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Flight Craft 20: Vickers VC10 & Super VC10 (Paperback)

Aviation Civil Aviation Modelling

By Lance Cole
Imprint: Air World
Series: Flight Craft
Pages: 88
Illustrations: 200 colour & black and white
ISBN: 9781526760067
Published: 13th October 2020


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Designed and manufactured by the men who would make Concorde, the Rolls-Royce powered Vickers VC10, and its larger variant, the Super VC10, represented the ultimate in 1960s subsonic airliners. The VC10 was Britain’s answer to the Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC-8.

The VC10 was a second-generation jetliner designed in the 1960s and manufactured into the 1970s. It incorporated advanced engineering, new aerodynamics, and design features, to produce a swept, sculpted machine easily identifiable by its high T-tail design and rear-engine configuration.

The VC10 could take off in a very short distance, climb more steeply and land at slower speed than its rivals the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8. These were vital safety benefits in the early years of the jet age. At one stage, the Super VC10 was the biggest airliner made in Europe and the fastest in the world.

On entry into service, both the VC10 and the longer Super VC10 carved out a niche with passengers who enjoyed the speed, silence and elegance of the airliner. Pilots, meanwhile, loved its ease of flying and extra power. Yet the VC10 project was embroiled in political and corporate machinations across many years and more than one government. BOAC got what they asked for but went on to criticise the VC10 for not being a 707 – which was a different beast entirely. Questions were asked in parliament and the whole story was enmeshed in a political and corporate affair that signified the end of British big airliner production. Yet the men who made the VC10 also went on to design and build Concorde. Many VC10 pilots became Concorde pilots.

In service until the 1980s with British Airways, and until 2013 with the RAF, the VC10 became a British icon and a national hero, one only eclipsed by Concorde. It remains an enthusiast’s hero.

The visuals are impressive, becoming the mainstay of this volume. Must-have Air Modeling Series in our library.

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Miniaturas JM

A fantastic book that I would recommend to anyone historian, modeller or aircraft enthusiast I think you will enjoy it.

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Enjoyed it.

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Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

This book is written by a real enthusiast of the type and that becomes very clear as one starts reading. His coverage of the background and development of the aircraft shows that he's done his research.

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As featured by

Cocardes International, February/March 2021

Any book that further witting and unwitting testimony about the German troops who manned the Western Front lines is a welcome addition to the library of work on the Great War. Some fascinating insights.

Books Monthly

In summary, while the amount and level of detail in the writing is more than enough to provide a comprehensive history of the VC10, it is also very well presented and makes for enjoyable reading on the aircraft, which is only enhanced by the fabulous artwork and photographs. The book can easily be read from cover-to-cover but can also be enjoyed as a coffee table book where a quick ten minutes looking at the photographs will take you back to the golden age of jet travel.

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Flight Line Book Review

As featured by

JP4, January 2021

Another really good addition to the FlightCraft series I think, which should interest modellers as well as fans of both civilian and military aircraft types.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

The long and successful career of this splendid quad-jet is well detailed and images are truly beautiful.

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Marco De Montis

This is really useful for the modeller, and very interesting for the enthusiast.

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Airport Spotting

As featured on Scale Modelling Now

Scale Modelling Now

An excellent book detailing not only the design and development of the VC10, but also its service history both civil and military. The informative text is illuminated with a good selection of photographs. In addition there is a really useful colour profile section showing the various liveries this wonderful aircraft has carried during its lifetime. For me however the modelling section is a real bonus containing as it does what must be many unique photographs.
Finally it is currently available (26/10/2020) for an absolute bargain price, so what is there not to like? I can’t think of anything!

Anthony Hart

About Lance Cole

Lance Cole is a journalist and the author of over a dozen books. He has written features and news items for many of the major automotive titles. He has been a columnist with the Daily Telegraph, The Independent and the South China Post. His books include Bugatti Blue, Vickers VC10, Secrets of the Spitfire, Saab Cars, and The Classic Car Adventure. Lance has worked in car design and he has restored several classic cars. He has off-road and 4x4 driving experience in Jeeps and Land Rovers in Africa and Australia.

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