Vickers Standard VC10 Type 1101 in British Airways livery

Vickers Standard VC10 Type 1101

Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd

Vickers Standard VC10 G-ARVM

G-ARVM was the final aircraft of twelve initial type 1101 production VC10 aircraft built by Vickers Armstrong. She undertook her first flight on 8 July 1964 and was delivered to the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) on 22 July 1964. Following the merger of BOAC and British European Airways (BEA) the BOAC Standard VC10 fleet was withdrawn from service from 1974 onwards. G-ARVM was kept in British Airways service as a standby aircraft.

She made her final flight 22 October 1979, before transfer to the Royal Air Force Museum at Cosford. G-ARVM was broken-up at RAF Cosford between August and October 2006. Prior to destruction, she was the UK's only preserved Standard VC10. Her fuselage (minus tail, engines, wing and landing gear) was donated to the Brooklands Museum, Surrey.

Vickers Standard VC10 Type 1101

Designed by Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd 32 Standard VC10 aircraft were built between 1959 and 1968. In the late 1950s British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was flying de Havilland Comet 4 and Boeing 707 aircraft on its long-haul routes, however neither type was entirely suitable for the airline's medium-range flights. Designs were submitted by de Havilland, Handley Page and Vickers.

The successful design from Vickers - designated the VC10 - featured four Rolls-Royce Conway engines fitted in pairs in nacelles at the rear of the aircraft. The first prototype aircraft - registered G-ARTA - flew on 29 June 1962. A total twelve production aircraft - designated Type 1101 - were built by Vickers at Weybridge between 1962 and 1964 and delivered to BOAC.

The first flight carrying the first fare-paying passengers, flew on 29 April 1964. A further 19 Standard VC10 aircraft were built to differing specification to the original Type 1101. Of these fourteen were Type 1106 aircraft built as a military transport derivative (VC10 C Mk 1) by Vickers. These aircraft were delivered to the Royal Air Force between 1966 and 1968. The remaining aircraft were delivered to Ghana Airways and British United Airways.

British Airways

In 1967 a government committee chaired by Sir Ronald Edwards published a report in 1969 called 'British Air Transport in the Seventies' arguing for the merger of BEA and BOAC. The findings were accepted by the then Conservative Government and the British Airways Group was formed in September 1972. The two airlines officially merged on 1 April 1974 forming British Airways (BA) to form a combined BOAC and BEA fleet. Within two years, on 21 January 1976, British Airways inaugurated Concorde operations and the aircraft remained the flagship of the fleet until retirement in 2003. Concorde flights to the United States commenced the following year. For the rest of the decade the BA fleet was expanded, taking on Lockheed Tristar, BAC 1-11 and Boeing 737 and 757 aircraft.

In 1980, following a hike in fuel prices, many of BA's older aircraft were sold off. The airline started a long road back to profitability prior to privatisation in February 1987 by the then Conservative Government. In late 1987 BA took over British Caledonian, forming Caledonian Airways in April 1988. By November 1992 BA acquired the assets of the struggling Dan-Air company. Following the attacks in America on 9/11 world airlines were struggling. Sadly, in 2003 BA retired its entire supersonic Concorde fleet. In January 2011 BA and Spanish carrier Iberia merged to form the International Airlines Group. In October 2012 British Midland International became part of IAG.

Specification

ManufacturerVickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd
CountryUnited Kingdom
TypeCivilian airliner
Length158 ft 8 in
Wingspan146 ft 2 in
Height39 ft 6 in
Weight (empty)149,868lb
Weight (loaded)314,000lb
Speed568mph
Ceiling43,000ft
Engines4 x Rolls-Royce Conway Mk 540
Power20,370lb
Range6,070 miles
Passengers151
Crew6

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Vickers Standard VC10 photographs

  • Vickers Standard VC10 G-ARVM
  • Vickers Standard VC10 G-ARVM
  • Vickers Standard VC10 G-ARVM
  • Vickers Standard VC10 G-ARVM
  • Vickers Standard VC10 G-ARVM
  • Vickers Standard VC10 G-ARVM
  • Vickers Standard VC10 G-ARVM
  • Vickers Standard VC10 G-ARVM
  • Vickers Standard VC10 G-ARVM
  • Vickers Standard VC10 G-ARVM
  • Vickers Standard VC10 G-ARVM