Home Book Reviews BAC One-Eleven – Book Review

BAC One-Eleven – Book Review

by Matt Falcus

There have been some great subjects covered by Key Publishing in their Classic Airliners and Airlines series’ of books over the past year.

We’ve already published reviews on some of them, including the Lockheed Constellation, C-141 Starlifter and LOT Polish Airlines.

A new addition covers one of my favourite airliners – the BAC One-Eleven.

The One-Eleven, or 1-11, was a fairly successful British jet airliner developed in the 1960s, not long after the Hawker Siddeley Trident and de Havilland Comets had paved the way for jet travel. I managed to fly two trips on a 1-11 back in 1986 with Cyprus Airways, but never again. It is now long-retired from service anywhere in the world.


History of the BAC 1-11

BAC 1-11 400, G-AXOX at Basel, September 1980 (Eduard Marmet, distributed under CC BY-SA 3.0 Licence)

The One-Eleven first flew on 20 August 1963, making a 26-minute maiden flight.

Unlike many other British-built airliners, the 1-11 wasn’t built to a specification put forward by the government-run national carriers British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) or British European Airways (BEA). Instead, it was launched on the back of an order by independent airline British United Airways (BUA), who ordered ten examples.

Getting ahead of the competition, later to emerge from Douglas in the form of the DC-9, and Boeing in the form of the 737, the 1-11 was able to make headway and even enjoy orders in North America from American Airlines and Braniff.

At home, airlines like British Caledonian, Dan-Air London, Laker, and even eventually BEA, would order the type.

It would go through numerous updates, with different size variants catering to different markets and introducing improvements to aerodynamics and engine technology.

Sadly only 244 One-Elevens were sold, but this was still a success and a popular aircraft which lasted into the 2000s.


The Book

This book, produced by Key Publishing itself and using their archive imagery, provides a concise and interesting overview of the history of the BAC One-Eleven.

It is 96 pages long and includes around a hundred colour and black & white images illustrating the development and life of the airliner, with some really nice images from the aircraft’s early days.

The book includes ten chapters, plus three appendices which cover things like notable accidents, technical specifications and a full production list.

It looks at civilian operators, as well as the One-Eleven’s military use. It also looks at what might have been, with the proposed stretches, and the Two-Eleven and Three-Eleven variants that didn’t leave the drawing board.

It also looks at some of the important people behind the 1-11, such as Sir George Edwards, who designed it, and Sir Freddie Laker.

There’s information on the engine powerplants used, and of course the production line in Romania which built a number of aircraft.

BAC One-Eleven is available now, priced £15.99

Order Here


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