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RAF VC10 - Great Memories

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RAF VC10 - Great Memories

Old 18th Aug 2013, 20:44
  #221 (permalink)  
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OK Halton I'll bite -in what way was the Litton downgraded as you suggest?
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Old 19th Aug 2013, 03:56
  #222 (permalink)  
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I don't think I said anything about landing the VC10. I did post about my 10 years as an F/E on B747 and commented about landing that A/C light, on another thread...... maybe you read that post!

For clarity and reference, forum members, please indulge with me in nostalgia, then I'll shut-up.
I was on the first batch of RAF crew on the VC10. We did our training at Cranebank under the auspices of BOAC. I was the youngest of F/Es selected as all others were from Britannia or Comet fleets...I came from the Hastings. In hindsight, I think I was an experiment but, nevertheless, I recall getting the best help and advice and assistance from my colleagues, most of whom had WW2 medals.
As soon as I left the VC10 conversion I was sent to Officer Cadet Training Unit RAF Henlow (OCTU), had a transplant and got a better uniform, and came back as deputy VC10 F/E leader. I obtained a 'B' category and joined the VIP crew captained by S/L 'Pete' Wooldridge AFC DFC. In those early days we employed the crew concept. Most were from the same fleets as I described but many others came from the V-Force...in time the crews became more diverse.
The first CO of 10 sqn was W/C 'Mike' Beavis, who I believe became an ACM. He also guided me in those early days of being a newbie. In return....I fixed his bike!
Sadly, the Flight Simulator F/E boss had a heart attack and suddenly died. I always wondered, later, if putting a medically unfit person as a Flight Simulator instructor was a good idea! Anyway, I was the obvious replacement, so I emptied my desk and walked up the street to 241 OCU and my new job.
My only previous experience of instructional technique was in Singapore (Tengah, Seletar) where I was seconded to the Malayan Aux Air Force (MAAF). We taught basic A/C Engineering to GE volunteer cadets and 2 pilots taught flying on Chipmunks...I believe some of those cadet pilots became the original local crew of Singapore Airways (SQ). Co-incidentally, I also gained a PPL on Chipmunks and my Riley Pathfinder needed a decoke coz I stole 100/130 octane to fill her up. I was i/c fuel bowser on the weekends.
Sorry, I digress easily.
I recognized my fallibilty in instructional technique and also saw the same in the team in the Simulator. I'm sure many members here have panicked when told they were to go fly the Sim in those days...it was considered the 'orror machine'.... so I attended the school of learning. The motto there was 'The art of teaching is to provide a situation from which others learn'. I have used that motto ever since...telling others how good one is achieves nothing except stroking one's own ego!
My tour in the VC10 Sim and my many visits and modification meets with Redifon were over in a flash (3 years). My next posting was Ops Officer on 511 Britannia Sqn, over the r/way at BZN, or 99 Sqn...I forget. I hated that job as my responsibilties, as a senior Fl/Lt, were less than when I was a Cpl in Transit A/C Servicing(TAS) at RAF Butterworth in 1956. I applied for an interview and subsequently visited MOD where they offered me service till 55. The interviewing Wing Commander, who used to be a Navigator on Hastings with me, advised they did not know where I would go next or what rank I could achieve, so I took Premature Voluntary Retirement (PVR)...and looked for a job in aviation.
It was April/May 1974 and OPEC had just raised the price of oil to over US$50 a barrel...silly me......looking for a flying job!

That's another story...... but thanks for reading this one.

Last edited by Davita; 23rd Aug 2013 at 08:44.
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Old 20th Aug 2013, 09:28
  #223 (permalink)  
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Vasco, I am going back fifteen years, the display unit on the forward panel, essentially a HSI, had a range fixed at twenty miles, so the magenta line went from bottom to top, no route could be displayed!
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Old 20th Aug 2013, 10:16
  #224 (permalink)  
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Not so! The only limitation on the Carousel IV INS when first installed in the VC10K was the lack of a TAS feed in the early 'breadboard' installations done on-squadron. But that was rectified during the 'official' mod. programme. The 101 Sqn JEngO was generously awarded the 'Cock Up of the Month' trophy for having cut several lengths of expensive cable needed for the 'breadboard' mod., only to discover that the tape measure he was using had 18" missing from the end, so all the cables were useless....

The FMS 800 RDU, which is the display to which you refer, most certainly did display routes included in the navigator's CDU - in white, not magenta. But that appeared about 15 years after the Carousel; at the same time it replaced the Carousel IV repeater in the VC10C1K.

I have only seen an 'HSI' presentation once on the VC10K FMS RDU - due to faulty software, bizarrely it appeared and confused the heck out of us. A shut down and reboot produced the normal display a few minutes later though.

I agree that that we should have had the 'full' FMS 800 though - and with a second RDU for the navigator.
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Old 20th Aug 2013, 17:06
  #225 (permalink)  
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VC10 to Classic Air Force

VC10 ZA148 is due to be flown to Newquay on August 28th to join Classic Air force and their growing collection.

Apologies for interrupting VC10 recollections which I am enjoying.
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Old 20th Aug 2013, 17:57
  #226 (permalink)  
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Apart from it being a beautiful aeroplane, one of the best things about the VC10 has to be the leftover blueberry muffins from the Dulles trips... which, er, went straight into the skip of course!

For "skip", you can substitute crewrooms various, trade manager's offices, liney's leg pockets, etc, etc...

Last edited by TLDNMCL; 20th Aug 2013 at 18:11.
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Old 20th Aug 2013, 21:10
  #227 (permalink)  
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And the Dulles burgers....

They had a signal come through saying save fuel as the budget was about up, looking out the window a VC 10 goes past on tow from the front with the APU running, "there's one waste, why are they running the APU"... In I come after having done brakes to be quizzed on why I'm wasting fuel... "Ahh I says, I had the Dulles Burgers in the ovens for us all on the tow team"

Nods of approval all round.

Last edited by NutLoose; 20th Aug 2013 at 21:30.
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Old 22nd Aug 2013, 05:29
  #228 (permalink)  
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We stopped at Dulles once on route back from Vegas. The 10 had some form of problem and there was a rumour of a night stop. Anyway our Sqn Boss kicked up a fuss, saying that we had been away for a month and all we wanted to do was get home

I assure you a night stop was far more appealing to most of us.

Sadly they fixed the Jet and all we saw was some waiting room in the airport
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Old 22nd Aug 2013, 14:09
  #229 (permalink)  
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VC10 Simulators

You may all be interested to know that on Friday 13th September the VC10 K3 and the C Mk1K simulators will fly their last details.

As I understand it they will be flown by a very senior crew. On completion of the detail it is intended that there will be a small informal ceremony at which the two simulators will be powered down for the last time, followed by a small corporate function for the guests.

I have been invited to perform switching off of the K Mk3. As one of the installation engineers I switched it on for the first time after bringing it from the Rediffusion factory in Crawley in 1987.

It will be a sad day, and brings to an end a 47 year association between Redifon / Rediffusion /Thales and the Vickers VC10.
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Old 22nd Aug 2013, 15:38
  #230 (permalink)  
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The 101 Sqn JEngO was generously awarded the 'Cock Up of the Month' trophy for having cut several lengths of expensive cable needed for the 'breadboard' mod.
Happy memories, the Cock up of the Month trophy. We had one at Bitteswell, it was a giant jabrock phallus, something I only ever won once when I gave clearance for a Vulcan to be lowered off the jacks only to find that none of the tyres had been inflated!!
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Old 22nd Aug 2013, 18:46
  #231 (permalink)  
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SimTech67, I must have flown thousands of hours in those sims, both in the seat and as an instructor.

Last year, thanks to SEngO, OC101 and the Stn Cdr, I flew the K3 sim again for the first time in 10 years - and taught 8 colleagues to land it!

It still flew as well as ever and I hope that someone has realised that there's good money to be made from selling off the VC10 and VC10K sims in serviceable condition. Has anyone approached a museum?
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Old 22nd Aug 2013, 19:00
  #232 (permalink)  
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Good point Beagle, here is a suggestion

Commercial & Military Flight Simulators

I used to play on the original C1 one, the one that didn't like wheels up landings or loops
We had some hours set aside for engineering playi.....training.

Last edited by NutLoose; 22nd Aug 2013 at 19:01.
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Old 22nd Aug 2013, 19:48
  #233 (permalink)  
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Beagle there are rumors that the museum at Brooklands have expressed an interest.

Of course at the end of the contract the ownership of the simulators reverts to the MOD. They will be responsible for the disposal. Hopefully as you say someone will recognise their potential as revenue earners. That said organisations express an interest until they realise the enormous running costs of a full flight simulator, IIRC 180Kw power consumption with the motion running. It certainly make the meter spin quite quickly. On top of that the visual projector tubes are becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to source.
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Old 22nd Aug 2013, 19:53
  #234 (permalink)  
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180Kw power consumption ...
Sadly BEagle, that might rule out your garage then ...
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 08:17
  #235 (permalink)  
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SimTech67, the Brooklands museum would be ideal. They've managed to get their Concorde simulator working almost 100% now, although I think that it's fixed base. They also found a new technology way of including a very good visual system...

The old VC10 / VC10K simulator visual projection system was good when it was first installed, but became dimmer with time, no matter how new the projection tubes were. But still good enough to fly a visual circuit and to beat up the Stn Cdr's house at 100 ft!

Perhaps the K3 sim could be gifted to the Classic Air Force at St. Newquay Mawgan and the C1 to Brooklands?

Or is 'gifting' anathema to MoD beancounters?
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 09:52
  #236 (permalink)  
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Amidst all the nostalgia, a reminder that 3 are still flying. This was at Brize Norton yesterday...

ZA150 taxies out for a 1430 departure as Tartan 41 from RW26

Arriving back overhead at 1720 for two touch and goes and a full stop on RW08

Happy days !

Savannah Jet
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 09:52
  #237 (permalink)  
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Just standingby for someone to mention 'many happy hours' in either sim. Not holding my breath. The retiring VC10 sim was certainly an improvement on the original one though.
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 10:26
  #238 (permalink)  
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Perhaps they might like to consider a barrel role in the sim, motion off of course! it has been done before, it required a touch of speed brake over the top if i remember correctly!
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 14:09
  #239 (permalink)  
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Will be such a shame to see these retire.

I haven't flown on a VC10 but my last Air Cadet camp was at Binbrook and incorporated the last of the Lightning show (1987), which many of you will remember was rather moist.

I was an 18 year-old Cadet Flight Sergeant and I had met and chatted with the '10 crew on arrivals day. On the show day I was 'taking care' of a couple of lumpy-jumpered cadets wandering around the airshow trying to stay dry-ish. One of the '10 crew saw and recognised me with my accomplices and invited us on-board to dry out and watch the show on the CCTV screens they had for the refuelling whilst providing German fizzy refreshments...it was a very pleasant afternoon, although one of the ladies seemed to disappear for a while....

I joined up as NCO Aircrew 8 months later.....
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 16:32
  #240 (permalink)  
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Savannah Jet,

Thanks for those beautiful photos. Can anyone doubt this aircraft as the best looking Transport aircraft to grace the Royal Air Force, and that from an Albert bloke ! They say all good things come to an end, the 10s departure from the scene will truly be such an occasion.

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