Vickers VC10 and Super VC10

...FlightCraft 20, from Pen & Sword

Title: FlightCraft 20, Vickers VC-10 and Super VC10
Author: Lance Cole
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52676-006-7

A classic airliner that turned into a valuable RAF asset, an excellent subject for this recent addition to the FlightCraft series of books from Pen & Sword. It is an airliner I vividly remember from the 1960s and 70s, let alone their later RAF service as Transports and Tankers.
As is common with this series, the book is split across 3 main sections. The first covers the story of the design & development, which does include how it was designed to fit the requirements of the then airline, BOAC. There was political involvement but the aircraft was designed to meet the needs of BOAC in how they serviced the remaining elements of the British Empire, for hot and high capability. An attractive, strong and well powered design it is compared to the competitors of the era, the Douglas DC8 and the Boeing 707. It met the design requirements for BOAC, though different to those of the other aircraft it competed with in the airliner market. This section then goes on to detail the various civilian operators of the VC10 and the later military service with the RAF. It made for interesting reading, much of which I did not know before. It is also well illustrated with archive photos. That leads into the second main section, 8-pages of fine colour profiles which help tell the story of the service life of the Vickers design, which was to be the last major civilian airliner to come from the UK, other than the rather unique Concord. The final third of the book is devoted to modelling the VC10, in both civilian and military guises. All the various kits are featured, giving the scales and the manufacturers, and I like how these include the different diecast models that Corgi have produced of it over the years. Another really good addition to the FlightCraft series I think, which should interest modellers as well as fans of both civilian and military aircraft types.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.

Robin