Concorde once did LON - NY in about 2hrs 50 ish. What did the '10 do it in?

15th Jan 2014, 21:22
You should not be too surprised, it could reach .97 in level flight although at that speed its all a bit hair raising, and I think fuel consumption must have been horrendous! but yes one does, the only one that was faster was the Convair 990 I believe but if that tried to cross as fast as a 10 would be ditching in the Atlantic, it just did not have the range of the VC10 at that speed.

G-ASGC did the crossing in 5 hours 5 mins, JFK - Prestwick, the story is here Testing and early days (http://www.vc10.net/Memories/testing_earlydays.html#AtlanticDash)

15th Jan 2014, 21:28
As an aside, the 10 overall cost BOAC less than their 707s

17th Jan 2014, 13:01
1151 might that "lower" cost be after £30Mn. (66/67) Govt. offset of higher operating costs cf.707-320C? BOAC June,64 pressed Ministers to permit deletion of “uneconomic” Super VC10 and secured reduction from 30 to 17. BOAC/Airtours operated 29 707s, last Service 6/84, 29 VC10s, last Service 5/81. Weight. Brick dunny.

17th Jan 2014, 14:32
When I flew the VC10 for BOAC we had two flight planning tables, M.84 and M.86. However there was a difference between indicated Mach and true Mach. For an .84 cruise (indicated) we would file ,825 with ATC. There was a big fuel difference between ,84 and .86 so I would imagine that .87 would have been interesting. Perhaps someone with more recent experience (BEagle?) could confirm the actual difference.
On the other hand I once flew a B747-400 from Heathrow to Tokyo at M.87 (with company approval to beat the curfew) and the extra fuel used was under 2000kg.
Whatever the truth about the speed, the VC10 was certainly a beautiful aeroplane to fly. BTW, I recently visited Duxford and confirmed that there are no plans to scrap the VC10.

17th Jan 2014, 14:47
With thanks to 1103 who posted these quotes on my forum:
From Brian Trubshaw's autobiography - Test Pilot - page 64

"It is worth recording that in 1972-73 BOAC reported that the Super VC10's were averaging 11.09 hours per day compared to the 707's 8.7 hours and the operating costs per revenue flying hour were £486 for the Super VC10 and £510 for the 707".

From Sir George Edwards biography - From Bouncing Bomb to Concorde - page 138

"The VC10 achieved load factors nearly 20% higher than the average of fourteen other airlines and were soon attracting average payloads of 70%, which according the Charles Gardner, made them a bigger profit earner than the optimum 707. these high numbers were sustained by BOAC as the aircraft became ever more popular, becoming the preferred choice for regular passengers despite extensive choice.

Gardner concluded; 'So the Super VC10, denigrated in advance by BOAC as too expensive to operate economically - and for which they obtained some £30 million in subsidy as recompense - turned out to be actually cheaper to fly than the 707 and also attract more passengers'."

From the book British Aircraft Corporation - A history by Charles Gardner

The breakdown of load factor figures were in 1965

Super VC10 ...........................................71.6%
Average BOAC........................................60.8%
Average for 14 airlines (excluding BOAC)........52.14%

BOAC's 707 figures were inflated by over-spill from fully booked Super VC10s.
And what is difficult to figure out are the total costs of the aircraft when maintenance is factored in. The 707s were apparently lifed to something like 30,000 hours and then needed a large bulk of cash to get back into service. The VC10s in comparison had a much less costly programme to extend its service life and this could be done more often.

More details here: A Little VC10derness ? View topic - 707 higher overall cost of ownership than the VC-10 ? (http://www.vc10.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=889)

17th Jan 2014, 15:57
I believe that 'GC was under threat at one time, but only because there was the possibility of an RAF airframe being donated to Duxford, and the museum didn't want two of them. When that didn't happen, she was more or less safe again. There's also just been a change at the top so there may be a new insight into preserving the airliners......;)

17th Jan 2014, 16:21
Let's hope so because their BAC 1-11 G-AVMU has been sat outside in all weathers in just primer for a year and a half now! That's what I really call caring for their collection! Whatever the reasons, it isn't very impressive is it?

17th Jan 2014, 16:54
Not to mention the Dart Herald, though I gather it's slated for renovation.

17th Jan 2014, 20:51
It's important to note that the airliners (including Concorde) are owned by Duxford Aviation Society, a very small group with limited resources. The 1-11 has been on and off a few times, but the word is that BA are now going to lend some manpower, and maybe materials, to get it done, possibly now with a bit of assistance from the IWM.

The Herald has been done with just DAS people, and of course it takes a long time when there's not many of you. It would be great to get them all under cover, but there isn't the room.

They have volunteers too, I'm sure that they would love to hear from any PPRuNers who would like to join up!

20th Jan 2014, 08:59
The Herald has been done with just DAS people, and of course it takes a long time when there's not many of you.

It took something like 15 years to complete the restoration on the Ambassador.

Chris Scott
20th Jan 2014, 22:41
Quote from Airclues:
When I flew the VC10 for BOAC we had two flight planning tables, M.84 and M.86. However there was a difference between indicated Mach and true Mach. For an .84 cruise (indicated) we would file ,825 with ATC. There was a big fuel difference between ,84 and .86 so I would imagine that .87 would have been interesting. Perhaps someone with more recent experience (BEagle?) could confirm the actual difference.

My Cruise Performance charts are currently at Brooklands, but FWIW (from memory) on the 1103 and 1109 with BUA/BCAL (standards, with super wing):
Mmo = M0.860 (M0.886 indicated),
M0.835 = M0.860 (indicated),
M0.820 = M0.845 (indicated).

Re Duxford's Dart Herald (G-APWJ), it would indeed be nice to see it restored - perhaps in Jersey Airlines or BUA(CI) livery, as they were the launch customer.

21st Jan 2014, 06:24
Your memory is correct for the .820 figures Chris!


21st Jan 2014, 06:39
Gosh, I haven't seen a WAT curve or SAR graph for donkeys' years.

Who needs EFBs or performance computers? :O

joy ride
21st Jan 2014, 09:53
I may well have flown on GC but feel that if it were scrapped the M11 would become a safer road.

I would be able to keep my eyes on the road!

It certainly would be nice to see all the airliners stored inside.

Brewster Buffalo
21st Jan 2014, 18:31
No need to look at you drive past. Those clever folk at Google have driven their camera car around the hangers and external exhibits at Duxford so you view the VC-10 in comfort at home..


joy ride
22nd Jan 2014, 08:42
Cheers BB. I still reckon I'll have a peek next time I pass! Actually another visit to IWM Dx is overdue!

21st Jul 2015, 09:53
The rumours are untrue, it has had a repaint and is in pride of place at Duxford.

joy ride
21st Jul 2015, 10:24
Fantastic news, The Super VC 10 is my favourite airliner and it would be a tragedy to scrap that one. I probably flew on it between USA and UK while it was in BOAC Cunard service, and at 8-12 years old I could tell that VC 10 was a better plane than the 707 and other trans-Atlantic airliners I flew in, arguably the best engineered airliner of its time.

Albert Driver
21st Jul 2015, 19:21
The rumours are untrue, it has had a repaint and is in pride of place at Duxford.

It needs to be said that the rumours may be untrue this time but unless GC is put under cover soon we will not be so fortunate next time.

23rd Jul 2015, 15:48
I don't speak with any real authority but the VC10 hasn't had a recent repaint. It was "freshened up" for a TV commercial some time ago but hasn't had any major work done since. You may be confusing it with the BAC 1-11 which was repainted earlier this year and now looks very good. The Herald is progressing and has a blue fuselage (Air UK ?)

4th Aug 2015, 17:07
The Herald is progressing and has a blue fuselage (Air UK ?)
As it should.

12th Aug 2015, 15:08
The 'buzz' at Duxford. FWIW, is that the IWM are attempting to purchase the Concorde (and presumably the York and Comet too, as they are also currently housed in AirSpace) and want shot of the rest of the airliners from Duxford.

12th Aug 2015, 15:29
Let's hope they don't get given to the Science Museum and sent to rot at Wroughton, or even worse, just get chopped up