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20th of August 1963

The BAC One-Eleven (BAC 1-11) made its first flight on this day in aviation history in 1963. At that time the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) already had an order for 60 aircraft from American Airlines.

The BAC One-Eleven prototype

What we now know as the BAC One-Eleven (BAC1-11) was conceived as the Hunting H107, a 30 seat aircraft designed by Hunting Aircraft, Luton, United Kingdom. After the merger of Hunting Aircraft with British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) in 1960, BAC decided to merge the VC7 project (140 seat aircraft based on the VC10) with Hunting 107 project, resulting in the BAC107 project. Aftermarket research the original plan was redesigned to what became the BAC1-11, an 80 seater powered by Rolls Rolls Spey engines,

The program had a major setback on the 22nd of October 1963 when the prototype, registered G-ASHG, crashed during its 5th test flight. The purpose of this flight was to test the aircraft stability and handling characteristics during flights close to and in the stall regime of flight. This was done at different centre of gravity configurations. The cause of the accident was identified as being a deep stall, it was the first accident with this cause for a T-tail aircraft with tail-mounted engines.

Although the loss of the prototype and the loss of life set the program back, BAC continued the development of the BAC1-11.

This led to the BAC1-11 receiving its Certificate of airworthiness and shortly after that the first aircraft was delivered in January 1965, followed 6 months later by the introduction of the BAC1-11 Series 400, aimed at the US market. The program evolved and in total 11 variants were considered and 10 were actually built.

BAC1-11 During rough field trials

9 airframes, out of the total of 244 airframes, were built by the Romanian company Rombac under license from BAC. they were now as Rombac 1-11's

BAC1-11 Series 200, 56 built, Powered by RR Spey MK506 engines (10.400 lbs thrust)

BAC1-11 Series 217, 2 built Special version for Royal Australian Air Force, powered by RR Spey Mk511-14 engines. It also featured low-pressure tires and a sextant hatch and a navigator station

BAC1-11 Series 300, 9 built Powered by RR Spey Mk 511 engines (11.400 lbs thrust) and larger fuel capacity BAC1-11 Series 400, 69 built Series 300 aircraft with instrumentation for the American market

BAC1-11 Series 475, 6 built Series 400 fuselage with the wings of the Series 500. Rough field landing gear and airframe protection. BAC1-11 Series 485GD,3 built Series 475, specially built for Oman Romabac 1011-495, none built Planned Romanian built Series 475

BAC1-11 Series 500, 86 built Extended fuselage with seating for 119 passengers, increased wingspan. Powered by RR Spey 512 engines (12.550 lbs thrust) BAC1-11 Series 510ED Specially built for BEA and British Airways. Series 500 airframe with cockpit modifications to provide commonality to HS.121 Trident aircraft. It required a specific type rating. Rombac 1-11-560, 9 built Romanian built Series 500 BAC1-11 Series 670, 1 modified from Series 475 Version with improved aerodynamics and reduced noise profile. BAC1-11 Series 800, non built

Proposed version for 150 passengers in business/tourist class layout.

Specifications for a Series 200 aircraft as provided by bae systems (with excellent details on the BAC1-1 history, click here)

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