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RAF VC10 - Great Memories

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RAF VC10 - Great Memories

Old 24th Jun 2013, 13:48
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RAF VC10 - Great Memories

Apologies if this video has been shown here before.

If it has not been posted here before it is well worth a look.

I find it very sad to think that I will (almost definitely) never fly in a VC10 again. With my many detachments I wish I had kept a record of how many hours I flew in this beautiful aircraft.

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Old 24th Jun 2013, 14:08
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SRENNAPS ... Thanks for posting

A wonderful aeroplane ... far ahead of it's time when first introduced ... sad to see her go

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Old 24th Jun 2013, 15:25
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My keyboard needs wiping...its full of tears while I watched that video, so thanks for posting.
As an F/E I was one of the first batch of crew on No.10 Sqdn. We were ground trained by BOAC and did Flt. Sim at Cranebank whilst the first RAF VC10 models arrived at Brize Norton and Fairford.
After training I was sent to OCTU and, after graduating with a commission, was lucky to return to 10Sqn and to crew with Sqn Ldr. Pete Wooldridge DFC, AFC.
We did many airshows, just like the one on the video. When the A/C was light it was remarkably maneouverable, but sometimes too light to land with ease. I think I witnessed that on the video.

A dramatic trip I recall was when the PM of Australia went swimming and was never again found. They had a requiem in Melbourne and we crewed Gan to Tullamarine, which had just opened. Our VIP pax were Prince Charles: Hon. Harold Wilson: Hon. Edward Heath.

The A/C parked next to us was a B707 labelled Air Force I. President Johnson left earlier than we did and his T.O. was a very low, slow climb out. We found later he went all the way to Saigon to meet the troops...it was Xmas.
We were next and only carried enough fuel for Perth. Pete winked at me and said..."Max power V2 Climb Dave" I knew and winked back. We were tuned to the local radio station to hear the commentary as thousands of people attended the send-off.
As any VC10 afficionado will know the roar out of those Conways is deafening when they are floored...and I floored them and even tripped-off the compressors to get max thrust..... and off we went. The excitement from the commentors voice was equal to the adrenalin in the A/C. Pete slightly overcooked his rotate and the stick shaker well...shaked! so we had to push fwd a little but the ROC was still unbelievable.
Prince Charles thought this was fun.
The Prime Minister was not amused ....he never did seem to have much humour.
The Leader of the Opposition was still complaining that his seat was down the back with the Staff.
On a later flight to Offutt (USA) the government had changed and so had the seating plan.

I left 10Sqn to teach in the Flt Sim which was the original digital sim and had a funny old rolling map display.
After leaving the RAF and joining an airline those fun days diminished and the days on the VC10 became a very nice but distant memory...mind, I did 10 years on B747 which was some compensation.

Last edited by Davita; 24th Jun 2013 at 23:54.
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Old 24th Jun 2013, 16:12
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the PM of Australia went swimming and was never again found
That intrigued me so had to google it - amazing what you learn here on PPRuNe. Every day is a school day.
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Old 24th Jun 2013, 16:29
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Sadly I flew in a VC10 only a couple of times, and both when I was in my TA incarnation, between two regular RAF careers. We were going to Germany for a major exercise and when got to the desk at Brize the DAMO was a guy I had known at Watton during career 1. We passed the time of day and I went off to await boarding. My CO and I boarded then sat together about half-way down the aircraft. I then became aware that one of the crew was making his way down the aircraft and people were pointing in our direction, so assumed they were after the Boss. Wrong: crew member asked if I was Captain W, I admitted I was. There is seat nearer the front for you, I was told. There was - the jump seat. Boss seriously not amused, even when I explained. Great flight though -both ways as similar arrangements had been made for the return.
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Old 24th Jun 2013, 17:38
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Best display I saw was a practice with I think the Wing Commander O/C OPS, we were watching him approach at full power, ready for the throttles shut low pass but he had obviously got it well off the centreline and was attempting to correct it.... Never seen a VC10 streaming vortices with a shock wave forming before ,

A suitably chastised Wing Co at debrief explaining that he had " over gee'd it a bit" and could it be looked at on the QT. Requests as to how much G he pulled were met with indifference and a total reluctance to say, checking the cockpit the G meter had been reset, therefore the only sensible approach was to do the checks IAW nigh on the maximum G loading inspection, which he can't of been far off, this takes time so the aircraft state to Group went in that night with it down for over G checks.... So much for on the QT as the phone started ringing.

But I always remember watching that, really did look impressive, and we found nothing amiss with it.

Last edited by NutLoose; 25th Jun 2013 at 10:17.
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Old 25th Jun 2013, 10:13
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Might not be bad place to ask. December '65 on a 10 to RAF Muharraq, Bahrain having been posted to RAF Sharjah. We were kitted out at Muckrack. Can't for the life of me remember where we left from, nor remember whether it was an RAF Transport Command aircraft or a commercial charter. Do remember the jockey pulling the nose up and we shifted it!!! Bloody magic. So how were the troops relocated back then and from where?
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Old 25th Jun 2013, 13:07
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In 1965 if you were on a VC10 I'm pretty sure you were on an RAF Transport Command 10 Sqn A/C and left from RAF Brize Norton, near Oxford.
The daily schedule for trooping families and troops was: BZ...Bahrain...Gan....S'pore...Hong Kong. The return was Gan...Nicosia...BZ.
and was run like an airline....Brize Movements looked like an airport terminal.

Edit: looks like I've had a memory lapse, happens a lot.
As Brian48Nav points out the VC10 did not start trooping from Brize till around 1967 so I have no idea where the poster could have flown from.
After 1967, it surely would have been from Brize.

btw I used to live in MQs at RAF Fairford when the 2nd Concorde, flown by Brian Trubshaw, did its first flight.
Damned if I can remember that date either!

@Brian48Nav..... I was an F/E on 48Sqn Hastings at Changi....Now I think of it that may have ended around 1965....

Last edited by Davita; 25th Jun 2013 at 14:08.
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Old 25th Jun 2013, 13:47
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No doubt a 10Sqn 'mate' will confirm as well - but 10 Sqn didn't reform with the VC10 until 1st Jul '66.

The first military 10 flew out of Wisley ( I think) late Nov '65; I saw it come over Farnborough, where I had a temporary job before joining the mob on 13th Dec' 65.
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Old 25th Jun 2013, 15:35
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Correct, 10 Squadron did reform on the 1st July 1966 initially at Fairford before moving to Brize in May 1967. This is imprinted on my brain having spent a long time researching both VC10 squadrons for a leaflet which will be included with a specially commissioned Malt Whisky to mark the 47 years of military VC10 operations and which will be released soon. Proceeds from this will be divided equally between Morayvia and the RAF Benevolent Fund. Morayvia had hoped to purchase a VC10 but the price asked was too high for a small onganisation. Feel free to pm me for further details of the whisky.
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Old 26th Jun 2013, 07:05
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"Max power V2 Climb Dave"
We were flying a bunch of F3 jockeys back from the Gulf to Leuchars (?), Scotland anyway, at the end of Op Granby. I had just obtained my ATPL and spent most of the flight down the back running a seminar on said subject.

After we had landed a bunch of their jets recovered to base with considerable panache - as they would.

On departure I decided to show them what a 'big fast jet' can do. The cloud (stratus) base was around 1,000 ft. Empty aircraft, crew briefed to hang on. Feet on brakes, full power and let it go. V2 climb and shot into the cloud probably leaving a few people temporally deaf
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Old 26th Jun 2013, 07:58
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This may have been posted before but still a nice little noisy clip!

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Old 26th Jun 2013, 13:53
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17 years flying VC10s. Loved every minute!
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Old 26th Jun 2013, 20:29
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10 Sqn - VC 10 Era, First Months

Whilst 10 Sqn did re-form initially at Fairford, as has been said, all flights with payloads had to be mounted from Lyneham till facilities at Brize - a building site then, as now - were able to cope with them from Spring 1967. Fortunately my time came later, but I understand that this involved a duty crew positioning the aircraft at Lyneham on the day prior to departure. Next day, the operating crew would convene, and brief and flightplan at Brize before being bussed over to Lyneham. On returns to Lyneham, if weather and serviceability allowed, the op crew would normally fly the aircraft back to Fairford.

This does not sound like fun - and I've also been told of a particularly unpopular slip used at that time: Brize - bus to Lyneham - direct to Bahrain/Muharraq - 2/3 hour turnround - to Akrotiri and slip. That schedule could almost involve two dawns in one duty day, and makes the Akrotiri Return of the mid-70s seem mild by comparison.

For alisoncc: Your December 1965 flight to Muharraq might have been on a British United VC 10 from Gatwick - they were certainly being used for MOD charter to Aden in 1966 when I went out there.
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Old 26th Jun 2013, 23:02
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LCM is correct in his recall of the early days of the VC10 trooping, although that arrangement was short-lived; and that BU did VC10 charter trooping.

My recollection of the RAF VC10 purchase was the UK Gov't was faced with a cancellation of the final 10? VC10's ordered by BOAC (then a Gov't airline) as they found the B707 more economical. The RAF was ordered to find a use.

MOD's obvious solution was to take over all trooping which, with UK's many military bases scattered world-wide, was substantial.

I remember a crew, headed by Capt. Sqn Ldr Alf Musgrove with F/E Sqn Ldr Dave Nelson, were tasked to review mods to the BOAC model so that it would fit into the RAF role. They were the ones that suggested on the 'standard' fuselage with the bigger 'super' engines. They also recommended the APU, cargo door, in-flight refuelling option and most importantly...a Navigator station.

With regard to crew slipping/positioning: I also recall being a member of a team of 2 crews and some doctors/nurses. We flew non-stop around the world, sharing sectors, and being medically and psychologically analyzed.
They didn't like our tearful moans as we would see the skyline of major cities, like Honolulu, from the cockpit windows, but not allowed to get off the A/C. I understood this was a test to see if we could get troops to our bases overseas if any country would block overflights. I believe we failed!

These recollections are from memory so not substantiated. My logbooks from that era, bound together by inmates from Changi Jail, were eaten by white ants when I later moved into a new house in Hong Kong....I know, I know, it is hard to believe....an ex Halton brat can afford to live in a 'house' in Hong Kong?...
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 07:35
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They also recommended the APU, cargo door, in-flight refuelling option and most importantly...a Navigator station.

Surprising ! The VC10s in BOAC already had a nav station, spent many hours at it, then joy of joys, INS, dual Carousel 4s !!

But the RAF was right to request an APU !

What a wonderful aeroplane, the sound of which could only be bettered by a Merlin or a Concorde in full burner !
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 07:53
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My first VC10 trip was in late November 1970, "indulging" on the 10 Sqn service from Singapore to UK. Route was Changi (still an RAF base) - Gan (where I believe the crew would compete to get a leg-over in the 90-minute stop!)- Muharraq (Bahrain) - Brize.

First time I flew in an aircraft with rearward facing seats! Despite that, an excellent service.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 08:01
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As Brian48Nav points out the VC10 did not start trooping from Brize till around 1967 so I have no idea where the poster could have flown from.
British United. Flew the troopers from Gatwick to Muharraq and then onwards - Aden or the Far East.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 08:19
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Just did a tot up - 115 hours on the beast. Last flight 23 Nov 89 with Sqn Ldr Hamilton on the stick 5.1 hours.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 10:35
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As one who came to the VC10 mainly in the Tanker side, did 10 superb years, but last flew it 20 years ago and has just watched one on the approach to Brize, oh boy what a great aircraft.
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