16th of May 1968
The first fully automatic landing for a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) Super Vickers VC10 was carried out after a flight from Chicago and Montreal to London.
The Vickers VC10 was a narrow-body long-range jet designed and built by Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd and first flown in 1962. The aircraft was designed to operate on long-haul routes from short runways of that time in aviation and have good hot and high performance for operations from African airports. Check out the previous V2 Aviation post on the VC-10 by clicking here.
Autopilot system of the VC10 with Autoland Capability.
ICAO states that for a CAT III automatic landing we need a 'failure surviving' autolanding system. This means that the system should be so equipped that it can cope with an internal failure and still complete the procedure. On the VC10 the chosen system was a Dual Monitored autopilot manufactured by Elliot. Many of the needed components were already present in the autopilot fit on the Standard VC10s, to achieve the autoland capacity the system on the Super received some additional items.
For those readers who want to go deeper into the autopilot and autoland system of the VC10, an excellent description can be found on the VC10.net website by clicking here.