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BAC One-Eleven

By Patrick Mondout

After the first round of the jet wars between the Comet, Caravelle, CV-880, DC-8 and 707 was over, the next round was an effort to make a small efficient jet for short routes. As with the Comet, it was a British plane that led the way. Also as with the Comet, it would not maintain that lead.

British aircraft maker Hunting designed such a short-range jet in the late 1950s called the Hunting 107. Before it could be produced, however, Hunting, Vickers, Bristol, and English Electric were combined to create British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). (The other major British aircraft manufacturers, de Havilland, Hawker, Armstrong Whitworth, Folland and Blackburn, and Arvo combined to form Hawker Siddeley.) The Hunting design became the first BAC jetliner: The BAC One-Eleven.

BAC 1-11-510ED

G-AVMY, a British Airways BAC 1-11 seen in September 1982 in London's Heathrow Airport.

Image courtesy of AirNikon. Find more of his photos at

British United Airways became the launch customer by placing an order for 10 of the twin-engine, 80-seat aircraft in May of 1961 and the first BAC One-Eleven flew on August 20, 1963 - a year and half before the DC-9 and three and a half years before the 737.

This lead was short lived, however. Once Douglas and Boeing got their small jets airborne, the competition became a two-horse race between them. They offered several variations to please airlines while BAC was slow to respond catering mostly it seems to the needs of BEA.

While it can safely be said to have been a success with sales of 241, the DC-9 (and MD-80 derivatives) and 737 have sold in excess of 6,000 and the 737 is the best selling jetliner of all time.

BAC One-Eleven at a Glance
Engines2 Rolls-Royce Spey Mk 512DW turbofans
Cruising Speed540
Passengers119 (99 standard)
Span93ft 6in
Height24ft 6in
Final Production1988
Mesurements refer to BAe One-Eleven Series 500


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What do you remember about the BAC One-Eleven? Were you a member of the flight crew on one? Have you any interesting stories to share? Share your stories with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)



Image of a 1982 Gibraltar stamp

Model: One-Eleven

Manufacturer: BAC

Country: Britain

First Flight: August 20, 1963

First Passenger Flight: April 9, 1965

Launch Customer: British United Airways

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