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Anigrand #AA2096 1/72 Vickers VC-10 K.2 Tanker



 
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Kit #AA2096. 1/72 scale. This is a highly-detailed resin kit of the RAF Vickers VC10 K2-series tanker, complete with decals.

In 1960, the RAF announced its need for a strategic transport, a role that Vickers believed could be met by modifying their new VC10 airliner. It was a narrow-body aircraft with four jet engines mounted in two twin-engine pods at the aircraft’s tail. The Vickers VC10 had been designed as a high performance long-range airliner able to use shorter civil runways. In 1965, in response to serious cut-backs in orders from BOAC and to prevent Vickers from ruinous financial losses, the Air Ministry increased its order to fourteen Vickers VC10 C1s, transport conversions of the basic airliner design. These went operational with 10 Squadron RAF beginning in December, 1966. A VIP version of the VC10 C1 was used by members of the Royal Family as well as by several Prime Ministers. With aerial refueling and two flight crews, a VC10 C1 circumnavigated the globe in less than 48 hours.

Just over a decade later in April 1978,with the VC10 airliners retiring from commercial service, the RAF placing a contract with British Aerospace (BAe) to convert five former BOAC standard VC10s into aerial refueling tankers, the VC10 K2, and four Super VC10s as the VC10 K3. Both variants had wing-mounted refueling pods a single centerline refueling point, and nose-mounted refueling probes to enable the tankers to be refueled by other tankers. In addition, 14 former Super VC10s were bought and stored for spare parts – when the Victor K2 tankers reached the end of their useful lives, five of the stored aircraft were put into service as VC10 K4s, with the same refueling points as the other K-series tankers, but with a reduced fuel tankage. At the same time, all 13 surviving VC10 C1 transports were fitted with wing-mounted refueling pods and redesignated as VC10 C1K two-point refueling tankers.

For converted airliners, the VC10s saw a great deal of combat-support action. During the Falklands war, the VC10 C1 fleet formed part of the supporting transport “air bridge” from the UK to the Falklands. Nine K2s and K3s supported Desert Storm, with both aerial refueling and logistics flights. They remained on station in the Middle East throughout the 90s. They K-series flew refueling missions during NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia, and were on-hand in the Middle East to support the 2003 Iraqi war, withdrawing in 2009. The tankers also supported British efforts against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and flew in support of operations in Libya in 2011. Following North Korean nuclear tests, two VC10s staged out of Okinawa, sampling fallout in the atmosphere.

The first K2 conversion (ZA141) made its first flight in June 1982. It was finished in a gray and green camouflage scheme that was never carried operationally. As other aircraft were delivered, 101 Squadron RAF commenced tanker operations. By the early nineties the K2s that were still in service were becoming fatigue-life limited, and in 2001 the VC10 K2 made its last flight as a tanker, before being scrapped in 2003. The final tanker flew in 2013, before being retired.


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