View Full Version : BUA livery

R for Robert
3rd Jun 2012, 16:26
Can anyone remember when BUA changed to the Sandstone and light blue livery on the VC10?

Pictures of the original and revised livery welcome.

3rd Jun 2012, 17:28
It was phased in about 1967 I believe but can't remember the exact date.

3rd Jun 2012, 17:44

http://www.bcalreunited.co.uk/photo-gallery.html?page=inline&id=2281 (http://www.bcalreunited.co.uk/photo-gallery.html?page=inline&id=2281)

3rd Jun 2012, 20:25
It was a year earlier, I believe: during 1966 sometime. I flew on their VC10s frequently to EBB.


This is a photo of the previous scheme. Note the black tail bullet: older versions were all white. This is on approach to Ndola, I believe.

5th Jun 2012, 18:24
I've got it on my site as the summer of 1966 but I'll have to check my sources for a more precise date (may not be possible as it obviously wasn't a one day change).

Photos of the BUA VC10s are here:
G-ARTA: Histories - G-ARTA (http://www.vc10.net/History/Individual/GARTA.html) (never wore the first scheme as it was bought in 1969)
G-ASIW: C/n 819 - G-ASIW - 7Q-YKH (http://www.vc10.net/Photos/cn_819__gasiw_7qykh.html)
G-ASIX: Histories - G-ASIX (http://www.vc10.net/History/Individual/GASIX.html)
And here: Other Operators (http://www.vc10.net/History/other_operators.html#British%20United%20Airlines)

Edit: I'm not that sure that the tail bullets were all white gruntie, if you look at the second link for G-ASIW you'll see that this first BUA VC10 already carried the dark blue tail bullet when under test at Wisley, before delivery to BUA.

5th Jun 2012, 20:23
I was on duty the morning all the girls came in with the new sandstone & blue uniforms. I can't remember the actual day/date though. They looked terrific :ok:

6th Jun 2012, 07:35
Jhieminga, then what about this one?

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/141/347324589_add0e1d8af_z.jpg?zz=1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ogcodes/347324589/)
VC10 taking off (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ogcodes/347324589/) by mgjefferies (http://www.flickr.com/people/ogcodes/), on Flickr

Also taken at EBB - though not by me - date is given as 1967, though must be earlier. Gurgling gives no clue. Anyone care to elucidate?

6th Jun 2012, 07:59
Note the black tail bullet:

The tail bullet was the same dark blue as the cheatline.

6th Jun 2012, 08:58
I saw the arrival of the second aircraft on its delivery to LGW. I was staying for a week as a houseguest of the BUA Personnel Director (friend of an uncle of mine) who had a house at Lowfield Heath with the runway at the end of the garden, just about the touchdown point for arrivals from the West. Although I spent most of my days spotting on the roof terraces (with occasional side trips to Biggin, Redhill and LHR) on that particular morning I had been pre-warned to be at the end of the garden at a specific time for the great arrival. Impressive it was – the wheels touched literally 100m in front of me.

During the whole week, I saw just one other jet at LGW – an N-reg Jetstar. Curiously, I did see a BUA One-Eleven during my day out at Heathrow, though.

6th Jun 2012, 09:23
I used to fly in and out of East and Central Africa a lot and seeing those beautiful VC10s brings a lump to my throat.

6th Jun 2012, 15:02
I agree Tableview. I spent 8 years in Kenya and the VC 10 provided a super "canvas" for a number of colour schemes. The East African "Sunshine" scheme was very attractive but if you saw the big blue fin with a gold Speedbird on a VC 10 parked on the apron there was a sporting chance you were going to get home.

6th Jun 2012, 16:49
Gruntie, that's something I'd call 'hard to argue with' ;)

I'll have a look through some books and things to see if I can find more about this variation. There were models that had an all white tailplane but as at least the first two BUA aircraft were delivered with the dark blue tailplane bullet I would have guessed that this was changed before delivery and the all white tail didn't make it onto an aircraft. I'll get back to you on this one.

7th Jun 2012, 07:23
Right, my best guess is this: I think that this is a variation due to the repainting being carried out for the new scheme. I've looked at various books and cannot find another photo with the white tail bullet, but when comparing the photo you posted (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ogcodes/347324589/sizes/o/in/photostream/) (click link for large size) to others on my site, there are more subtle differences:
- The Union Jack on the fin is much smaller.
- The 'British United' text on the fuselage is smaller, appears to be in a dark colour as opposed to red, and is positioned further back compared to the full early scheme. If you look at the photo below you'll see that the wing leading edge is at the point of the T in British, while on the photo you posted the last D is approximately at the wing leading edge.

Now when we look at the newer blue/sandstone scheme, you'll notice that the placement of the text on the fuselage looks remarkably similar. Also there is a smaller Union Jack on the fin (although not exactly in the same location) and the tailplane is all white just as in your photo:

So my conclusion is that this aircraft was just days away from receiving the blue/sandstone scheme, or this was a short lived variation between the first BUA scheme and the blue/sandstone one.

9th Jun 2012, 11:22
Jhieminga, you might well be right. I had noted the position of the fuselage text, and the position and size of the Union flag. I have come across pics of this aircraft many times over the years, but as usual, now cannot find them. Endless Googling gives loads of VC10 pics that have to be filtered from the usual Special FX, CGI, somebody's daydream and the usual porn sites.

Eventually though I found this, on the Caledonian tribute site of all places. Note the fuselage text, and this pic at least, the all-white tail. They quote G-ASIX, though not why. Maybe the One Eleven in the background gives a clue.


Now, back to those porn sites.........

10th Jun 2012, 11:48
That's a nice find, I hadn't spotted that one on the BCal site yet! I've e-mailed the site owner to see if he can shed some more light on this. To be continued!

12th Jun 2012, 17:03
In answer to my question, here's a quote from Dave Thaxter's book 'The History of British Caledonian Airways (http://www.british-caledonian.com/The_History_of_British_Caledonian.html)' (available for purchase through this link):
July 1966 saw plans for a new livery for BUA’s fleet finalised. The sandstone and blue livery was given to VC10 G-ASIX first, which flew the new colours on 11th August to South America. Next, G-ASIW was completed at Gatwick by 1st September and one of the Africargo Britannias was rolled out on the same day by Aviation Traders.

November saw the first 1-11 fly in the new colours. The new livery was applied by “Buster” Brown and his team at Gatwick, which included three painters and seven assistants. They could complete a VC10 repaint in seven days using just 30 gallons of paint.The photo of G-ASIX on his website is undated, but given the information above there's a fair chance that it was taken around July or early August of 1966.