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Vickers VC-10

By Patrick Mondout

Like the 707 the VC-10 was not a plane first introduced in the Super70s, but it was still in use then and the last one was produced in 1970.


The British were the leaders in the early days of the jet age but lost there lead due to a series of accidents with their Comet. The VC-10 was an attempt to compete with the 707 and DC-8 but only 50 were ever produced and the Brits focused their resources on the Concorde instead.

The VC-10 was unique among Western commercial aircraft as it had four engines mounted on the rear of the fuselage (all other four engine planes had the engines on the wings).

The most serious accident involving a VC-10 happened on April 18, 1972.


Vickers VC-10

G-ASGP, a British Airways Vickers VC-10 seen in August 1978 in London's Heathrow Airport. Similar to the Boeing 727 but check out the double engines!

Image courtesy of AirNikon. Find more of his photos at


Vickers VC-10 at a Glance
Engines4 Rolls-Royce Conway turbofans
Cruising Speed568-581
Span146ft 2in
Length158ft 7in
Height39ft 5in
Final Production1970


Share Your Memories!

What do you remember about the Vickers VC-10? Were you a member of the flight crew on one? Have you any interesting stories to share? Share your stories with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"The reason that only 50 VC-10s were built is because of the deal made by BOAC to buy 707. Part of deal was that VC-10 production was stopped in favour of the 707."

--ex-BOAC employee

"The main reason for the lack of sales of the VC10 was the fault of BOAC's demands on performance from short airfields . The aircraft was a far smoother and quieter experience than the then DC8 and 707's that took the lion's share of sales. However forty years later around 20 of these wonderful machines remain operational with the UK air-force in parallel with 9 Tri-Star takner/transports."


"One of my first transatlantic flights was on a British Airways (BOAC) flight on a VC-10. I've never had a flight since in such an impressive plane. The takeoff was incredible...seemed like we were climbine almost vertically. With the roar of the engines it just exuded power and was a rush to say the least. It will always be my flight fantasy. I even got a pair of free slippers on the flight!"


"I used to work on the VC 10 as an electrician in the RAF. Working on 101 Sqn at RAF Brize Norton. I went all over the world in her and had a fantastic time doing it! The VC10 is a fantastic aircraft and has given me many memories!"


"I flew on a VC-10 in 1969 from JFK to LON.It was quieter and more comfortable than the 707.I was sorry to see them go from commercial service as they were in my opinion a better airplane than the Boeing.
As an American I can't figure out why in GB all the great ideas are abandoned. Planes like the Vanguard, Britannia, Comet and VC-10 all could have been made bigger and faster and sold to the world.
Simply stated I always liked British airplanes they seemed to be built with quality in mind."


"The VC-10's currently used by the Royal Air Force are (now that the Concorde is no longer in service) faster than any passenger jet. They can fly at up to Mach 0.92."

--James, London

"I remember several trips in BOAC VC-10's as a child in the Super70s and they are memories of pure heaven. The silence and smoothness of those flights area unlike any thing else I have ever experience. Maybe nostalgia makes the heart grow fonder."

--David Apeji

"I worked, and flew all over the world, on many of these fine pieces of british engineering while serving as a propulsion technician in the RAF on 101 Sqn for many years. I remember when 'D', "Delta dog" was decommisioned, and also when we took delivery of ZD242. What an amazing aircraft! Many many memories, especially the ones where she bit me!"


"I first flew on the VC10 from London Heathrow to Boston on May 21, 1967 on BOAC when I was 6 years old, and have flown it three other times on the Boston/London route, the last time was December 13, 1972. Though smaller than the Boeing 707, this airliner is exceptionally quieter than most other airliners flying during the 1960s since all four Rolls Royce engines are grouped aft.

Sadly it failed to capture the European and American markets since BOAC had the VC10 'tailored' to meet standards on certain routes, particularly on its African routes where airports are at very high elevations such as Nairobi and Johannesburg. Other airlines that have flown the VC10 were mainly from African nations or the Middle East. Still, it has captured the hearts and minds of aviation fans who have flown aboard this remarkable aircraft that BOAC ads proudly promoted in the past; 'Try a Little VC10derness'. ""

--Harald A.

"Sometimes, sadly, the best does not survive. The VC-10, in the view of this traveller, was superior to the rougher Boeing 707. The Vickers was a smooth, comfortable, elegant way to travel and I still miss it. My second favorite? Caravelle. "

--Carlos de Vasconcellos



DOD photo

Model: VC-10

Manufacturer: Vickers

Country: Britain

First Flight: June 29, 1962

First Passenger Flight: April 29, 1964

Launch CustomerBOAC

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