VC10 Makes its Final Move to RAF Museum
Published: 24 Jun 2015 updated: 26 Jun 2015
Piece by piece, one of the last Vickers VC10 C1K aircraft is making the move to the RAF Museum, Cosford, to be reassembled as an exhibit and a classroom.
XR808 (or 'Bob', as the aircraft is known, because of the tail number) was gifted to the RAF Museum after the mark was retired from RAF service in September 2013, and the RAF Charitable Trust committed £40,000 to the fund set up to save the aircraft.
This week the fuselage made the 60-mile road journey from RAF Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire, where the aircraft has been disassembled, to RAF Cosford in Shropshire. It travelled on a low loader lorry along the M69, M6 and M54 motorways before taking to the narrow village roads en route to RAF Cosford, with the railway bridge and tight bend through Shifnal creating a few challenges and a great opportunity for spectators to witness an incredible sight.
Now positioned on the airfield, XR808's wings, fuselage and landing gears will be reassembled and the aircraft will then move onto the museum site where the rear fuselage fin, tail plane and engines will be put in place, ready for opening to the public later in the summer.
Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson, Chairman of the RAF Charitable Trust, said: "The VC10 was dearly loved by all who operated or travelled in the 'Queen of the Skies'. She was a superb airliner and a magnificent air-to-air refueller. She has also played a significant role in national affairs as a VIP transport aircraft carrying Her Majesty the Queen and many Prime Ministers."
He adds: "As well as involvement in many air operations over 40 or more years, the VC10 story also includes all the fascinating ingredients of design challenge, commercial imperatives and government policy. It will make an exciting living classroom at the RAF Museum and is sure to capture the imagination of the many young aviation enthusiasts who visit."
XR808 was first operated by 10 Squadron, initially from RAF Fairford, home of the RAF Charitable Trust, and moving over to 101 Squadron in October 2005. She spent 47 years in RAF service, amassing over 43,865 flying hours.
CAPTION: XR808 makes her way through the village of Shifnal en route to her new home at RAF Cosford.