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Last Flight of Final Royal Air Force VC10 K4

Arriving at Bruntingthorpe Airfield, Leiceistershire, today from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, one day later than originally planned, was BAC VC10 K4 ZD241 ‘N’, the last remaining example of this variant in Royal Air Force service.


RAF/101 Squadron VC10 K4 ZD241 'N' lands at Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire, for the final time earlier today.

The aircraft will now be dismantled and scrapped. Only five K4 variants were delivered to the RAF, all being converted from former British Airways aircraft that were purchased by the RAF. The other four K4s have already been scrapped.

This was the second RAF VC10 to arrive at Bruntingthorpe for scrapping this week, following the arrival of K3 ZA149 ‘H’ on Monday, March 18, as previously reported. Although the VC10′s replacement, the Voyager, has yet to become fully operational with the RAF, these two retirements now leave the RAF’s 101 Squadron with just four VC10 tankers remaining in service.

These comprise C1K XR808 ‘R’, plus K3s ZA147 ‘F’, ZA148 ‘G’ and ZA150 ‘J’. Of these, ZA150 has recently been deployed to Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands to operate with 1312 Flight, replacing ZD241, which returned home just before being flown to Bruntingthorpe today.

VC10 K4 ZD241 'N' on final approach to Bruntingthorpe earlier today.

Delays in the Voyager programme have led to the service life of the VC10 being extended beyond its previously planned retirement date, which had been due to be by the end of this month. However, its stay of execution will only be brief, as the revised out of service date is still only six months away, in September 2013, by which time all four of the remaining aircraft are to be retired.

Touchdown for the final time. Full flaps and lots of smoke from ZD241.

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GERALD A SCOTT said on the 20-Jun-2013 at 16:39

I served in the RAF joined when i wa 16 and worked on these aircraft. i arrive at Brize Norton in 1969, after serving at various other stations having just flown back from Bahrain in 107 and flown out a year earlier on 102. i can remember when i used to load these up during the Indian famine relief with all sorts of boxes loaded on pallets. I am now 65 and it breaks my heart to see these magnificent aircraft getting hacked to bits. i can only hope that some one with wisdom saves one for fast taxi runs and display . it just goes to show what British made, really means, we hd great people in them days now we are just a nation of Call Centers no skill required. and if you get it wrong no harm done. WHEN WILL BRITAIN BE GREAT AGAIN ?

Raj Patel said on the 26-Jul-2013 at 15:22

I flew in a VC10 - East African Airways as a 10 year old and even then was stunned by the quite sleek jet.

Now there are no more all British Aircraft - civilian or military and it is a shame that things have come to this pass.

I am optimist and one day son of concorde, VC10 and others will fly. I have always believed that British design is world class and that will lead to a revival on British aircraft industry

Tim said on the 14-Aug-2013 at 12:17

As a manager of a world class engineering company I get annoyed by comments that purport to say great Britain is not as great as in their day.
Concord and the VC10 were wonderful aircraft but commercial failures, the Comet was ahead of its time but mechanically flawed. Fact is that after the war we fell behind the rest of the world we rested on our past glories and failed to move on. And after the wasted decades of the 50s, 60s and 70s we have managed to claw our way back. Today our jet engines are world class, our high technology industries lead the world.

Stewart said on the 8-May-2014 at 11:38

The VC10 was not a failure, however BOAC's chairman seemed happy to tell anyone who cared it was costly to run, truth is it was not. It cost far less than a 707 to maintain and was more popular with passnegers and so seldom had an empty seat unlike the BOAC 707 fleet

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