Vintage VC10 pressed into service with RAF’s transport fleet
A vintage aircraft that has been banned from flying passengers bar “exceptional circumstances” has been pressed into service with the RAF’s transport fleet at breaking point.
The fleet of 50-year-old VC10 planes have been forced to start flying passengers again after the 40-year-old Tristar transport aircraft have been grounded by technical faults.
Coupled with the poor weather there is now a backlog of 570 soldiers waiting to get home for Christmas leave.
But the use of the VC10s has caused defence chiefs to question whether the “airbridge” to Afghanistan has been “stretched beyond breaking point”.
Earlier this year the VC10s, which first came into service in the early Sixties, were ordered to be only used in an air-to-air refuelling capacity. The decision came on the back of the highly critical Haddon-Cave report that highlighted serious safety failings following the 2006 Nimrod crash over Afghanistan which resulted in 14 Service deaths.