August 2017

BAC 1-11

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British Aircraft Corporation One-Eleven

British Caledonian Airways, Edinburgh 1970.

Airfix 1/144

The BAC 1-11 emerged in the early 1960s as one of the first products of the the newly formed British Aircraft Corporation.

Unlike its Hawker Siddeley, Bristol and Vickers contemporaries, it was not constrained by the specific requirements of BOAC and BEA, allowing BAC to design it with a wider customer base in mind and maximise its export potential.  

Over 244 one-elevens were eventually built, making it one of Britain’s most successful airliners. and many remained in widespread service until the 1990s, when tightening noise regulations and the relative thirst of its Rolls Royce Spey jet engines led to its gradual replacement by more modern types..

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Have a look at my  Civil Aircraft pages for more airliners


The earlier Italeri/Revell X-35B model makes an interesting comparison

Airfix’s BAC 1-11 kit is fairly typical of its era, with few parts, basic detail and raised panel lines.  Nevertheless, as this is one of the later kits in the Airfix airliner series, it fits together well and has fairly crisp and delicate detail. The kit can be quite difficult to find nowadays; mine is a late Humbrol-era issue with good decals, nicely printed and easy to apply.

Paint, as usual, is brush-applied Humbrol enamel, with three thinned coats of 130 white and a single coat of 166 grey, using 104 blue for the vertical tail surfaces.  

The real thing - a VC-10, Trident and BAC 1-11 at the IWM Duxford

British Caledonian was a large and successful private British airline operating mainly out of Gatwick Airport.  During the 1980s, Bcal’s revenues began to fall as a result of international events, including the Falklands war, Chernobyl and the US bombing of Libya, all of which had a drastic effect on transatlantic travel.  In 1986, a Nigerian currency crisis destroyed B-Cal’s African revenue and the completion of the M25 re-directed many Gatwick passengers in favour of Heathrow.  

The final blow was the October 1987 stock market crash and by 1988 B-Cal was no more, with British Airways picking up most of its assets and its lucrative  Gatwick routes shared out amongst other BA competitors .

After a  little photshopping fun!………………………

Background picture:  © Piergiuliano Chesi

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