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RAF VC10 - Great Memories

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RAF VC10 - Great Memories

Old 27th Jun 2013, 10:52
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British United. Flew the troopers from Gatwick to Muharraq and then onwards - Aden or the Far East.
That rings a bell. Most probably the 10 I flew on was a civvy one. Still great aeroplane.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 13:59
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VC10 Air to Air Refeulling - YouTube

Last edited by Dan Winterland; 27th Jun 2013 at 14:02.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 15:35
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My one and sadly only flight in a VC10 was in Aug 1968. Paya Lebar to Tehran on a BOAC flight. Second only to Concorde in the 'beauty' stakes.
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 08:26
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Does anyone have a definitive date for the last flight of the VC10?

(Does anyone else remember the BOAC advertising poster in the '60s - "Try a little VC10derness"?
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 08:52
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There may be a date on close-hold at Brize but, other than hearing that the extensions of service will finally expire in September this year, that's it.

And if you are not familiar with it, that BOAC slogan is commemorated on the homepage of Jelle Hieminga's magisterial website dedicated to the VC 10:

A Little VC10derness
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 09:21
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Memories

As this is about memories, I have many, but 3 stand out.

1. Lifting off from a very wet Seattle, under a low grey undercast, breaking through the stratus at about 1000 ft agl into brilliant blue sunshine and there before us was, as far as the eye could see, the snow capped Rockies. Wonderful.

2. Descending down the slopes of the Himalaya into Kathmandu.

3. Flying the IGS into Kai Tak, Hong Kong. That sorted the men from the boys !

Now all I do is fly a puddle-jumper from Kemble to Shobdon! But that is better than pipe & slippers.
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 09:38
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(Does anyone else remember the BOAC advertising poster in the '60s - "Try a little VC10derness"?
That was - allegedly - another thing the cousins didn't like about the Funbus.

At the time for them VC = Viet Cong! Another triumph of advertising!
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 10:41
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My VC10 Memories

My first VC10 experience was to Singapore on route to Penang in 1968. I was eight year old. First time flying and rather scared. I remember the air stewardess giving me a pile of boiled sweets to cheer me up. Landed at Bahrain (a place that I would eventually come to know like the back of my hand), Gan and finally Changi. On the way back, in 1971, it was Gan and Akrotiri and memories of my 4 year old sister trying to open the cabin door half way across the Indian Ocean; my mother having kittens!!

In 1978 I was posted to BZN and straight into Base Hangar. There was another Sooty by the name of Pete Vickers who was also posted there with me. I do believe that his father was VC10 aircrew. Base Hangar wanted one sooty for VC10s and one for the Andovers down the far end. OC AES immediately said that as his name was Vickers then Pete should get VC10s. I was gutted! But then the OC changed his mind and it was decided on the flip of a coin. Needless to say I won and spent 3 very happy years working on the aircraft as a Sooty.

Top memories were Base 3 air tests with incidents such as seized a tailplane over the Brecon Beacons, complete loss of electrical power following Genny checks and ECU shut down checks (long story), failure of U/C to lower with talk of an unscheduled landing at RAF Manston, a toilet door hurtling down the cabin aisle following a stall check and finally two electricians throwing up after returning from the bay below after doing Genny balance checks.
The other great thing was being allowed to stand on the Flight Deck doing Rollers at various locations. I will bet that is not allowed anymore.

Another favourite memory was doing a ground run over on the tubes. We had a new Sgt Sooty on the Team and as I was doing the ground run my Cpl taught him how to use the radio to contact Brize Ground to obtain permission to start engines. The night before I had had a pretty good night with a new WRAF Painter and Doper. Unfortunately the new Sgt had left the radio lever in transmit and the in depth details of my night with this WRAF was being broadcast all over the airways

After 3 great years I was posted into the Tornado world where I became just another passenger going on detachment with the Sqn, flying god knows how many times and to some wonderful places around the world. Not quite the same when you are just a passenger but I never lost the thrill of flying on this magnificent aircraft. You will be missed, but thank you for the memories

P.S. Did several Air to Air Refuel sorties with the Tornados and they were always great fun.

Last edited by SRENNAPS; 28th Jun 2013 at 10:47.
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 10:49
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Many happy memories of paxing/deadheading on the VickersFunbus.

First one in '71 going out to Sharjah; coachdriver unable to find the jet at BZN due to thick fog. It cleared in time for departure. Oft times returning from another FI det '81-'85 on the Asi-Bzn leg.

Shame but like all of us it has aged, somewhat more gracefully than others and is overdue it's pension. I sincerely hope that at least one airframe is kept for posterity.
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 11:22
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Two memories of the 10.

Tanking north of the UK pretty low & bumpy under a CB. The VC-10 guys hung in there till we'd got the 3K each we'd asked for before giving us the red, much appreciated. I also liked their willingness to turn upthreat with us plugged in when Magic called inbound contacts.

Deployment on a Sunday for Desert Shield. Two F3 crews arrive hotfoot at Brize in an Andover and are told "that VC10's your ride, you're at the back". We climb the steps to find no crew and the fuselage packed with stores. We crawled to the back between the netting and the roof and find about 8 square feet of floorspace, whence we proceeded to play bridge for 5 hours. When it all stopped moving, we crawled forward (took a while, there was very little space) again finding no crew. Weird experience. I'm not sure the crew even knew we were there.
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 12:18
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Fox3 I presume that you were on a shiny 10. In which case I find this very hard to belive. Even if the muppets had screwed up and not manifested you tbe ALM and Flt Eng would do a walk around even possibly the non operating pilot. 3 chances to spot the stowaways. Did you get on the wrong a/c and were still at Brize wben you got off? The clue would be no brandy sours!
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 12:34
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Shiney, yes. It's possible the guy giving us the instructions was the ALM. Didn't ask us for names or anything, but then we were in flying kit, armed and looking dangerous - maybe he didn't want an argument. If not so, then the real ALM would have had to have spent 5 minutes climbing over the stores like we did (or reposition the steps at the back).

Brandy sours? Oh yes! I always remember things before the brandy sours
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 12:52
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Landed at Brize late at night a couple of weeks ago, as part of a civilian aeromedical team, landed and a long taxy to our ramp, but the view of the VC10s under the ballpark lights gleaming in the night was absolutely magical. A sight to be long remembered.

Thanks to the fire and medical crew who assisted with our offload of a very ill patient.
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 12:52
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VC10 to Belize was a forgettable experience. The QTR at Washington Dulles was a race to sink the most US beer -no first prize.

..after a night at Gateway House, Belize seemed quite nice.

regards

wets
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 13:07
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Thank you Fox3 that makes me feel a bit better.

....armed and looking dangerous
Around this time something went horribly wrong, I think I had upset one of my ops staff and ended up on a C130 to Akrotiri. Going through security at Lyenham the buzzer went off. I explained to Cpl Plod that it was probably my shooter in the shoulder holster under my jacket. She said that this was OK then but then insisted that the crew ammo box carried by our ALM was x-rayed

I have many stories but unfortunately they can't be published. I agree with Sharpend about Kathmandu and the IGS at Kai Tak. Both of these approaches sorted the men out from the boys. I managed a text book approach and landing onto 13 on one occasion only to worry that we may get killed by a Speedbird that lined up to land on the taxiway we were going back on.

Last edited by Exascot; 28th Jun 2013 at 13:11.
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 18:57
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Thats a great video, love the VC10. Is is just me or does it still look like its just rolled off the production line in that video? The design is beautiful and has a timeless quality to it.
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 19:20
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My first experience of the majestic Vickers VC10 was on Posting to Akrotiri in 1973. A superb flight and, for a farm lad, something of wonder. I had many more experiences of the "funbus" but my last was being casevaced from the Gulf, in 1991. The crews, the aircraft and everything about every trip I ever had was superb. I was lead to believe that the VC10 was second only in speed to Concorde. With Concorde having retired, is the "10" now the fastest again ?

Smudge
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 19:34
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Another favourite memory was doing a ground run over on the tubes. We had a new Sgt Sooty on the Team and as I was doing the ground run my Cpl taught him how to use the radio to contact Brize Ground to obtain permission to start engines. The night before I had had a pretty good night with a new WRAF Painter and Doper. Unfortunately the new Sgt had left the radio lever in transmit and the in depth details of my night with this WRAF was being broadcast all over the airways

You had to get permission from Ops for a run, talking to Ground was a courtesy and if you needed fire cover for a high powered run, one run I did I had a rather stroppy and obnoxious women on the other end who was being very very obstructive to me getting on with my run, I told her straight I was talking to her simply as a courtesy, I did not need her permission to run anything as I already had it, I was done talking to her and I was starting up, she was not a happy camper, I could still hear her bleating over the radio as I turned her down

Incidentally I found the code book in the line office that was supposed to be for transmitting defects etc over the radio, bay 41 would become bay 9, xw109 would become 12 airframe defect would be code 22 etc.... Had lots of fun and games with that little peach transmitting bingo calls as they frantically tried to decipher them .


Anyone remember the frozen toilet and the palouste incident?


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Last edited by NutLoose; 28th Jun 2013 at 19:37.
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 20:05
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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through the hangar door

Have a picture somewhere of one through the hangar doors at Wyton. (We did an avionics upgrade on EWAU- several over the 14 years I was there) Could not get the fin in. Bricks and sticks made a new pair of wooden centre doors with a cut out. also had to put lots of concrete down and steel beams to picket the thing to stop it rocking around in the wind. A big wooden beam was used to prop the aircraft doors shut at cease work as that was a way in to our secure hangar.

I recon we must have been on one of the first flights out of Nairobi in 65 as the Britannia had gone US and had to return shortly after taking off. Also came back from Changi in 70. Had several trips to Dulles and uncomfortable nights in Gateway house.

Does anyone remember the trails that were done in the early 80s on acoustic emissions? listening to cracks growing. I think the computer power and transducer amplifier/filters were a bit early. There was an article in Air Clues I kept for years on the topic. Well that technology was developed for use in submarine pressure vessels. perhaps one good thing that came out of basing Air and Sea people together in DE&S was that we could cross fertilise ideas. The technology had sufficiently matured in 2000 and something but still enormous resistance to adopt same on the air side.

No doubt the VC10 was an icon and ahead of its day.
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Old 28th Jun 2013, 20:20
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The one RR bent, doing the trials with the RB211, XR809 I think, one of the RR chaps involved told me that after the trails RR wanted to use it again, however due to it bouncing around in the wind the nose had been filled with concrete through the DV window.

Photos: Vickers VC10 C1 Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net


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Last edited by NutLoose; 28th Jun 2013 at 20:43.
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