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Vickers VC10 C1K Tanker Aircraft

When the RAF retired it's Handley-Page Victor K2 tanker aircraft in 1993 second hand Vickers VC10 airliners were converted to replace them, they were a logical choice as both aircraft used four Rolls-Royce Conway Turbofans and VC10 aircraft were readily available on the second hand market at a low price. The Vickers VC10 airliners converted to the AAR role  were designated the VC10 C1K. The conversion consisted of the fitting of a Mk32 refuelling pod as had been fitted to the Victor K2 tanker aircraft under the outboard section of each wing.

Vickers VC10 Tanker Military Aircraft


The VC10 C1K could carry up to 69,800kgs of fuel delivered via a probe and drogue refuelling system. The VC10 C1K could refuel two aircraft simultaneously using it's the two under-wing pods.

The RAFs single-role AAR fleet consisted of K3 and K4 VC10s. Both variants were three-point tankers, fuel being dispensed from either two wing pop hoses or from the single fuselage-mounted Hose Drum Unit (HDU). The wing pop hoses can transfer fuel at up to 1000kgs per minute and are used to refuel tactical fast-jet aircraft. The HDU can transfer up to 2000kgs of fuel per minute and was used normally to refuel large strategic aircraft.

Vickers VC10 C1K Specifications:

  • Crew: Pilot and co-pilot, weapon systems officer and flight engineer.
  • Capacity: 124 passengers
  • Length: 158 ft 8 in (48.36 m)
  • Wingspan: 146 ft 2 in (44.55 m)
  • Height: 39 ft 6 in (12.04 m)
  • Wing area: 2,851 ft (264.9 m)
  • Empty weight: 139,505 lb (63,278 kg)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 334,878 lb (151,900 kg)
  • Engines: Four 20,000 lbf Rolls-Royce Conway Mk. 301 Turbofans
  • Maximum speed: 580 mph (933 km/h)
  • Range: 5,850 miles (9,412 km)
  • Service ceiling: 43,000 ft (13,105 m)

RAF Vickers VC10 retired

The RAF'S last remaining Vickers VC10 aircraft serving with 101 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton were officially retired on the 25th September 2013 after 47 years of service. They are to be replaced by a 14 strong fleet of Voyager KC2's Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT),  When not required to support the Royal Air Force the new aircraft will be used for civilian charter flights...

RAF VC10 Tanker Aircraft

Vickers VC10 Cockpit

Vickers VC10 Cockpit

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