Concern BOAC’s Last Aircraft May Be Scrapped After Museum Closure

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The Vickers VC10 is an iconic jet that played a vital role in the history of aviation in the United Kingdom. However, there is now a campaign to urgently relocate one of the planes. There are concerns that British Overseas Airways Corporation’s (BOAC’s) last running aircraft might be scrapped following the closure of its current home of the Cold War Jets Museum at Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire.

BOAC VC10
Both BOAC and the VC10 had important roles in British aviation. Photo: Getty Images

A legend in the game

Enthusiasts began fearing for the aircraft’s future after they found out that aviation activities, such as taxiing down the runway, were not required by the new leaseholders at the facility. Several people across the country and in the aviation world are anxious about the situation. For instance, former VC10 pilot Chris Haywood said the plane is an iconic piece of British design, engineering, and manufacturing.

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According to the BBC, he said the following:

“We feel it is important she is kept in running condition both as an example of that period of airliner, but also so the public can continue to learn about and experience the sights, sounds and smells of such a majestic piece of history.”

Vickers VC10 BOAC
Only 54 VC10s were ever built. Photo: Getty Images

There is hope

Despite the worries, there has been reassurance that the VC10 will be safe. C Walton Ltd, the owners of Bruntingthorpe, shared last week that it doesn’t plan to scrap any of the historic British aircraft currently on its premises. Subsequently, it has reached an agreement with a number of organizations to rehome several of the planes.

Moreover, it is actively pursuing the possibility of establishing an aviation museum upon land adjacent to the Airfield at Bruntingthorpe. However, several practical implications will determine whether this will be feasible.

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The VC10 was introduced with BOAC in April 1964, and it specialized in long-haul operations. Other airlines, mainly from Africa and the Middle East, also performed flights with the narrowbody.

Other VC10 operators include:

  • East African Airways
  • Ghana Airways
  • Gulf Air
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Air Malawi
  • Air Ceylon
  • Nigeria Airways

Depending on the variant, the plane could transport between 115 and 163 passengers. Additionally, the maximum speed was 580 mph (930 km/h).

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In March 1979, a Super VC10 performed the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by a subsonic jet airliner, at a time of 5 hours and 1 minute. This record was held for 41 years until this February when Storm Ciara helped a British Airways 747.

BOAC
BOAC merged with other airlines to form British Airways in 1974. Photo: Getty Images

Long-lasting service

Along with these passenger services, the Royal Air Force (RAF) also put its trust in military variants and former passenger units from 1965 all the way to 2013. The jet served in fundamental conflicts over the years, such as the Falklands War, the Gulf War, the war in Afghanistan, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Altogether, it would be sad to see the plane at Bruntingthorpe be scrapped. However, the words from the owners of the site give hope that there will still be a house for the legend going forward.

What are your thoughts about the VC10 aircraft? Let us know what you think of the plane in the comment section.

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