Aviation Historian 24
C.Gibson - Perfect 10
As the RAF’s first VC10, XR806 became the subject of numerous photographic sorties around the time of its entry into service. In November 1968 ’806 was named George Thompson VC, in honour of a Lancaster wireless operator who had rescued two crewmates from their burning turrets during a 1945 raid, later dying of his injuries.
Having made its first flight on March 25, 1966, the second of the RAF's VC10s, XR807, alights on the Farnborough runway at that year’s SBAC show.
The first two VC10 C Mk 1s were officially delivered to the RAF at Wisley on July 7, 1966, when Sir Charles Portal, Chairman of the British Aircraft Corporation (seen here at the microphone), handed over XR806 and XR808 to Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Charles Elworthy. Note the state-of-the-art flagpole (dustbin and scaff!).
The first of the RAF’s VC10 C Mk 1s to be delivered (along with XR808), XR806 undergoes predelivery preparatory work beside the test hangars at Wisley in 1966.
With a BAC One-Eleven in the background, XR806 comes in for a landing at Wisley during its test programme in late 1965. The Type 1106 was essentially a “hybrid” VC10 developed specifically for the RAF, the fuselage being the same length as the Standard VC10 but incorporating many of the modifications introduced on the Super VC10.
With everything hanging down, XR806 lands at Wisley in late 1965. The VC10 entered RAF service with Transport Command’s No 10 Sqn at RAF Fairford, moving shortly thereafter to Brize Norton, where it remained until disbanding in 2005 (re-forming in 2011). Transport Command became Air Support Command in 1967.