Current and vintage aircraft photos

Vickers VC10

28 Fabulous Photos of the Vickers VC10

It can be comfortably claimed that the Vickers VC10 is the most elegant, graceful and beautiful jetliner ever produced by the British. Although the type is full retired from operation service, the Vickers VC10 enjoyed a solid safety record, and was highly regarded by crews and passengers alike. Although it never achived the same level of success as the Boeing 707 and DC-8, the Vickers VC-10 established itself as a reliable niche aircraft and is remembered with affection by all who knew her.

The Vickers VC10's origins go back to the 1950s, when Vickers, BOAC and the RAF were looking into the future for designs that could replace the De Havilland Comet. At the time, many of the world's runways were short, specially those on BOAC's colonial network of the day. So the requirement for the new aircraft to be capable of operating from short runways was most important. The Rolls Royce Conway engines powered the Valiant with success, and it was agreed the new jetliner would be powered by four Conway engines.

As plans progressed, the design incorporated the T-tail as employed on the Boeing 727, and the aircraft was contemplated to carry 135 passengers and would operate the airline's longer routes that reached down into Africa originating in London. Government pressure forced BOAC to purchase a jetliner built in the UK, even though some thought the Boeing 707 was better suited to the airline's operational needs.

BOAC ended up ordering 35 Vicker VC10 Standards, in January, 1958. When the Super VC10 became available, the mix of aircraft was in flux well into the early 1960s, and ultimately, only 12 Standard Vickers VC10s were delivered. Prototype Vickers VC10 G-ARTA rolled out from the Weybridge factory on April 15, 1962, and the type's maiden flight took place on June 29. By early 1964, seven Vickers VC10s were in the test flight program at Wisely, and the VC10 got its C of A on April 22, 1964 (after 2 years on flight testing).

Vickers VC10 G-ARVI was the first aircraft handed over to BOAC, also on April 22, and the first revenue flight was flown with G-ARVJ from Heathrow to Lagos. In the Spring of 1964, BOAC commenced BOAC Vickers VC10 services to West Africa, South Africa, East Africa, the Gulf, and the Far East.

Only 32 Standard VC10 airframes were built (the last one delivered in 1968) and were delivered to BOAC, British United, MEA, Ghana Airways, and the RAF. Most of the airline delivered airframes remained in service until the late 1970s, although many were passed down to other operators and governments during the decade of the 1970s. The RAF operated some of their Standard Vickers VC10s right up until the type was retired in September, 2013.

Featured below are 27 fabulous photos of the Vickers VC10 classic jetliner from our extensive aircraft image database. Which, by the way, are for sale in both digital and print format. If you are looking for 35mm kodachrome slides of the Vickers VC10 click here for current selection.

WANTED: Top aviation photographers to join our team.


WANTED: Top aviation photographers to join our team.

To see all the Standard Vickers VC10 photos for sale


To see all the Vickers Super VC10 photos for sale