The RAF’s fleet of 13 VC10s are currently in service over Afghanistan, the UK and the Falklands. Now three of them are having to meet the demands of the new frontline over Libya – two of them flying out of Trapani, the other from Cyprus.
A jack-of-all trades, the VC10 can carry cargo and passengers. For Libya, its role is as a petrol pump in the sky, supplying the fuel for British and other Nato war planes as the mount bombing missions against Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.
TB Davies Managing Director David Gray said, “The venerable VC10 is still an RAF stalwart, but they stopped making spare parts for it a long time ago. TB Davies supplies both the Little Giant ladder used for maintenance and the larger Giraffe Steps for conventional passenger and staff access.”
It is just one of a number of tankers now refuelling up to 100 fast jets every day. Without them, this mission would be impossible to accomplish.
Under a hot sun, and in stifling heat, ground crews work hard to maintain planes that are now almost half a century old.
Gray continued, “There still appears to be the old wartime spirit of ‘make do and mend’ with the VC10 due to be phased out of service 2015 and replaced by Airbus 330. TB Davies will remain on hand to supply ground support equipment to the MOD during these critical missions.”