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Flight deck photos

Thanks to several photos that were kept by Anthony Fisher from his work at BOAC/BA's avionics deparment and a set of photos that was found at Filton, I can offer this 'spot the differences' page about early VC10 flight decks. Below are three sets of photos showing the flight decks of G-ARTA, G-ARVF and XR807. Some of the G-ARTA photos are marked as taken in March 1962 (no dates on the others), the set of photos from G-ARVF was taken in August 1963 and the XR807 photos were most likely taken in 1966. Together they show some very early iterations of the VC10 flight deck and a few interesting differences.


Photo copyright BAE Systems via J. Downey

Photo copyright BAE Systems via J. Downey

Photo copyright BAE Systems via J. Downey

Photo copyright BAE Systems via J. Downey

1. G-ARTA's flight deck seen in March 1962, three months before its first flight.
2. The captain's side of the panel with some labels and mock up panels in place on the bottom of the centre panel and the pedestal.
3. On this photo the yoke is of a production standard, in contrast to the previous photo. The chinagraph at the top left appears to be a hastily produced transparent version.
4. The engineer's workstation on the prototype as seen in February 1962.


Photo copyright BAE Systems via J. Downey

Photo copyright BAE Systems via J. Downey

Photo copyright BAE Systems via J. Downey

Photo copyright BAE Systems via J. Downey

1. G-ARTA's engineer panel as seen in March 1962 with some penciled in limitations.
2. The top half of the panel.
3. The guard next to the throttles is different from the production variant.
4. A view towards the aft end of the engineer's station.


Photo copyright BAE Systems via J. Downey

Photo copyright BAE Systems via J. Downey

Photo copyright BAE Systems via J. Downey
 

1. G-ARTA's pedestal was still pretty empty at this point.
2. The overhead panel shows placeholders for future avionics installations while the chart that has been stuck over the fluid compass shows beacons and airways for the south of England.
3. At one point the centre panel included the mini aeroplane indicator that was normally mounted on the overhead panel. This may have been a special installation for use on the first test flights.


Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

1. G-ARVF's flight deck seen in August 1963.
2. At this point in development, there was an indicator on the bottom row showing the nose gear turning angle. Another interesting detail: the penciled figures on the panel.
3. The light grey box in the centre is the Doppler Navigator display. The Doppler radar was able to calculate a ground speed and drift angle based on radar returns.
4. The right side shows more penciled numbers. These are the relevant speeds for the take off, which changed each day depending on loading and runway used. The VC10 would get a small chinagraph panel on which the pilots could note these speeds for direct reference.


Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

1. The front end of the pedestal.
2. The rest of the pedestal is where the radios and navigation boxes are installed.
3. The overhead panel has some extra space available at this point. The penciled in boxes were on the photo, not on the panel.
4. The top right section of the engineer's panel includes the air conditioning controls.


Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

1. The section next to it, moving left, covers AC power distribution.
2. The panel against the aft wall at the engineer's station includes controls for the emergency oxygen at top right.
3. Engine start switches mounted aft of the engineer's throttles.
4. The navigation station against the aft bulkhead on the flight deck.


Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

1. Another Standard VC10: C.1 XR807's flight deck as seen while at Wisley.
2. Judging by the Standard VC10 in the adjacent bay, XR807 is on jacks.
3. Engine gauges on the centre panel.
4. Co-pilot's panel. The chinagraph placard is installed in this photo.


Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

1. The pedestal shows different radio boxes compared to the civil Standard.
2. Autopilot, autothrottles and various controls.
3. The overhead panel with the miniature aeroplane gauge showing the flight controls.
4. The full engineer's panel.


Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

1. Top right section with AC power, air conditioning and DC power distribution.
2. Anti-ice and hydraulics.
3. Fuel system, with jettison switches behind the cover at top left.
4. Engine gauges on the engineer's panel.


Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones

Photo BOAC via S. Jones
 

1. Engine start switches mounted aft of the engineer's throttles.
2. Panel against the aft wall at the engineer's station, with oxygen controls at top right and APU controls at bottom right.
3. The navigation station against the aft bulkhead on the flight deck. The RAF version appears to be more comprehensive than on G-ARVF.

 

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