VC 10 to Bangkok

The VC 10 was not a very common aircraft and I only ever had the opportunity to fly in it once. Essential it was a bit like flying in a Boeing 727. Engines at the back made the cabin very quiet. This flight of mine was on BOAC from Zuerich to Damascus, Calcutta and Bangkok. The flight was supposed to go to Singapore, but in late 1973 we had the first oil crisis and the airline decided that fuel in Singapore was to expensive, so the flight terminated in Bangkok. This was not Dong Muang or Subvarnabhum airport5, but what is now an military airport.

It was actually very interesting, sine the viewing area was open to the tarmac and coming from an cold Europe, the warm weather was very welcome.

BOAC bumped us off to Japan Airlines for the BKK to SIN sector. Initially very interesting, but it created a three day delay in the end, but that is a separate story.

Our VC 10 was, one could say in modern terms, very bare bone. No real inflight entertainment, nothing special. But in those times we still knew how to get through a few hours with a book.

I would have liked to fly a few more times in this very quiet and smooth aircraft. The undusturbed by engines, huge wings absorbed turbulence’s well and the low noise and vibrations made the flight really nice.

Pity that this aircraft could not have the success it deserved, but it was to much designed around BOAC, now British Airways, requirements.

Below a BOAC VC-10 at Sydney Airport in 1974. This is really an historic image. The same view today would show the wharf of the Sydney Container Terminal in Botany, the new control tower and many more buildings and roads. At those times boarding via tarmac bus was very common, sometimes extreemly inconvenient in heavy rain or high and low temperatures.

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