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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 - ZD231
C/n 853 - G-ASGC
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 866 - G-ASGP - ZD242

Timeline

Date  
20 November 1968 First flight.
6 December 1968 Delivery to BOAC as G-ASGP.
31 January 1977 Operated to Abu Dhabi via Jeddah, first operational flight for Geoff Hall.
6 January 1981 Ferried to Prestwick for storage, retired from airline service.
3 April 1981 Sold to the RAF, ZD242 allocated.
6 April 1981 Ferried to RAF Abingdon for storage. Hours flown at time of retirement: 43212hrs.
27 July 1990 Ferried to Filton with gear and slats locked down after three months of work. First ex-BA Super to be ferried.
29 July 1993 First flight from Filton after conversion to VC10 K4 tanker, first K4 to fly.
28 April 1994 First K4 delivered to 101 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton as ZD242.
May 1999 Repainted into grey colourscheme.
28 Augustus 2008 Withdrawn from service, delivered to QinetiQ at Boscombe Down for ageing aircraft research. Total hours on the clock: 50270 of which 7058 hours in RAF service.
2009-2010 Initially the airframe was kept 'live', including anti-deterioration engine runs. During phase A, both systems and structure were opened up for inspection and surveys, together with a limited teardown. During phase B, the major teardown continued alongside scrapping of the airframe structure.
February 2011 Remains of airframe scrapped at Boscombe Down.

Photos


Image copyright BAE Systems

Photo collection J. Hieminga via R. Thurston

Photo collection J. Hieminga via R. Thurston

Photo collection J. Hieminga via R. Thurston

1. G-ASGP taking off from the short runway at Brooklands on its first flight on 20 November 1968.
2. By the time of the merger, British Airways titles have replaced the gleaming gold BOAC markings.
3. G-ASGP coming in for a landing in the full British Airways livery.
4. G-ASGP hiding behind G-ASGB at London Heathrow.


Photo collection J. Hieminga via R. Thurston

Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

Image copyright BAE Systems/Brooklands Museum archives

Photo Crown Copyright / RAF Brize Norton

1. In storage at RAF Abingdon, the open overwing escape hatch indicates that some work is being carried out.
2. Another photo showing the airframe in storage. A Vulcan can be seen in the background, just below the engine nacelles.
3. After several years of storage, G-ASGP, or just 'P' by now, is looking a bit grimy.
4. After a ferry flight and three years of hard work, ZD242 was the first K4 that took to the air again, to be delivered to 101 Squadron in 1994.


Photo collection J. Hieminga

Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

Photo collection J. Hieminga

1. Parked at what appears to be RAF Brize Norton, ZD242 carries the tail code 'P', the only K4 to end up with a tail code that reflects its previous registration.
2-3. Two air-to-air photos that show the slightly patchy appearance that the hemp-coloured VC10s took on after a few years and some maintenance visits.
4. Seen from another VC10 taxiing past, ZD242 is parked on the 101 Squadron apron.


Photo G. Gordon

Photo G. Gordon

Photo collection J. Hieminga via C. Knott

Photo N. Angus

1. ZD242 seen from another VC10 during refuelling training.
2. The periscope is used here to get a different view of ZD242 refuelling another VC10.
3. ZD242 got its new colours in May 1999, in August 2000 they still look shiny and clean.
4. ZD242 is seen here with several open inspection panels, with an An-124 parked next to it.


Photo collection J. Hieminga

Photo Crown Copyright / RAF Brize Norton

Photo Manonthefence/Nick Blacow

Photo G. Spoors / GJD Services

1. October 2001, ZD242 climbs away for another operational sortie.
2. The K4's day job: refuelling other military aircraft, a Tornado F3 in this case.
3. Nick Blacow caught ZD242 returning to RAF Brize Norton.
4. The dismantling at Boscombe Down was a complicated process. Parts were removed and cut out, but the remaining airframe couldn't be completely exposed, which led to a lot of tape and plastic.


Photo G. Spoors / GJD Services

Photo G. Spoors / GJD Services

Photo G. Spoors / GJD Services
 

1. Another challenge was getting to the keel beam, which was accomplised by removing the rest of the airframe around it.
2. It couldn't last, although ZD242 stayed at Boscombe Down for two and a half years, the scrapman caught up with this VC10.
3. With most of the fuselage removed, the center wing and the structure around it remains to be studied.

 

Colourschemes

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.
BA First British Airways ('Negus') scheme, white over dark blue fuselage with grey wings. Top of fin and stabilizer in red with Union Jack section. British Airways titles and small Speedbird on front fuselage.
RAF First RAF 101 Sqn 'Hemp' scheme. Grey undersides with hemp colours on top and fuselage sides. Toned down markings and large letter 'P' on fin.
RAF All over grey scheme with large lightning flash down the side of the fuselage. Toned down roundels and fin flashes, code letter 'P' on fin.

 

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