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C/n 801/2 - Test Specimen
C/n 803 - G-ARTA
C/n 804 - G-ARVA - 5N-ABD
C/n 805 - G-ARVB
C/n 806 - G-ARVC - ZA144
C/n 807 - G-ARVE
C/n 808 - G-ARVF
C/n 809 - G-ARVG - ZA141
C/n 810 - G-ARVH
C/n 811 - G-ARVI - ZA142
C/n 812 - G-ARVJ - ZD493
C/n 813 - G-ARVK - ZA143
C/n 814 - G-ARVL - ZA140
C/n 815 - G-ARVM
C/n 819 - G-ASIW - 7Q-YKH
C/n 820 - G-ASIX - A4O-AB
C/n 823 - 9G-ABO
C/n 824 - 9G-ABP
C/n 825 - G-ATDJ - XX914
C/n 826 - XR806
C/n 827 - XR807
C/n 828 - XR808
C/n 829 - XR809
C/n 830 - XR810
C/n 831 - XV101
C/n 832 - XV102
C/n 833 - XV103
C/n 834 - XV104
C/n 835 - XV105
C/n 836 - XV106
C/n 837 - XV107
C/n 838 - XV108
C/n 839 - XV109
C/n 851 - G-ASGA - ZD230
C/n 852 - G-ASGB
C/n 853 - G-ASGC
C/n 854 - G-ASGD
C/n 855 - G-ASGE
C/n 857 - G-ASGG - ZD235
C/n 862 - G-ASGL - ZD240
C/n 863 - G-ASGM - ZD241
C/n 866 - G-ASGP - ZD242
C/n 881 - 5X-UVA
C/n 882 - 5H-MMT - ZA147
C/n 883 - 5Y-ADA - ZA148
C/n 884 - 5X-UVJ - ZA149
C/n 885 - 5H-MOG - ZA150

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C/n 813 - G-ARVK - A4O-VK - ZA143

Timeline

Date  
16 January 1963 Registered as G-ARVK to BOAC.
28 March 1964 First flight.
6 April 1964 Flown back to Weybridge for conversion to airline standard.
2 May 1964 Delivery to BOAC as G-ARVK.
20 June 1965 First C-of-A renewal flight on a Standard VC10. During manouvers a passenger door opens and leaves the aircraft, damaging a wing fence and the engine nacelles.
2 September 1967 Operates BA772 from London to Teheran with Yehudi Menuhin as one of the passengers. Knowing that his wife is a big fan, Captain Frish has him sign one of the menus.
1 March 1974 Ownership transferred to British Airways.
26 June 1975 Ownership transferred to Gulf Aviation Company Limited.
7 October 1975 Re-registered as A4O-VK in Oman.
10 January 1978 End of service with Gulf Air, ferried Heathrow to Stansted. Initially sold to Dismore Aviation.
28 March 1978 Sold to RAF for conversion to type 1112 K2 tanker. Ferried Stansted to Filton on this date.
22 December 1982 First flight after conversion at Filton. Flown to Hurn for modification of forward entry door to escape chute.
23 December 1983 Delivery to 101 Squadron as ZA143 'D'.
1991 Acquired 'The Empire Strikes Back' nose art during its Gulf War service.
August 1998 Withdrawn from service, final flight to RAF St. Athan.
May 2001 Scrapped at St. Athan.

Photos


Photo copyright BAE Systems/Brooklands Museum archives

Photo Gabriel Desmond

Photo collection J. Hieminga

Photo S. Fitzgerald

1. Being one of the last Standard VC10s for BOAC, testing didn't take all that long. Just over a week after its first flight Brian Trubshaw flew 'VK back into the Brooklands strip for final outfitting and painting at the factory.
2. In June 1964, only a month after being delivered to BOAC, G-ARVK was still shiny and new and was used at Shannon for training. Gabriel Desmond took this wonderful photo with a standard lens as it was passing low overhead.
3. G-ARVK is parked between G-ARVA and a BOAC Comet.
4. On March 16, 1972 G-ARVK is seen at the BOAC engineering base at London Heathrow in the second BOAC colourscheme.


Photo collection J. Hieminga

Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

Photo copyright BAE Systems / collection J. Hieminga

Photo copyright BAE Systems / collection J. Hieminga

1. Along with the other four Standards 'VK acquired Gulf Air colours but during the first three months of its service with Gulf Air it remained registered in the UK.
2. 6th November 1976, now as A4O-VK at Abu Dhabi.
3. On 22nd December 1982 ZA143 carried out its second 'first flight' from Filton, at the completion of its conversion. The underwing pods had not been installed yet and the rudders were still in camouflage colours.
4. Landing after its first flight as a K2 tanker on 22nd December 1982. This was the second K2 to fly.


Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

Photo Crown copyright via D. Cobbold

Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

1. In July 1984 ZA143 was used to represent the RAF tanker force at an airshow.
2. Seen here at St. Athan, ZA143 may have been one of the airframes that spent a period being stored when budgets were cut.
3. Take off for this 101 Squadron tanker.
4. During the first Gulf War in 1991 ZA143 also acquired 'The Empire Strikes Back' nose art next to a BP logo. The logo referred to the squadron's radio callsign.


Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

Photo A. Townshend

Photo Peter R. Foster

1. A close up view of this nose art at the Mildenhall air show on 25 May 1991.
2. ZA143 was a regular air show visitor, this time in June 1993.
3. ZA143 is seen here at another airshow in Halifax, Canada, on 17 June 1995.
4. ZA143 was kept in service until 2001 but never received the new grey colours, it was flown to St. Athan to be scrapped in this hemp colourscheme.

Colourschemes

Vickers /BOAC BOAC scheme of white over grey fuselage, dark-blue cheatline and fin with two white bands over fin.
BOAC First version of BOAC 'Golden Speedbird' scheme with stepped, gold-edged dark-blue cheatline. Grey lower fuselage and white upper fuselage. Dark-blue fin with gold speedbird logo.
BOAC Second version of BOAC 'Golden Speedbird' scheme, golden edge on cheatline removed and cheatline now arcs smoothly down towards the nose without the step of the previous scheme.
BOAC/BA As above but with British Airways titles on the forward fuselage.
GA Gulf Air VC10 scheme, overall white with a large red, purple and green cheatline flowing from nose to fin. Gulf Air titles on forward fuselage.
RAF First RAF 101 Sqn 'Hemp' scheme. Grey undersides with hemp colours on top and fuselage sides. Toned down markings and large letter on fin. In 1991 a BP logo and the text 'The Empire Strikes Back' was added to the nose in front of the crew entry door.


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