Vickers VC10 (4 aft engines+ T tail)

From:         julian@gatwick.sgp.slb.com
Date:         16 Feb 94 01:10:39 PST
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Greg

Yes the VC10s were over-engineered and most other UK aircraft after the Comet.
An Air Malawi pilot told me and I quote, 

"They are built like brick shit-houses but fly like fighters - a very nice 
aircraft."
 
This is why the RAF is able to get more air time out of them despite the 
airframes already having lots of hours. I think 60,000 hours (this could be 
way out) is the airframe life. I don't know how that compares with others but 
seem to recall the  Concorde life being similar. 

>>d) 90% + of payload located ahead of main wheels (I think that's about right).

Re: My point (D) about the position of the payload. On reflection this does 
sound a bit daft but if you look at the VC10 nearly all of the passenger
compartment is ahead of the main wheels and the aft cargo bay is tiny. The high
'T' tail plane is a long way back and those 4 Conway engines must weigh a bit.
I would guess about 2 tons each. As you suggest the CofG must be close to the
wheels or you have major difficulty rotating. Presumably the CofG does not move
much with a full load so tipping isn't an issue. Can anyone comment further? 
I wonder how the MD80 manages to rotate????

Julian

PS: Gentle with those flames - I'm not an aircraft engineer  8-)