A VC10 for Cosford
When it became apparent that a VC10 would not be flown into Cosford because of the short runway, some believed that the last chance to get an example of the aircraft for the museum had gone.
However, behind the scenes planning continued and arrangements were made for the aircraft to be dismantled at Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire and moved in pieces by road to the museum site at Cosford.
The dismantlers, GJD systems, were no strangers to the task of taking a VC10 apart as they had already performed this task on several of the RAF's retiring VC10 fleet. Thousands of wing bolts had to be removed from inside the structure.
Special cradles had to be constructed to hold the separated components. Reassembly was no small challenge either, but the team rose to it magnificently.
Moving an almost 50 metre long aircraft, even in pieces, by road is not a simple matter and the specialist haulier required dispensation from the highways agency as well as the removal of various bits of street furniture and, at certain points, a police escort. Getting through some of the bridges and towns along the route was also tricky and there were sometimes only inches to spare.
The first part of the reassembly would take place on the airfield at RAF Cosford and a licence was required from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation for this.
The move to the museum site for further re-assembly and the move to the final display position required laying track matting and trackway to prevent the aircraft sinking into the grass.
But eventually all was restored and the aircraft is now on view at the museum.
The VC10 aircraft move to Cosford was made possible through support from BAE Systems and the RAF Charitable Trust.