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An RAF Fairwell 

To VC10 C130 Hercules & Tristar


Farewell VC10

With just two days before the VC10ís final departure from Brize Norton and RAF service. In order to bid this iconic aircraft farewell a special photographic opportunity was arranged by the OC of 216 Squadron and in doing so make some money for the RAF benevolent charity.

Utilising 99Sqns PAN VC10 ZA147 was joined by two other iconic aircraft that will soon be retired from RAF service.

A C130 C3A XV303 & a Lockheed Tristar C2 ZE705.


                The concept of the VC10 was that as an airliner it could operate from short hot airfields, this most elegant of aircraft was taken into service by a number of airlines who's routes operated from such airfields. BOAC bought both the VC10 & the Super VC10. Of the VC10cMk1s built, the RAF received 14 to use as transports however this changed when it was deemed that they should incorporate a side freight deck door. When British Airways withdrew the Super VC10 the majority were acquired by the RAF and flown to Filton for conversion five were converted into KMk4 variant and four were converted into KMk3s these are equipped with fuselage fuel tanks mounted in the passenger compartment, and can carry up to 78,000 kg of fuel.

ZA147 ex EAA 5H-MMT Sold to RAF for conversion to tanker 1978 First flight as a K3 tanker from Filton 1985

VC10 Specifications




171ft 8in 52.32 m


146ft 2in 44.55 m

Max Speed

505kts 935 km/h at 31,000ft


4 x Rolls-Royce Conway

           Deliveries of the iconic C130 Hercules to the RAF began in 1966 and very soon became a venerable addition to the RAF. This most capable of aircraft has served all around the world as the workhorse of the RAF transport fleet. Over the years it has proved to be a versatile and rugged aircraft, primarily intended for tactical operations including troop carrying, parachuting, supply dropping and aeromedical duties. The Hercules can operate from short unprepared airstrips, but also possesses the endurance to mount-long range strategic lifts if required.

C-130K HERCULES Specifications




92 troops or 64 paratroops or 74 medical litters

Length C1


Length C3






Max Speed


Empty Weight

34,287kg Max

Max freight capacity


All -up Weight

45,093kg Max

Service Ceiling



4 x Allison T-56A-15 turboprops.


     Tristars were acquired soon after the Falklands War in an effort to bolster its long range capability with transport and tanker requirements. The aircraft used were ex-British Airways and Pan Am L1011 500s. Of the nine obtained and all nine went to Marshalls of Cambridge where the fleet were converted into four variants. Two were designated K1's pure tankers, four were KC1's which were both cargo and tanker aircraft, two were C2 and one C2A all cargo four

TRISTAR Specifications


Up to 265


164ft 2.5in/50.09m


164ft 6in/50.17m

Max Speed

545mph/872kph at 30,000ft


3 x Rolls-Royce RB211-524B4 turbofans