Last Flight of Final Royal Air Force VC10 K4

Arriving at Bruntingthorpe Airfield, Leiceistershire, today from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, one day later than originally planned, was BAC VC10 K4 ZD241 ‘N’, the last remaining example of this variant in Royal Air Force service.

The aircraft will now be dismantled and scrapped. Only five K4 variants were delivered to the RAF, all being converted from former British Airways aircraft that were purchased by the RAF. The other four K4s have already been scrapped.

This was the second RAF VC10 to arrive at Bruntingthorpe for scrapping this week, following the arrival of K3 ZA149 ‘H’ on Monday, March 18, as previously reported. Although the VC10′s replacement, the Voyager, has yet to become fully operational with the RAF, these two retirements now leave the RAF’s 101 Squadron with just four VC10 tankers remaining in service.

These comprise C1K XR808 ‘R’, plus K3s ZA147 ‘F’, ZA148 ‘G’ and ZA150 ‘J’. Of these, ZA150 has recently been deployed to Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands to operate with 1312 Flight, replacing ZD241, which returned home just before being flown to Bruntingthorpe today.

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Delays in the Voyager programme have led to the service life of the VC10 being extended beyond its previously planned retirement date, which had been due to be by the end of this month. However, its stay of execution will only be brief, as the revised out of service date is still only six months away, in September 2013, by which time all four of the remaining aircraft are to be retired.

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