8/20/1963: Maiden Flight of the BAC One-eleven

8/20/1963: Maiden Flight of the BAC One-eleven

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DALLAS – Today in Aviation, the prototype British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) One-Eleven took to the skies for the first time in 1963. G-ASHG wore the launch customer’s British United Airways livery. The airline had ordered ten examples in May 1961.

The One-Eleven was born out of the 30-seat Hunting Aircraft H107. However, before a prototype was built, Hunting was merged to form BAC in 1960. The new venture decided to combine the H107 project with the Vickers VC-7, a proposed 140-seat version of the Vickers VC-10.

Unlike its British contemporaries, the One-Eleven was not designed with any specific airline in mind. This led to the type being incredibly flexible and orders were expected to exceed 400 aircraft to airlines around the world.

BAC1-11 Prototype G-ASHG air to air in BUA Colors. Photo: BAE Systems

Prototype Crash

Sadly, tragedy struck the One-Eleven program on October 22, 1961. During a stall test, the prototype crashed killing all on board. The accident revealed a phenomenon known as “deep stall.” This is where airflow is severely restricted over the tailplane.

Therefore, to resolve the issue BAC added “stick shakers/pushers” and completely redesigned the wing.

five-abreast cabin, National Museum of Flight. Photo: Alan Wilson from Stilton, Peterborough, Cambs, UK – Main cabin of BAC One-Eleven 510ED ‘G-AVMO’, CC BY-SA 2.0

American Success

Despite restrictions around US carriers purchasing foreign-built aircraft, America was a major target for BAC. Braniff International, American (AA), and Mohawk Airlines were all early operators of the type. 69 new-built One-Elevens were subsequently sold to US carriers.

One-Eleven production ended in 1984 with 244 examples built. Production continued for a time in Romania. Known as the ROMBAC One-Eleven, the first example flew on September 18, 1982. Nine examples were eventually built before the project was shelved in 1989.

Featured image: BAC 1-11 200 Blind Landing Experimental Unit (BLEU) XX105, Photo: BAE Systems.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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