The Vickers VC10 is a long-range British airliner designed and built by Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd, and first flown at Brooklands, Surrey, in 1962. The airliner was designed to operate on long-distance routes from the shorter runways of the era, and demanded excellent hot and high performance for operations from African airports. The performance of the VC10 was such that it achieved the fastest London to New York crossing of the Atlantic by a jet airliner, a record still held to date for a sub-sonic airliner; only the supersonic Concorde was faster.
The VC10 was a new design but used some production ideas and techniques, as well as the Conway engines, developed for the V.1000 and VC7. It had a generous wing equipped with wide chord Fowler flaps and full span leading edge slats for good take-off and climb performance and its rear engines gave an efficient clean wing and reduced cabin noise.
The engines were also further from the runway surface than an underwing design - of importance considering the nature of the African runways. Technology from the V.1000 and later Vanguard programmes included structural parts milled from solid blocks rather than assembled from sheet metal.
The entire airframe was to be coated against corrosion. Planned flight-deck technology was extremely advanced, with a quadruplicated automatic flight control system (a "super autopilot") intended to enable fully automatic zero-visibility landings.