Re: HS Trident...VC-10 and BOAC

Date:         28 Jul 97 01:13:30 
From:         "elysium" <>
Organization: UUNET Internet Africa
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Antoin Daltún <> wrote in article <airliners.1997.1464@ohare.Chicago.COM
03:25 hrs 13 July '97:

> The VC10 was also a victim of Rolls-Royce.  The Conway was a good civil
> engine when it came out first on the B707-400 and on a small number of
> DC-8s.  In fact, it was the first commercial turbofan.  However, the
> by-pass ratio was low and Pratt & Whitney soon came out came out with the
> higher by-pass ratio JT3D which was also very reliable for its time.
> Rolls-Royce never responded and even BOAC switched to the JT3D for later
> B707s.  Vickers did not respond either.

Conjecture, urban legend or perhaps just a cruel joke played on me by my
journeyman when I was an apprentice at Brit' Airways :- I was told that
the Conway had pretty high sfc which left the VC-10 & Super VC-10 a bit
weight/temp' and therefore payload limited, critically so on the prime
North Atlantic routes. The legend went that Vickers envisaged an operating
procedure whereby 2 motors would be shutdown in cruise thereby reducing
fuel burn, but that they were stymied ( not surprisingly ) by the C.A.A.
and that this sounded the commercial death knell for the unarguably
beautiful a/c. Function more important than form everytime, unfortunately
for the purists. I've kept this to myself till now ! ---- surely that was
not a genuine consideration ????

The " weird " Trident ( DH/HS 121 ) ? was an aeroplane I turned a wrench
on briefly ( circa 1982/1983 ) and by then, from a maintenance point of
view, it had been tamed and was actually a fairly reliable workhorse. I
remember changing and trimming the centre engine in little over a shift
{ 8 hours }  and having fair respect for the fact that it pioneered CAT
111A development. In those days the Brit's were quite happy to design and
build an aeroplane to fit their own vision and be damned the upstarts that
thought they could cut corners. I believe, but stand to be corrected, that
the old guard from the VC-10/Trident projects had a lot to do with the
design & concept of the L-1011 at Lockheed and were perhaps finally
vindicated in their over design/ redundancy way of doing things when the
DC-10 suffered criticism for it's lack of hydraulic/flight control back-up
in the fall out of Paris (THY), Sioux City etc. It would be churlish and
partisan perhaps ( and not reflective of the giant contributions made by
Douglas and in particular Boeing ) to make the point that ( without
adjustment for miles/sectors flown in toto ) that the DH121/VC-10/L-1011
and for arguments sake BAC 1-11, all demonstrated a frugal pax fatility
rate in service bearing in mind they were in the vanguard ( no pun intended
-- Handley Page ) of multi engine complex aircraft development in the
golden days of mass passenger transport.  Granted, the Boeing 727 puts
them all to shame; they were too generic, imperious, and products of a
misguided perception, however, they were beautifully built and worthy of
a bit of hindsight.  The Spey is also, arguably a milestone motor.
Interesting to see them causing so much debate, I think they've earn't

>From :
" Slow to erect, quick to topple -- A maverick gimbal ".
Member of the ' I sat backwards in a REAL aeroplane society'.