The Vickers VC10 and Super VC10 were Britain’s entry into the long range jet aircraft market in the 1960s. Originally designed for hot and high routes in places like Africa, the lengthened version was popular on transatlantic routes.

Powered by four Rolls-Royce Conway engines, the aircraft first flew on 29 June 1962, entering service with BOAC on 29 April 1964. Once its passenger service ended, it continued operating for the RAF, with its last flight on 25 September 2013.

Vickers VC10 Video

Following on from last week’s video about the Airbus A310 is an eight minute video about the Vickers VC10. This is taken from a BBC television programme and has some great classic footage.

I quite like the stories from the former cabin crew as well as old interviews with the people flying on board. BOAC touted the seats as being very comfortable and it seems people agreed.

Having the engines situated at the rear led to a very quiet passenger cabin. Right through to the end of its service with British Airways, people would still actively choose to fly on the VC10, even over modern aircraft like the Boeing 747.

Just 54 aircraft were built, partly because the aircraft arrived too late to market. It was also tailored too specifically to BOAC’s requirements and it did not help when BOAC publicly derided the aircraft’s economics.

Transatlantic Record Holder

The record for the fastest transatlantic flight is still held by the Super VC10. In March 1979 G-ASGC set a time of 5 hours and 1 minute from New York JFK to Glasgow Prestwick and the record still stands. You can read about that here.


With clean lines and a unique look, the BOAC Marketing department went to town on advertising which you can see here. There’s also another four minute colour film about a flight to New York on the VC10 in 1965 which is fun to watch too.

Overall Thoughts

Flying in the 1960s and 1970s would have been tons of fun. Lots of different airlines to choose from plus loads of different types of aeroplanes to fly in.

Unfortunately I never had the pleasure of a Vickers VC10 flight. The closest I will get now is to get on board the one at Bruntingthorpe that still does fast taxi runs. Do check out this site all about the aircraft if you’re interested.

Have you ever flown in a VC10? What was it like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Lars Söderström via Airliners.net.
BOAC image via BAE Systems.