Tuesday 19 August 2014

Brooklands Open VC10 for Tours

Wings & Wheels is delighted to announce the Brooklands Museum VC10 will be open for public tours over the Show weekend. The VC10 was retired from Brize Norton to Dunsfold Aerodrome in September 2013 and is now under the careful guardianship of Brooklands Museum.
Since its arrival at the Aerodrome, an experienced team of volunteers has been selected to keep the aircraft well maintained. A number of important spares and servicing tools have been purchased which allows the team to keep the aircraft in running condition.

Robin Voice, Brooklands Museum VC10 Project Manager comments: "We are looking forward to opening the VC10 to the public at Wings & Wheels. The team of volunteers have worked hard to keep the aircraft in running order so it's vital we continue to raise awareness of our work through the tours. The tours will not only give visitors a fascinating insight into the VC10, but help us with our fundraising efforts."

Tours will be limited and available to pre-book over the weekend on a first come first serve basis. A donation of £2 per person is suggested and will go towards the on-going restoration of the aircraft.

Carrying the RAF serial number ZA150 it was the very last VC10 of 54 built at Brooklands in the 1960s. ZA150 was originally built as 5H-MOG for East African Airways as a "Combi", based on the Super VC10 but with a large forward freight door – which, incidentally, greatly eased the conversion of this variant into a tanker aircraft, allowing five huge fuel tanks to be installed on the main deck. After its airline service was completed, this aircraft was stored at Filton for several years before making its first flight as a tanker in 1984.

The RAF bought 14 new VC10s in the 1960s for strategic transport and later went on to purchase aircraft retired from the commercial market, converting a further 14 into air-to-air refuelling tankers during the 1980s and 1990s. In total, the RAF has operated 28 VC10s of differing variants and the aircraft conducted a range of tasks from troop and VIP transport, aero-medical missions and air sampling after nuclear tests.

In recent years the VC10s have been used solely for air-to-air refuelling, with their last missions in this role completed on Friday 20th September 2013. The VC10 is the second longest serving type in the RAF's inventory with 47 years' of service just narrowly eclipsed by the English Electric Canberra which was withdrawn in 2006.

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