The last RAF VC10 touches down at Dunsfold Park

By Culture24 Reporter | 25 September 2013

Just days after completing its last refuelling mission, the last RAF Vickers VC10 has flown into Dunsfold Park, where it is to be displayed in association with Brooklands Museum.

a photo of a jet plane landing on an arifield
VC10 Queen of the Skies lands at Brooklands.© Courtesy Brooklands Museum
The last to be built completely at Brooklands in the 1960s, VC10 ZA150 touched down at the historic Dunsfold airfield yesterday (September 24) as one of the last two flying with the RAF from Brize Norton in Oxfordshire after completing a total of 43,400 flying hours.

The powerful rear engined jet, known affectionately as the Queen of the Skies, will now be prepared for public display at the historic aerordrome, which hosts the famous Wings and Wheels events as well as being home to Top Gear.

At nearby Brooklands there is an unparalleled collection of Hawker and Vickers/ BAC-built aircraft, including the Second World War Wellington Bomber, Viking, Varsity, Viscount, Vanguard, VC10 and BAC One-Eleven.

Used extensively by the RAF as an air-to-air refuelling aircraft, the VC10 is one of the longest serving aircraft of its type with 47 years of service - just narrowly eclipsed by the English Electric Canberra which was withdrawn in 2006.

28 VC10s of differing variants have served with the RAF, conducting a range of tasks from troop and VIP transport to aero-medical missions and air sampling after nuclear tests. In recent years the VC10s have been used solely for air-to-air refuelling and have supported operations in Iraq and the British bombing of Libya in 2011.

The last aerial refuelling mission was completed on September 20 2013.

Allan Winn, Director of Brooklands Museum, described the acquisition as “hugely important”.

“Its retirement marks the end of an unbroken century of front-line service by Brooklands-built aircraft with the British armed forces. That is a unique record, unchallenged by any other factory-customer relationship anywhere in the world.”

Longer-term arrangements for public access to the VC10 at Dunsfold will be confirmed in due course.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

a photo of RAF crewmen walking down the exit gantry of a VC10 jet
Sqn Ldr Tim Kemp with his aircrew, co-pilot Fl Lt Shane Stiger, engineer Fl Flt Kevin Booth and Navigator Flt Lt Bruce Thompson leave the VC10 for the last time.© Courtesy Brooklands Museum
a photo of a jet touching down on an airfield
© Photo Martin Strick. Courtesy Brooklands Museum
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Flew from Changi to Brize Norton in a Royal Air Force C MK1 Transport Command Aircraft in 1967, one of the aircraft built speciffically for the Royal Air Force and all named after VC (Victoria Cross) holders. Fantastic aircraft with really clean lines and a superb T tail.
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