The BAC 111 was a twinjet airliner
similar to the Caravelle
or Douglas DC-9
, produced in the 1960's and 1970's. BAC
is an acronym
" when not spelled out) for British Aircraft Corporation
, the predecessor of British Aerospace
Hunting Aircraft designed the forerunner of the BAC 111, the Hunting H.107, in the late 1950's. It was intended as a jet replacement for the then-ubiquitous Vickers Viscount. In 1960, Hunting was absorbed by BAC, and the 56-passenger BAC 107 was expanded to 79 seats and renamed BAC 111.
The 111 was built at Bournemouth, and the first production aircraft flew in 1963. British United, British Eagle, Braniff, and Aer Lingus were the original customers for the type: after the Series 400 appeared with upgraded engines, American Airlines purchased the 111 as well. In 1967, British European Airways ordered the 99-seat Series 500, and the type soon became wildly popular on flights to the Mediterranean. However, many American crews detested the 111's handling and cramped flight attendant quarters, dubbing it "Britain's revenge for 1776."
In 1982, Romania rolled out its first BAC 111 built under license, but only nine were built in that country. Britain produced some 230 more, many of which ended up in the hands of cheaper airlines like Dan-Air. Very few 111's are seen in airline service today, owing to their noisy engines, which are illegal for scheduled service at most Western airports: some are still used in South America and Africa. An Air Bristol 111 is now on display at Bournemouth's aviation museum.
The 111 was a short range aircraft: it was supplemented by the Trident for medium-range flights and the Vickers VC-10 for long-range flights.
Wingspan: 93'6" (28,5 m)
Length: 107' (32,6 m)
Weight, loaded: 99,650 lb (45.200 kg)
Speed: 541 mph (870 km/h)
Engines: 2 Rolls-Royce Spey 506 (200 series)/511 (400 series)/512 (500 series)