Aviation History and Nostalgia Whether working in aviation, retired, wannabee or just plain fascinated this forum welcomes all with a love of flight.

The VC 10

Old 15th Feb 2010, 08:30
  #221 (permalink)  
Just another number
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Age: 73
Posts: 1,078


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

London d 1200

New York a 1340 d 1500

Los Angeles a 1750 d 1900

Honolulu a 2230 d 2330

Fiji a 0350 d 0435

Sydney a 0650

All time local. The BA591 did not go to melbourne in 1969.

Captain Airclues is offline  
Old 15th Feb 2010, 09:20
  #222 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 685
My scheduling records only go back to 1971, so I realise I am not answering quite the question you asked, but the BA591 service out of LHR by VC10 in April 1971 was daily to JFK at 10:00.

On Wednesdays and Fridays it appears to have terminated in JFK and the full Pacific route was served on the remaining five days.


Jumbo Driver is offline  
Old 15th Feb 2010, 11:40
  #223 (permalink)  
Just another number
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Age: 73
Posts: 1,078

The JFK terminators were added, and the departure time changed, at about the same time as the BA591 service was extended to Melbourne (mid 1970?). In 1969 the only daily JFK services were the BA501, BA505 and BA509. In 1973 the departure time from LHR became 1300 but now the Monday and Saturday service terminated at JFK. The arrival time at Sydney was 1030 and at Melbourne was 1300.

Of the 15 BA591 LHR departures in my logbook the earliest is 0950 (sched 1000) on 23/2/72 and the latest is 1303 (sched 1300) on 26/3/73.

Captain Airclues is offline  
Old 18th Feb 2010, 13:31
  #224 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 685
Originally Posted by Captain Airclues View Post
Of the 15 BA591 LHR departures in my logbook the earliest is 0950 (sched 1000) on 23/2/72 and the latest is 1303 (sched 1300) on 26/3/73.

Dave, that's rather strange - because the VC10 trip descriptions for period 28 show that trip (W23Feb72 Trip 70 SYD) as departing by BA591 at 1300z to JFK STA 2050z. The trip was 81:33 CrHrs and went LHR/JFK/LAX/HNL/NAN/SYD/(NAN)HNL/LAX/JFK/LHR, arriving back 15 days later in Period 71, on W08Mar72 at 2150z at LHR. Nice trip, by the way - for senior trash or a Nav trainee...

So are you sure you have that date right - or maybe I have misread the bid package ...

The departure you mention on 26Mar73 agrees with the trip description (Trip 84 MEL), which show BA591 ex-LHR at STD 1200z.


PS I really must get out more ...
Jumbo Driver is offline  
Old 18th Feb 2010, 14:03
  #225 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 6,732
Originally Posted by Captain Airclues View Post

The JFK terminators were added, and the departure time changed, at about the same time as the BA591 service was extended to Melbourne (mid 1970?).
The new Melbourne airport opened on 1 July 1970, and I think BOAC were in there pretty much from the opening day. The old airport at Essendon (longest runway 6,300 feet) was quite unsuited to long-haul jets.
WHBM is offline  
Old 18th Feb 2010, 14:53
  #226 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: near an airplane
Posts: 1,974
Could I perhaps ask for some assistance from the knowledgeable ones on this thread? If you haven't seen it yet, I run a VC10 website at www.VC10.net and I would very much want to include information on the routes flown by the VC10 on it. I have the BOAC summer timetables for the Standard and Super for 1968 but nothing else. I get the impression that some people here have more information about VC10 routes than I have, so....... if you're willing to share, please PM or e-mail (see profile or website). Thanks
Jhieminga is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2010, 21:39
  #227 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: vic australia
Posts: 57
hi everybody.i see postings was mentioned and wondered how many postings BOAC/BA had and where they were and how long they lasted.also did they second their crews to other airlines i was thinking about gulf air started with VC10 in the mid 70s did BA use thier crews for training. mike.
wayoutwest is offline  
Old 21st Feb 2010, 21:20
  #228 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 269
Melbourne and Honolulu postings have already been mentioned. There was also a Hong Kong posting in the 1960s. The postings lasted about 3 months.

The last postings to go were the Sydney postings in the 1990s. The 747-400 took over the route from the 747 Classics. Correct me if I am wrong but I seem to remember there were just not enough volunteers from the 747-400 pilots and the Sydney base closed. For the 747-Classic guys they would come back with some very good allowances saved and the posting was popular, especially in the UK winter. The 747-400 pilots were making very good money on long range payments at the time and for them there was no financial incentive to stay in Sydney for 3 months.
suninmyeyes is offline  
Old 21st Feb 2010, 22:25
  #229 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,420

The Gulf Air VC10s were captained almost totally if not totally by BA pilots who had pased their BA sell-by date, so a grand group of characters appeared in Bahrain, Harry Mills and Bismark Briggs to name but two...OK, the only two names I can remember... Harry (and one or two others) via flying BN2A/SC7/F27 in Abu Dhabi, where he went first when BA said he was too old. Then some others, not ex-BA, joined them drawn from Gulf Air's other fleets, eg the F27/Skyvans, after retraining.
Capot is offline  
Old 21st Feb 2010, 22:54
  #230 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 6,732
A 1971 BOAC timetable I have here gives the departure time of BA591 to New York and on to Australia as 1100 until 24 April, then 1200. Although this was the time change date it was not the only reason, as the flight was now 2 hours later at New York and beyond.

It was very closely shadowed on certain days by Qantas 531, a 707 which left Heathrow at 1145, and made all the same stops apart from serving San Francisco instead of LAX. At just about all the stops the two aircraft were on the ground together, the Qantas was 15-20 minutes ahead of the BOAC summer times throughout. I wonder if they used to keep in radio contact along the way. Also makes you realise the performance of the two types was identical, certainly as far as scheduling was concerned.
WHBM is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2010, 04:11
  #231 (permalink)  
Just another number
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Age: 73
Posts: 1,078

I have most of the BOAC/BA timetables from the 60's and 70's. I'm in Australia until mid March but will contact you when I get home.


Captain Airclues is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2010, 07:06
  #232 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: London
Posts: 260
THe Sydney posting ceased because of schedule changes with the coming of the 744. The route structure was streamlined and Auckland was withdrawn from the network. Perth,Sydney and Melbourne were all terminators and fed over SIN & BKK. Trip lengths came down to 8 days instead of up to 16 days, the postings ceased never to come back.
arem is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2010, 10:50
  #233 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NZ
Age: 75
Posts: 7
Re BA591 departure frequency

Thanks for the information re my question, which came about due to my trying to obtain my National Insurance number, one question being date of departure from UK.

My memory was that I received a message at work on a Monday "tickets in mail, depart for NZ next Monday". Memories of being poured onto the overnight Perth-London train on a Sunday night by a bunch of inebriated haggi with half a bottle of rum in one pocket and "something to go with it" in the other and departing 1300 on the Monday on BA591. Found my old passport which says I arrived JFK on the 25 Nov 1969, which was a Tuesday. A stamp in said passport reads "alien to be removed from US by 26 Nov etc etc" and BA591 is written below. Flew on to LAX, overnighted and departed for NZ on Fairyland Airways flt TE551 arriving Auckland on 28 Nov.

I am proud/pleased to be able to say that I have flown in a VC 10, if only once.
Edthedruid is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2010, 16:57
  #234 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 140

When Gulf Air took delivery of their Standard VC-10s from BOAC/BA they did indeed use BA instructors both F/Es and Pilots to train their crew who came from every operator of the VC-10.

After base training at least some BA F/Es were used to operate the route initially , but it was so enjoyable that you had to be quite senior to get the chance.

If we are talking about postings then Sydney was a very traditional place for BOAC posting as Comet 4s and then I believe the B707 had postings there.
Also whilst in that part of the world we better remind everybody that Concorde used to have a posting in Singapore.
Brit312 is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2010, 01:08
  #235 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 110

"And then again, if one considered the involvement of B.O.A.C.A.C. or "Associated Companies", there were postings/crew training from the 50's until the end of the last century.
pjac is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2010, 13:56
  #236 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: All over the place
Posts: 113
what a Great post - brought back some memories of lots of flying backwards!

I used to fly in them when I was the RAF mainly to Cyprus & Decimommanu initially, then to Saudi & Turkey on the aftermath to Gulf War 1 when the Sqns I was on were carrying out the No-Fly-Zone Patrols out of Incirlik & Dahran (then later PSAB). No real in flight meals as such - a white cardboard box with a packed lunch and lots of rounds of white plastic cups with orange squash in it!

I stood near the end of the runway in Akrotiri once as the twice weekly Trooping Flight took off towards me - I've never been able to forget it - very beautifull, all white fuselarge and wings with no engines in sight!

It will always be the "Great Big White Gozhomi Bird" to me and many others too.

Thanks for your posts.

howiehowie93 is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2010, 22:55
  #237 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 14
I had the privelage of touring a VC-10 flight deck in Norfolk last year. The example was flown by 10 Squadron out of RAF Brize Norton. My, what a huge cockpit!

I must say, this may be the most beautiful British-built aircraft ever.
617SquadronDB is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2010, 21:50
  #238 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: London
Posts: 3
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading this thread and the reminiscences from those that flew this aircraft. I used to watch it flying over our house to land in the 1960s and my father and I would repeat that it was the most beautiful bird in the sky.

More importantly, this aircraft is as important a part of british postwar manafacturing and engineering history as concorde and the comet, and should be remembered as often.
1960sPAX is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2010, 22:41
  #239 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Presgill City
Posts: 105
My first VC-10 flight was in 1966, Boston - Heathrow. I owe it to that crew for my start in aviation. They invited me up to the cockpit during flight, I was hooked ever since. I still have vivid memories about that special day. I also remember receiving leather logbooks and metal wings from BOAC. I still have them stashed away at home. If I ever strike it rich, I would restore a VC-10 and fly it around the world, just like Travolta did with the 707. I couldn't think of a better personal jet for me, and I fly private jets
At one time I was even looking at sponsorship to restore a VC-10 and use it to proof the Galileo GPS system, but that never materialized. .......
hawkerjet is offline  
Old 22nd Aug 2010, 06:53
  #240 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Surrey
Posts: 364
The current '10' series of UK car numberplates offers the opportunity of obtaining some 'VC10' ones. However, from the DVLA site I see that VC10 JET, VC10 BAC, VC10 RAF are all unobtainable, presumably all sold. Who has them? Come on you lucky people, own up!

If they haven't been sold, but have been held back for auction, the VC10 community has a forthcoming unique opportunity to solve the Government's deficit problem at a stroke.
D120A is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.