As I write these words in Perth, Australia, the very last flight of the last flying VC10 is coming to an end in England. RAF VC10, ZA147, will make its last landing at Bruntingthorpe and so bring to an end the flying career of arguably the most beautiful jetliner built (with the possible exception of Concorde).
I will always remember seeing the BOAC VC10’s parked at the gates at Heathrow in the 1970’s, their sleek lines making a contrast to the more angular Boeing 707’s. The BOAC livery with its dark blue cheatline and gold speedbird emblem always looked spectacular on the VC10 and always made an impression.
Over the years I saw BOAC, East African Airways, Gulf Air and Ghana Airways VC10’s as well as the occasional RAF model. I will always remember seeing a VC10 in British Airways colours flying on airways from Manchester to Heathrow going over at 10,000 feet, much lower than the normal airways altitude of around 22,000 for aircraft heading to Heathrow over the West Midlands. Fantastic!
I saw my last VC10, ZA149 tail code ‘H’, at Birmingham International Airport on January 10, 2009.
So, thanks VC10 for all the memories, the great sights and the unforgettable sounds, spanning the decades and coming to an end today, long may people enjoy seeing you at the various museums around the UK.
Bye-bye VC10 . . .