Royal Air Force - RAF Aircraft - VC-10 - r7a10.2 - Armed Forces




VC 10 refuelling two Tornadoes

The VC-10 is a fast transport aircraft which entered service in 1966 and for many years was the backbone of the RAF’s long-range capability, providing flexibility and speed of deployment for British Forces.

The aircraft is operated in two versions the C1K (passenger, freight and refuelling) and the K3/K4 (refuelling).

C1K. This multi-purpose aircraft can be operated in the troop transport, freight and aeromedical roles in addition to maintaining scheduled air services. The VC-10 carries a flight deck crew of four - captain, co-pilot, navigator and engineer - and has a flight deck seat for a supernumerary crew member. Normal cabin staff are two air loadmasters and two air stewards.

On scheduled services up to 124 passengers are carried. Under the floor of the aircraft are two large holds which can carry up to 8.5 tons of freight. If necessary, the aircraft can be converted for use as a freighter or an air ambulance when 78 stretcher cases can be carried. Refuelling pods are carried under the wings and the C1K can replenish its own fuel tanks or those of other aircraft.

K3 and K4. These aircraft are used mainly for refuelling. The K3 can carry 78 tons of fuel incorporating a fuselage fuel tank. The K4 can carry 68 tons of fuel.


The VC10 is due to be replaced in RAF service by the Airbus A400M and the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft.

VC-10  Specifications

Crew 4
Capacity Passengers 124 or 78 medical litters
Length 48.36m
Height  12.04m
Span 44.55m
Max Speed 425mph
Range  7,596kms 
All-up operational weight 146,513kgs
Engines 4 x Rolls Royce Conway turbofans

In service with:

101 Squadron 7 x VC10 K3/K4 RAF Brize Norton
  7 x VC10 C1K  

Photo Copyright BAe Systems