Vickers VC10: AEW, Pofflers and other Unbuilt Variants

overscan (PaulMM)

Staff member
27 December 2005
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Coming soon....

Thought you and the chaps might like a first look at “Vickers VC10 – AEW. Pofflers and other Unbuilt Variants”, the first of the Project Tech Profile series.

This profile covers design studies based on the VC10 ranging from the deterrent carriers of the early 1960s, through the air defence variant, to the 1980s maritime reconnaissance, elint and AEW versions from BAe. The profile includes archive material, general arrangement drawings and original artwork by Adrian Mann.

“Vickers VC10 – AEW. Pofflers and other Unbuilt Variants”, aimed at modellers and historians, contains much new material on a type that could have been the original multi-role combat aircraft.

Best regards



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Thanks for the information.

An ISBN would be very helpful for ordering ;) .
gotta ask... what's a 'poffler'?? ::)


Any idea about the publisher ?
Latest news from Chris. Book is still at the printers, should be available mid April.

Product details

* Paperback: 38 pages
* Publisher: Blue Envoy Press (Feb 2009)
* ISBN-10: 0956195105
* ISBN-13: 978-0956195104

Please note that price will be subject to change.

Chris is presenting a paper on the VC10 deterrent carrier at Charterhouse 2009 Nuclear and Rocket History Symposium on 2nd April, so if anyone is going to that, they can grab a copy of the book off him directly.
Thank you for this tip, Paul.

Now there is a small difference on the title cover (see red marking) - does it mean this is No. 3 of the Project Tech Profile series? What will be No. 1 & 2?


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The little "3" thing is actually a runway marker, and not a number in a series! Sorry for any confusion there!
aemann said:
The little "3" thing is actually a runway marker, and not a number in a series! Sorry for any confusion there!

Very funny ;D ! Thank you for clarification, aemann.
From Chris Gibson
Spanning four decades, "Vickers VC10 - AEW. Pofflers and Other Unbuilt Variants" presents a history of many of the
VC10 project studies proposed by Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd., the British Aircraft Corporation and British
Aerospace PLC. The VC10's fortunes were linked to the economic and political influences on this important aircraft
and these are reflected in the design studies.

Intended to fill a variety of roles in the Royal Air Force, these proposals included ballistic missile carrier,
maritime and electronic reconnaissance, airborne early warning, flight refuelling tankers and the world's largest

To meet the disparate needs of these roles, Vickers and BAC proposed multi-role VC10 airframes, modular aircraft
with detachable fuselages and ultimately the fitting of systems from existing types.

Using newly available archive material and original artwork, many of these are described for the first time.

"Vickers VC10 - AEW, Pofflers and Other Unbuilt Variants" is available right now for £8.95, plus postage.
Anyone who would like a copy should send an email with their delivery details (i.e. name and address) to Payment by Paypal should be sent to the same email address. Please ensure your
message includes address details. At the moment I can only handle Paypal.

Postage is:

UK first class £1.00
Europe £2-50 (3-4 days)
Rest of world £3-50
I received my copy of Vickers VC10: AEW, Pofflers and other Unbuilt Variants today.

The book is A4 in size, 38 pages, and professionally printed on good quality paper. Layout is generally good, though there is the occasional bit of white space.

There are many illustrations from original brochures, Chris has drawn many beautiful 3 views of the various wierd and wonderful VC10 variants, and Adrian's 3D renders do a great job of bringing the projects to life.

There are a lot of different VC10 variants covered, and there is much inspiration here for the modellers among us. The fighter version is particularly fine :) The text is well written and informative.

Overall, highly recommended and a bit different from the usual fighters and bombers fare.
I preordered form and it is still out of stock, grrrrr
I received my copy of Vickers VC10: AEW, Pofflers and other Unbuilt Variants today.

Grrrrrr, :mad:, I'm waiting for my copy from Amazon, who're out of stock, ATM, and can't give me a dispatch date....


EDIT- arrived today, off to do some poffling myself! :D
Thanks Overscan for the info from Chris Gibson. I am now the
proud owner of a copy of the VC 10 tome and it joins Hypersonics
etc as my favourite reading on Whatiffery. Adrian Mann's artwork
is as fresh as ever.
If you are a Whatiffer or a VC10 fan, or even better, both, you must
have this book.
I am off to do some poffling!

UK 75
Cancelled the pre-order with Amazon and went direct to Blue Envoy, so should receive it this week ;D

Just got my copy -Wow!!!

Just as well i work behind a screen at work.....
Just received my copy ordered from Chris (Thanks Chris ;D)

Only had a quck look so far but as many others have said WOW, this is certainly aimed at us lot and the Whiff modellers.

I really look forward to the future titles the Blue Envoy crew produce


The tail mounting for the engines seems to have been used to great advantage with the various projected weapon loads hanging from the wings, love to know how the US plan to top it with the air-to-air version of the C135 - Project Aerie.
Arrived (at the speed of light, BTW, thanks Chris): go for it, absolutely.
BTW, the parallelism between prospected uses of the VC10 and the C-135 went pretty far: in a FOIA document on the DoD dedicated site there ia a hint to a Skybolt carrying KC-135, very early '60s.
Given the argument that commercial airframes have a longer fatigue life than military, it would be interesting to see what Vickers would have come up with had the V.1000/VC-7 entered production......
Excellent - especially at under £10. Fantastic value for money.
smurf said:
Excellent - especially at under £10. Fantastic value for money.

I second that!

Got my copy last Saturday, a thoroughly excellent read.


Given the argument that commercial airframes have a longer fatigue life than military

just wondering, would the military variants, especially the modular and maritime reco. variants, been built on the airliner production line, or separately, to military specs., i'm thinking of the Boeing 707 and KC-135, which were the same aerodynamically, but totally different structurally.
also, had any of these been built, and gone into service, and been in service for a decent number of years, would any thought have been given to re-engining them with RB-211s?
[picture from 'Rolls-Royce Aero Engines', Gunston, page 171.]



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1946-50 subsonic bomber schemes were for heavy stores carried high: Vulcan/Victor >FL50, 5 tons/ dia. Blue Danube; jet transport schemes offered speed, not payload/ range: Avro C-102, Baade B-152, Comet 1/2, Tu.104. From c.1952 jetliners could offer more load and structural longevity c.FL35. It would be a logical step to delete cabin pressurisation, reduce fatigue life, insert height, change payload to fuel/freight - 707:717 (KC-135) - or stand-off bombs. The 1952 Spec. that became V.1000/VC.7 could have come in 2 variants - pressure cabin, or underwing stores. It was cancelled in 1956, and Mark 2 Victor/Vulcan chosen to carry one Blue Steel, because >FL50 was seen as necessary while ASM range and SAM lethality remained modest. In May,1960 (SA.2/U-2) the need became Skybolt range (>1,000n.m) + platform payload sufficient for multiple rounds. By then UK was building Mk.2 V-craft, US >700 B-52s. Who would tell politicos to ditch the combat fleet for variants of bucket-and-spade trucks?
Just got mine, what a great little book :)

Looking forward to the P.1216 and Royal Navy AEW books, any update on availability?

These books may cause me to have a "what if...?" / "if only..." / "why couldn't...?" fit ;D
Hi Van

Try an email to Blue Envoy directly as quoted by Paul


Geoff P.20 puts Skybolt/VC10 in its political context - of sustaining airborne Alert at affordable expense on a Force of 36, each with 4xSkybolt. That will have been why the type was persevered with, 1960-62, despite BOAC's yearning for 707-320B.
Dear Boys and Girls, Is this publication actually a book, or just a magazine/booklet? Self-published (it isn't available through the normal trade publishing channels)?

Does it contain projected commercial VC10 variants in all their variety?

Terry (Caravellarella)
Terry, By this time you'll have read the earlier posts and should have answered your initial query. There is nothing on unbuilt civil VC10 studies, only military design studies.

The VC10 book is available (by order) from Waterstones and Amazon. It is also available on Ebay and direct from the publisher, me, which is the quickest way to get it. If you want one, best hurry as I only have 10 left and have no plans for a second print run.

Kelly Bushings said:
Terry, By this time you'll have read the earlier posts and should have answered your initial query. There is nothing on unbuilt civil VC10 studies, only military design studies.

Dear Chris/Kelly, how disappointing; never mind......

Terry (Caravellarella)
Sorry to disappoint, I only look at the military applications of airliners. Even sorrier to lose a sale. Boo hoo. Another copy to shift before P.1216 can appear.

For civil VC10, may I recommend...

Silent, Swift, Superb. Story of Vickers VC10 by Henderson
Vickers VC10 by Lance Cole

Both currently available on Ebay.

Morning chaps,

Just a note on the Poffler book. It sold out a while ago (thanks lads!) but Ed the Geordie printer is currently doing a second print run. This will be available around the same time as "The Admiralty and AEW", ie late next month all going well.

It's a straight re-print, nothing new in it. I did ponder an update, but I've got too much on my plate at the moment. Also thought it might annoy original buyers. Any new stuff would be AEW anyway and that's going into "The Air Staff and AEW".

Thanks for your support


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