THE speaker at the VAGA Probus meeting on February 12 was Paul Morris, a retired RAF Wing Commander, who gave a presentation entitled "The VC10 aircraft in the operational environment".

With the use of photographs and videos, and Paul's own knowledge, members were given a brief history of RAF 101 Squadron and its aircraft from the First World War through to the Second World War, the subsequent Cold War, The Falklands, and the Gulf Wars, Kosovo, Afghanistan and then more specifically the squadron's role using the Vickers VC10 aircraft in transportation and air to air refuelling modes.

Paul related the history of the VC10 aircraft from its initial design and then the subsequent engine developments which produced the more powerful Super VC10. The aircraft came into service with BOAC in 1962.

The VC10 entered RAF service with 101 Sqn in 1966, being used in various roles to carry passengers, freight, aeromedical evacuations and as a two points air to air refuelling tanker.

BOAC retired its VC10 aircraft in 1980 and these ex- BOAC airframes were later purchased by the RAF and converted into three points VC10 K4 air to air refuellers, whilst retaining, if required, the capability of carrying passengers, freight and being involved with aeromedical evacuations.

The main part of Paul's presentation dealt with air to air refuelling. The detailed description, with films/video of the history and method of air to air refuelling, plus his own experiences of the process was most informative.

The RAF VC10 aircraft were retired in 2013. From its inception with its use by BOAC from 1962 and the RAF until 2013, it meant that the aircraft had more than 50 years of history and, according to Paul, would have been good for many more years.

Paul's entertaining and informative presentation was greatly appreciated by Probus members

Vaga Probus is a men only group that meets twice a month in Ross. Visitors are very welcome, please contact the secretary on 01989 218295 for details.