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VC10 rebuild is now complete

Published on: 03 November 2015

After an eight month dismantling process, a 70 mile journey along the M6/M54 motorway and a four month rebuild, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is pleased to announce that its latest acquisition, VC10 serial number XR808 is now complete and on public display. 

The media, aviation fans and visitors alike have followed the aircrafts journey to Cosford every step of the way and the Museum is thrilled to see the aircraft fully reassembled and in its new display position next to the Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3.

The VC10 arrived at Cosford in June and was partially reassembled on the airfield at RAF Cosford before being moved onto the Museum’s site for completion. Since then the rear fuselage along with the outer wings, fin, tail plane and engines have all been carefully refitted onto the aircraft in the rebuild area directly outside the Museum’s Hangar 1.  

VC10 Tail fitting at Cosford VC10 at Cosford
VC10 XR808 tail being fitted and engines back in the nacelles 

The VC10 was moved into its display position during mid-October and the final task of attaching the starboard outer wing was completed the following week.

VC10 moving into display position VC10 moving past the Cold War
VC10 XR808 during its move into display position 

The VC10 was originally designed and built by Vickers-Armstrong and then later by the British Aircraft Corporation and entered service with Royal Air Force in 1966.  This dual-role aircraft enabled the rapid deployment of troops and their weaponry and fast jet aircraft to many theatres of operations around the world and proved one of the RAF’s most significant assets for nearly 50 years.  The RAF VC10’s allowed true global mobility offering a combination of speed and range never previously attained by an RAF Transport Command aircraft type.  Having served for such a long period of time in a wide variety of roles, it would not be possible to accurately portray the history of the RAF without an example of the type – therefore it is essential that such a pivotal aircraft is preserved by the RAF Museum

Ian Thirsk, Head of Collections at the RAF Museum said: 
“The VC10 is an icon of the British aviation industry and one of the most significant aircraft types ever to serve with the Royal Air Force. We are delighted to have XR808 on public display at Cosford and indebted to GJD Services for all their dedication and professionalism in making this a reality. BAE Systems Heritage and the RAF Charitable Trust have also played a crucial part in making this project possible and we thank them for their continued support.”

VC10 XR808 at Cosford Oct 2015 VC10 on display at Cosford 2015
VC10 XR808 now on display next to the Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3

The dismantling, transporting and rebuild process was carried out by GJD Services, a specialist maintenance and aircraft salvage company based at Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire.  

Gary Spoors, Accountable/Engineering Manager at GJD Services said:

“Taking an idea that something can be done and turning that theory into a reality is always driven more by the belief that it can be achieved than all the drawing, planning and measuring involved.  The challenge of dissembling, moving and reassembling a Vickers VC10 has certainly been a team achievement and without the dedication and good will of all involved this would not have been being as successful as it was; from the GJD guys who gave 110% to the task, the teams from the haulage, transport and crane companies, to the RAFM staff I take my hat off to all involved and wish to thank everyone who supported us along the way.  As a company, we are not often given the opportunity to show off, but now we can point to BOB and be very proud of what we have achieved.”  

The transportation of the VC10 was made possible thanks to the support of BAE Systems Heritage. 

Howard Mason, BAE Systems Heritage Manager, said:
"We are delighted to be able to once again support RAF Heritage and the RAF Museum in ensuring that this iconic example of British engineering is preserved as part of the national collection of examples of aircraft that have served our country over the last century.”

For more information about BAE Systems Heritage visit:

RAF Charitable Trust Chairman Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson said:
 “One of the aims of The RAF Charitable Trust is to inspire and encourage young people to think about aviation and the technology that underpins it and to become involved themselves in this exciting career. Where better to do this than within the fuselage of this aircraft which will serve as a “living classroom”? The VC10 played such an important part in the technological history of the aerospace industry and was a key part of the Royal Air Force for nearly 50 years. In its history, the VC10 has transported UK VVIPs and the UK Armed Forces globally; it had a key weapons resupply role in the Cold War to the RAF in Germany; and as an air to air refuelling tanker it was a pivotal force multiplier for over 20 years. The Trust intends the teaching facility that it will provide to be motivational to as many young people as possible and we are pleased to be supporting such an inspirational project. My thanks go to the MoD Defence Equipment and Support organisation AT/AAR Project Team, GJD Aero Tech and the RAF Museum technical team for delivering this amazing engineering and logistic project.”
For more information about the RAF Charitable Trust visit: 

For further information please visit the Museum website or call 01902 376200.  The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge.

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