It is no secret that I am a little bit in love with the Vickers VC10. This British built aircraft crossed the Atlantic and flew worldwide routes for BOAC and other airlines back in the 1960s and 1970s. Once again I have delved into the British Pathé archives on YouTube to bring you a couple of very short but very cool videos.

Automatic Landings

Today it is common knowledge that aircraft can land themselves by autopilot. When pilots are unable to see due to low visibility or fog conditions, autopilot will take care of the landing which saves flights from having to divert to other airports. Back in the 1960s this was a revolutionary concept, so much so that it was news worthy. This one minute video shows an automatic landing in a Vickers VC10.

I love the commentary referring to the aircraft as “giant” and “huge” when today it would be thought of as fairly average. The pilots have their hands crossed and it’s interesting to see all the controls move on their own. Fun to see!

Shakedown Flights

The second video I have for you is from 1964 when the VC10 was brand new and had not entered service. As the voice over says, “see what flying in a VC10 is like!”. This little film lasts two minutes, so take the time to give it a watch.

Look out for the cabin shots when they are serving the meal. The aisle is unbelievably wide, wider than any I have ever seen. I also love how the food is plated and served at your seat. Royal Jordanian still do this today in Crown Class and it feels so very luxurious.

Overall Thoughts

British Pathé films are a window into a past that a lot of us will never experience. I love the plummy British voice over, the superlatives used, plus the way they try to give you a good overview of what they’re reporting on. Let’s face it, I’m a sucker for the VC10 and a sucker for cabin shots that show service. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments and questions, please leave them below.