This aircraft operated in the Sultan of Oman’s Royal Flight, based at Muscat. It was built at Brooklands and initially delivered to British United Airways in 1964. It was eventually sold to the Omani Government in 1974.
The first VC10 flew from Brooklands on the 29th June 1962, and was the largest all-British production airliner ever built. With four Rolls-Royce Conway engines grouped in pairs at the back it is very loud by modern standards, although for its time it was regarded by passengers as quiet and comfortable, something the original operator, BOAC, was keen to trumpet, describing it as “triumphantly swift, silent, serene”.
A further 53 examples (32 ‘standard’ and 22 Super VC10s) left the factory here over the next eight years. The largest VC10 customer was the British Overseas Airways Corporation, other operators including British United Airways, Ghana Airways and the Royal Air Force.
A4O-AB’s final flight was from Muscat to Brooklands via Heathrow on 6th July 1987. The RAF operated VC10s until September 2013 having added 14 ex-airline examples to its fleet during the 1980s/90s in an air-to-air refuelling role.
Vickers 1101 VC10 G-ARVM (1964)
This was the last of the 12 Standard VC10s built at Brooklands for BOAC, making its maiden flight in July 1964. It operated both as a passenger carrier as well as a crew trainer with BOAC and British Airways. In 1974 the British Airways Standard VC10 fleet was retired, apart from Victor Mike, which remained in service as a training aircraft and also as a standby aircraft for the airline’s Super VC10 and Concorde fleets. In 1977 it performed a very low flypast for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Air Display. Finally being retired in October 1979, it made its final flight to the RAF Museum at Cosford and became the first VC10 to be preserved.
In 2006 British Airways offered the fuselage of G-ARVM to Brooklands Museum and it arrived at the Museum in October of that year in two pieces. It has since been rejoined and is now the only surviving VC10 1101 in Britain. The interior was refurbished in 2012 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the VC10.
Vickers VC10 ZA150 (1969)
For news of ZA 150’s arrival at Dunsfold in September 2013, click more