Question on 'Live' VC10s

Any VC10 related discussions.....
Johnnyc2
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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by Johnnyc2 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:56 pm

I understand about going on the musuems books for insurance etc, totally agree with that

It feels unwelcoming because there is so little said about 150 on either Facebook or the website. I understand that its not readdily accessable to the public but why isnt more posted when you do work on her? Anyway I doubt that you would want me to help out.

I'm going to leave it now because as you say your a volunteer and not best placed to answer some of my questions. It's just a shame the musuem staff haven't replied to any of my emails or letters.

I do appreciate you volunteer and do a great job, but I do think that it's a little bit of a closed club.

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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by Johnnyc2 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:02 pm

Cap10 wrote:Wow, Jc2,

You certainly have some issues with Brooklands and their volunteers. re contacting the museum, have you tried emailing the curatorial team as I'm sure you will get an answer from them.The contact should be on their website. There is so much going on there with their Re-Engineering Brooklands project, I wouldn't be surprised if some messages didn't get through to the right person, that is why I suggest contacting the curatorial team. it is they after all who look after collections.

I do know the volunteer team at Dunsfold looking after ZA150, and it is not a closed shop.What happened initially was that Brooklands wanted a team of licensed or retired licensed engineers to look after 150, given that it is live. The team there now has at least four members who have past VC10 experience, and others, currently licensed or retired who have joined along the way. That does not make it a closed shop, but from knowing the team, I guess they have sufficient numbers for their needs, who knows?

Why is it detrimental not having previous military experience, the aircraft is no longer flying and the team are doing a great job keeping 150 live with limited resources. You obviously have a bias towards the military side, but what about the good old days in civilian service with East African Airways. A lot of people remember those days too!

Re the deal done with the MOD, i think you will find that there was no deal. It was to my understanding a commercial transaction whereby Brooklands paid the scrap value to keep the last ever VC10 produced from the scrap man.

Just my input, and I stand ready to be corrected if wrong. If only the world were perfect!
I have tried contacting the museum, many times over the last year regarding the VC10 but I just get a blank!! However it was amazing when asked them about donating they happily responded!!! I find it very annoying no one at the museum wishes to talk about ZA150, its like it doesn't exist!

I cant understand why it was so important to have only licenced engineers on board to look after a live aircraft? Are they better then EX military guys? Both ZA148 and ZD241 do perfectly well without licenced engineers?

ZA150 did a have a very interesting life with EAA before her military service and it should be promoted equally alongside her military service but currently the only engineers who work her are civil biased.

And for information the deal with the MOD was not a commercial transaction. That i've had confirmed already by the MOD

And who's to say she would have gone to the scrapman? I believe GJD still have the last flying VC10 in one piece being looked after the team that look after 241.

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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by Jelle Hieminga » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:05 pm

I would like to add my two cents to this interesting discussion if you guys don't mind. The story started with David's question about the preserved VC10 fleet and moved along to ZA150's status as a preserved airframe. Let's go back a bit and look at how ZA150 got to Dunsfold.

It is worth keeping in mind that one of the main goals of museums is to care for or conserve a collection of whatever the particular museum is about, in this particular case aircraft, cars and a lot of other items related to the Brooklands history. Sometimes this means that a museum will take on an exhibit but will not be able to make it available to the public immediately, if at all, or just on a very restricted scale. Think for example about very fragile documents or items that will deteriorate rapidly when on display. An aircraft is obviously neither of these examples but the parallel is valid as Brooklands has at least done its job in securing the object and conserving it. ZA150's purchase was the result of a longer series of negotiations and a relatively last minute decision by the trustees on a Monday afternoon, the following day the aircraft had to be delivered somewhere. Brooklands was fortunate in that there was already a good relationship with the owners of Dunsfold Aerodrome and they agreed to keeping ZA150 there. Without that, the only other option would have been the costly route of dismantling and reassembly that took XR808 to Cosford.

With ZA150 at Dunsfold the negotiations weren't over as the MOD's contract with GJD stated that the aircraft was to be made 'safe', which included taking out the engines and several other jobs. Only the assurance that a team of licensed engineers, which includes Paul, would look after the aircraft has enabled ZA150 to be the only preserved VC10 that has not gone through the decommisioning process. (By the way, both ZA148 and ZD241 also benefit from the attention of several persons with a background in aircraft maintenance. All of these VC10s also benefit from the attention of volunteers without this background. Both are equally valuable in preserving large aircraft.)

As has been mentioned before, Brooklands is currently going through a major development with the Re-engineering Brooklands project. This indeed means that the focus is not on ZA150 but this project will ensure that a historically important hangar will be restored, moved and that all the important aircraft inside including the only surviving Wellington bomber (I know there's a second one around but that's a trainer) will have a non-leaking roof over their head for a long time to come. At this point in time this has to take precedent. As has been mentioned, ZA150 is not forgotten, she is kept safely at Dunsfold and I'm sure that in time the access situation will be improved. The VC10 as a type is fortunate in that a relatively large part of the production run is currently preserved in museums around the UK and in Germany. I understand that you are not happy about the fact that 'J' is not getting the amount of public attention she deserves, but please do know that the aircraft and its history, both civil and military is not forgotten. Had the aircraft not gone to Dunsfold, I wonder if we could have said the same thing today.
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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by Jelle Hieminga » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:19 pm

Johnnyc2 wrote:I believe GJD still have the last flying VC10 in one piece being looked after the team that look after 241.
On the subject of ZA147, that VC10 is indeed stored at Bruntingthorpe. The photo below shows her in June 2015 (photo by me with thanks to Gary Spoors). As you can see the airframe is in one piece still but not complete, the engines and several other pieces having been removed to support ZD241. As has been discussed on Facebook in the past, I think the future of this airframe is secure as long as GJD can spare the area to store her and doesn't need the scrap value of the airframe. GJD has the expertise needed to dismantle and move a VC10 but I don't think there are any museums around that would be willing to take on a complete VC10. Realistically I think that we might see the front fuselage of this one preserved at some point, I'm hoping to be proven wrong of course.
ZA147_June2015_1.jpg
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1103
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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by 1103 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:29 pm

Johnny,

It seems like catch 22. You are concerned that there are no ex-military, or even current military personal, are amongst the volunteers, but if they (you?) don’t volunteer there won’t be any. So far only civilian engineers have stepped forward.

We have about 12 volunteers who work on 150 and of that number 7 are current or retired LAE’s. No, civilians aren’t better than military engineers but as already stated they are the only ones who have stepped up to the plate. The same goes for the ‘unskilled’ volunteers, they are the only ones who have come forward.

I think you are getting hung up on the term LAE. The 241 team may not be LAE’s, although I believe they have to have civilian licences to certify the Voyager aircraft, the LAE qualification purely demonstrates the level of expertise an individual has, the equivalent military experience is just as acceptable. The bottom line is to have people in place who won’t kill or severely injure themselves, their colleagues or members of the public through lack of experience. We also have one of the Bruntingthorpe crew who wants to share his time between the two aircraft and the only thing stopping him coming south is his business commitments on the days we visit the a/c. It should also be noted that 148 is (currently) a dead aircraft with no engines or hydraulics so does not need the skills of civilian or military engineers to operate systems & engines. If we LAE’s hadn’t volunteered right at the start 150 would have been exhibited like 148.

It is not strictly true that the a/c has only been open for 4 days because there have been several occasion where individuals have contacted us expressing a wish the visit the a/c and we have specially opened it up for these visitors. They only have to ask. We have also had groups booking a visit to the aircraft.

Why do you doubt we that we wouldn’t want you to help out? You are welcome to visit the aircraft any time, just drop us a line. – PM me

Paul

***Posted before I had seen Jelle's post****

Johnnyc2
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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by Johnnyc2 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:33 pm

Thanks for the long explanation. It's the first time some one has taken the time to do such.

I understand much of what has been said but it still does not excuse the poor communication from Brooklands in my eyes.

I do have a few questions? Why are 148 and 241 live airframes if they have been decommissioned?

Why are 148 and 241 allowed to be live airframes without the same restrictions in place that Brooklands had to go though?

Why is it a private business can take the lead in showing off aircraft and be proud of it yet a world class musuem pay very little attention to it? (I'm not including the volunteers in this as they do good and aren't part of the museum per say)

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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by Jelle Hieminga » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:39 pm

Hi Johnny,

There's a simple answer to that question: GJD are the owners of ZD241 and operate it on a privately owned airfield. As they are not a museum they have less restrictions in place in some respects. Within the confines of Bruntingthorpe they have a lot more leeway than others have.

As for ZA148, Chris would be the person to anwer this question with respect to that airframe but as Paul said it is far from live at the moment. CAHC are looking at having the engines installed sometime this summer.

Edit: I forgot to mention that ZD241 was initially fully decommisioned as per the MOD contract. GJD's team have had to put in quite a bit of work to get her running again. So they avoided that particular stumbling block by following the original agreement.
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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by Johnnyc2 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:40 pm

1103 wrote:Johnny,

It seems like catch 22. You are concerned that there are no ex-military, or even current military personal, are amongst the volunteers, but if they (you?) don’t volunteer there won’t be any. So far only civilian engineers have stepped forward.

We have about 12 volunteers who work on 150 and of that number 7 are current or retired LAE’s. No, civilians aren’t better than military engineers but as already stated they are the only ones who have stepped up to the plate. The same goes for the ‘unskilled’ volunteers, they are the only ones who have come forward.

I think you are getting hung up on the term LAE. The 241 team may not be LAE’s, although I believe they have to have civilian licences to certify the Voyager aircraft, the LAE qualification purely demonstrates the level of expertise an individual has, the equivalent military experience is just as acceptable. The bottom line is to have people in place who won’t kill or severely injure themselves, their colleagues or members of the public through lack of experience. We also have one of the Bruntingthorpe crew who wants to share his time between the two aircraft and the only thing stopping him coming south is his business commitments on the days we visit the a/c. It should also be noted that 148 is (currently) a dead aircraft with no engines or hydraulics so does not need the skills of civilian or military engineers to operate systems & engines. If we LAE’s hadn’t volunteered right at the start 150 would have been exhibited like 148.

It is not strictly true that the a/c has only been open for 4 days because there have been several occasion where individuals have contacted us expressing a wish the visit the a/c and we have specially opened it up for these visitors. They only have to ask. We have also had groups booking a visit to the aircraft.

Why do you doubt we that we wouldn’t want you to help out? You are welcome to visit the aircraft any time, just drop us a line. – PM me

Paul

***Posted before I had seen Jelle's post****
I originally emailed Brooklands asking to help as have several 100 photos of 150 (and other 101 sqn vc10s) including ones of her delivery to Brize Norton. I'm keen to see her military legacy preserved. After I got no reply I tried Faceboo,k again to no avail.

I would love to help out in a maintenance capacity but following a accident I have limited feeling In my arms and frankly would be dangerous to work with, hence my you wouldn't want me to work with me comment.

The reason I've made a deal about the licensed engineer thing is because yourself and Bob Cooper on Facebook always seem to drop it in like it's such important part of it.

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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by 1103 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:46 pm

I believe we have only brought it up on FB when it has been relevant to a question posed.

I am sorry if we have have missed any post you have made on FB. We are always on the lookout for photo's of 150 so had we seen your FB post we would have certainly replied. If you want to contact us and we miss a post please use the chat function.
Last edited by 1103 on Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by Jelle Hieminga » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:56 pm

I'm going to be a bit greedy here but can I just echo Paul's comment that any photos are always very welcome? I should really get my finger out and build some more pages for the website but I started this little hobby during a period where I had a lot more spare time. Because of this I cannot promise very quick results but amongst my many plans with the site is more information about both 10 Sqn and 101 Sqn, including photos.
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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by EGDGZTCW » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:18 pm

Just to clarify then.....148 is not live as such. She was decommissioned as per MOD requirements at the time by GJD services. This meant engine removal, hydraulics drained and several bits of sensitive military bits and pieces being removed. Including the serviceable HDU hose needed for the Tristar fleet. The RAF did swap this with a non seviceable unit, so we are complete in that sense. The RAT was secured in the down position. I am sure there are many other things too to which I am not privvy. The owner that secured 148 initially was given an option to purchase the engines separate to the purchase of the airframe as I understand it. Only one engine was purchased for museum display at the time, the other three were not. The intention was always to turn this particular VC10 in to a diner in the same way they had turned a DC6 in to a diner at Coventry. Thankfully this didn't happen.

150, 241 and indeed 147 would have been decommisioned to the same level as 148 as required by MOD, at least initially I believe.

Engineless then and with no blood in her veins she has stood for nearly three years open to visitors for the most part. This time last year she was very really facing the scrapman but with a small number of us setting up a new concern she has the chance of a new life and becoming "live" like 241 at Brunty and 150 at Brooklands. I am one of another small team looking after her. I am not an engineer, an air trafficer actually but I am fortunate to be able to work alongside two ex military engineers (one of whom is also one of the 241 team - known as the A Team) and a former VC10 flight engineer who is a licensed engineer and who flew this particular aircraft and certainly 150 also, to name but three. We are able to power up the flightdeck from a GPU. That said, we have a small fault to trace and part to accuire. We have been offered three more Conways from a chap who has a few in the view to making her fully live again. The hydraulics have been recharged but not yet tested in readiness for the refit currently set for early summer.

We hope to make some noise in the future but nothing is certain at this time...... but that is our intention. First job will be to get her complete again. As for taxi runs.....probably unlikely, not because 148 wont be serviceable but because she does not have the easy access to a runway enjoyed by 150 and 241. That said, it may be possible in the future, who knows.

Should you find youself in Cornwall we would be happy to show you 148. Please come and see us.

Chris

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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by bobisqueen » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:39 pm

Hi Johnny

I'm one of the Engineers that help to look after 241 at Brunty. I'd just like to add to what Paul and Jelle have said.

I think most of your frustration is aimed at the museum, rather than the volunteers. Paul, Bob and co do an excellent job with 150 at Dunsfold and I think some of your comments to be crash. Yes they may have only a few military guys on there team but they do take a big interest in the military side of the airframe. Both the teams at 241 and 150 have a close working relationship and we have shared much information to keep both 150 and 241 in the best possible condition.

While Jelle has pointed out the differences between 241 and 150, I would like to add that we work to the same restrictions as 150 do at Dunsfold. Brunty like Dunsfold is a private airfield and the aviation side pay a second fiddle to the other businesses there. The reason it appears in your eyes that 241 is shown more to the public is because Brunty has a well publicised and well established twice yearly cold war jets day, however in the grand scheme of things, 241 has been only been shown to the public 4 times in the last 2 years also. While Brunty is open to the public every Sunday, 241 is rarely open.

241 was indeed decommissioned first as Jelle pointed out, however this was because it was not ear marked to be the live airframe. That honour was to be 808 until it was decided that was going to RAF Cosford. As for 147, she remains intact bar engines. Her future is secure for the moment and many plans are in the pipeline for her.

However I am concerned that many think if ZA150 hadn't gone to Dunsfold, she wouldnt have had her history preserved. I can guarantee that if it had come to Brunty, she would have received the same amount of care as the excellent team at Brooklands and Dunsfold give her.

In summary Johnny, rest assured 150 is in the best possible hands. Fact.

Ollie

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Re: Question on 'Live' VC10s

Post by davidbevis » Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:28 pm

An interesting read but not really what I was expecting when I asked for a bit of help :shock:

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