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See Yahoo Groups BAC 1-11 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BAC1-11 for more 1-11 news. This group will remain as a contact point to share information regarding the 1-11. Failing that just drop me an email and I will place the item on my news page. Just let me know about anything to do with the 1-11. Any movements, colour scheme changes, registration changes, scrappings etc etc. KEEP THE INFORMATION COMING!
9 Dec 2013
My personal highlight of the 50th Anniversary
Without question, my own personal highlight of the BAC 1-11 50th Anniversary has to be the preservation of former QinetiQ 1-11 ZH763. It couldn't have gone to a better home, and I'm sure that The Classic Air Force will do their very best to keep the airframe serviceable for as long as possible. This will be made 100% easier due to the fact that it is being kept under cover in the former Nimrod hangar. Once again, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everybody involved with all the hard work that took place to secure this aircraft's future.
9 Dec 2013
1-11 Review of the Year 2013
This year we celebrated a very significant milestone in the life of one of the UKs most iconic British Jet Airliners, the VC10 - Oops - I mean the BAC 1-11!!! That was last year!!! Well "almost" one of our most iconic aircraft after say the Comet, the Trident, Concorde and of course the "mighty" VC10! It seems however that to create such an icon it has to be designed with a very long nose or a very large T tail and achieve very few sales! These comments just about some up my thoughts regarding the history of the BAC 1-11. A very efficient sleek looking aircraft that was generally a great success, which flew in many different guises over the years and just quietly went about its business with very little fuss. The 1-11 just wasn't designed to "get noticed"! Therefore, despite the aircraft reaching such a milestone this year it has once again been "hijacked / overshadowed" by the very high profile retirement of the VC10, just as it was by Concorde's retirement during the 1-11s 40th anniversary in 2003. Yet according to the statistics it should have been a very different story.
Ten times more 1-11s were sold than Concorde and four times more than the VC10, twice as many as the Trident or Comet and it managed to crack the US market before the DC-9 came into service!
This year saw the final flights of the incredible VC10 which was given the "red carpet" treatment throughout with some very high profile appearances indeed at many of the major airshows. It also took part in some very significant "last missions / photoshoots" with much film footage and many stills taken which will no doubt be preserved for posterity. A major enthusiast event took place at its Brize Norton base during September so that it could be photographed by as many enthusiasts as possible during its final weeks of service and to cap the celebrations all the final ferry flights were extremely well publicised so that as many of those connected with the aircraft throughout the years could attend the final flights into Newquay, Dunsfold and Bruntingthorpe. Literally "thousands" witnessed these historic last landings. As for the 1-11, after three years of very hard negotiations with the MOD and QinetiQ and a truly mammoth effort by all involved, the 1-11 was eventually saved for the nation and ferried to Newquay from its base at Boscombe Down. I for one was chuffed to bits that it had been saved, however it didn't receive any "red carpet" treatment whatsoever and ended up doing what it had done throughout its service career and "just went quietly"! Having given up on my preservation bid back in March, it was incredibly "rescued from the brink" by the "powers that be" however just 24 hours notice was given that it would indeed be donated to the Classic Air Force in Newquay. This short timescale left no time at all to organise a trip down to this isolated part of the UK to witness this very historic last ever landing of a BAC 1-11 in the UK. Therefore there was no fanfare at all but just a quick one hour flight to Newquay with an absolute minimum of fuss - basically how it had spent its entire 50 years!
So back to the 50th itself, I was hoping that as many as five special events would take place throughout the year as indicated in my previous news items below. However, maybe I was a little over optimistic as only one has actually taken place! The main event was always going to be the "official" 50th celebration. After some serious thought regarding a suitable venue, Brooklands Museum was finally selected on the basis that it is a very historic site with some fabulous exhibits and most importantly it is the home of the most famous BAC 1-11 of them all G-ASYD. Of course, it was always hoped that the event would be held at Bournemouth as had been the case before, but with no "live" aircraft left in service to support the anniversary, it was decided beyond any doubt that Brooklands was the only serious contender. Therefore on the 20th August 2013 over one hundred "veterans" who were linked with the aircraft in many different ways attended what turned out to be a very special day indeed. It was just a shame that everyone could only come together for just a few hours as there was so much to talk about! Please visit the 50th Anniversary page for a full account of the special occasion.
So what happened to the other four events?
As previously reported Business Jet Access cancelled the 1-11 enthusiast flights on their 1-11 N999BW. This was personally a great shame indeed as it would have been a very fitting way to have ended the 50th Anniversary during the planned trip in October. However news is just starting to filter through to me that the aircraft has in fact flown again! It was ferried from Dallas Love Field to Kansas City International Airport on Friday 11th October. Sources suggest that it has been bought by the National Airline History Museum who are located at Kansas City Charles B Wheeler Downtown Airport, home to TWA during its heyday. The big news however is that the aircraft isn't being pensioned off as the intention is to use it for flights to Washington for veterans in conjunction with the "Honor Flight" programme. This organisation transports former military personal to the memorials in Washington and to Arlington Cemetery. This is an incredible development therefore! I await further news as the aircraft is currently being stored in the former TWA maintenance hangar at KCI / MCI.
The 1-11 at Duxford G-AVMU still remains in its "green primer" pending a full repaint back into its previous British Airways Landor livery. It was hoped to include this in the celebrations with a ceremonial roll out from the hangar but sadly this won't take place during the 50th. I am however hopeful that this might be possible next year.
The preservation of the forward fuselage of former ETPS 1-11 ZE432 hasn't moved forward but the scrapping of the aircraft has commenced at Boscombe Down. It therefore remains to be seen whether or not it is possible to salvage anything.
And last but not least the 50th Anniversary engine run and taxi of former QinetiQ 1-11 ZH763 hasn't taken place. I am extremely disappointed indeed that The Classic Air Force haven't taken part in the 50th Anniversary celebrations, especially as they were "gifted" the last flying 1-11 in the UK by QinetiQ. It is a fully serviceable airframe in excellent condition. It would therefore have been a unique opportunity to celebrate with a live airframe. What I can say however, is that I believe that the aircraft is in very good hands, especially as it is been preserved under cover in the former Nimrod hangar at Newquay. However, all was not lost as on Sunday 10th November the aircraft was brought out of the hangar during the last flying event of the year for a very special occasion. None other than former 1-11 pilot, Squadron Leader Colin Froude, was reunited with "the old girl" as he puts it, having offered to show the team how to run the engines on 763. He reported back saying that everything was in order, with no leaks, therefore I can say that the run was a great success. All that is needed now is for The Classic Air Force to sort out an insurance issue at Newquay to allow the aircraft to carry out a high speed taxi run along the main runway next time. A special event will hopefully be announced sometime next spring when the museum re-opens after the winter break.
As for Northrop Grumman, the last operator of the aircraft, the two airframes are still carrying out radar trials for several highly secretive projects. It gives me much pleasure to say that it speaks volumes for the BAC 1-11 when the Americans are still using it for the most highly advanced fighter programme in the world today. Of all the aircraft they could have used, it's our "humble" 1-11 that soldiers on in a roll that sums up what a very versatile airframe it has been over the past 50 years!
Thank you to everyone who has been involved in some way with what has been a great British aircraft success story. This has ensured that the 1-11 has been a safe, reliable, rugged and extremely versatile aircraft that has fulfilled many different roles over its many years in service. At it's peak there were 4000 people working on the production line at Hurn, however by 1972, just seven years after the jet entered service, the party was already over. It mystifies me how this great success came to such an abrupt end. By the time the 475 series had been built, the company had already "thrown in the towel" to Boeing and Douglas and the rest is history, ten thousand 737s later!!! All I can add is what we have all said many times over - it should have become a world beater had it been developed further during the 1960s and 70s! It has certainly deserved it's place in the aviation history books.
As the 50th Anniversary year comes to a close I would finally like to add that in my humble opinion, it has without doubt, been by far the best product of our once proud commercial aviation industry. It has operated in every possible role. As well as its successful service as a jetliner, it became the mid size executive jet of choice in the late 60s and early 70s, was well used by the military in a variety of roles including its use as a radar test bed by Northrop Grumman and has even served as a freighter. It never had the glamour of some of our other types but has proven many times over that it was fabulously designed and put together by a team of very special people indeed..
22 Oct 2013
Today, another "50th" Anniversary was remembered, but unlike the celebration held on the 20th August at Brooklands Museum to celebrate 50 years since the very first flight of the aircraft, this anniversary was a rather more sombre affair. Unfortunately just over two months after the prototype G-ASHG first flew, it sadly crashed and killed all on board. It was recently decided to remember this tragic event with a memorial service and unveiling of a 50th Anniversary memorial stone / plaque at the crash site near Chicklade in Wiltshire.
As BAC 1-11 historian Richard Church recalls, the hopes of everybody involved in the BAC 1-11 project were put in jeopardy when on the 22nd October 1963 the prototype G-ASHG crashed on Salisbury Plain near Chicklade in Wiltshire. The aircraft had relocated earlier to BAC’s flight test centre at Wisley to continue with the flight test programme. The aircraft was on its fifty-third flight and had departed from Wisley for a continuing programme of flights to assess its stability and handling characteristics as it approached the stall together with measurements of the lift coefficient of the wing. It was during the fifth approach to the stall that the aircraft suddenly entered a deep stall condition from which it didn't recover. The cause of the accident was attributed to the previously unknown ‘Deep Stall’ phenomenon. This is now known to apply primarily to aircraft configured with rear mounted engines and a high set tailplane. The two people first on the scene 50 years ago, a forestry worker who saw the aircraft descending and heard the impact through the trees, together with a farm worker, who was working in the next field recalled how they quickly ran to the scene but immediately realised that there was nothing they could do.
Sadly all seven people aboard the aircraft were killed when all but the tail of the aircraft was destroyed in the ensuing fire. The crew comprised Lt-Cdr M J Lithgow (Pilot), Captain R Rymer (Co-Pilot), B J Prior (Assistant Chief Aerodynamicist at Vickers), C J Webb (Assistant Chief Designer at Hunting), R A F Wright (Senior Flight Test Observer One-Eleven), G R Poulter (Flight Test Observer Vickers) and D J Clark (Flight Test Observer Hunting).
The service, held on Sunday 20th October, was supported by many local residents of this small close knit community, together with representatives from the local Fire Brigade, BAe Systems Heritage, BAC (Roy Radford, Alan Smith, Peter Clark), Penny & Giles, The C/O of the Royal Navy/FAA Historic Flight and Nik Read, who represented Brooklands Museum. Unfortunately the weather did its best to ruin proceedings with heavy rain throughout the service however when it came to the unveiling of the memorial plaque, which was done by members of the crews families, the sun finally broke through. Special thanks must go to the villagers of Chicklade who were the organisers of this very fitting occasion. As I'm sure you will agree, it was long overdue! Without them, the service and memorial plaque unveiling would not have been possible.
20 Aug 2013
Today we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the BAC 1-11 at Brooklands Museum, Weybridge. Further details about this historic occasion can be found on my "dedicated" 50th Anniversary page. (See contents) Thank you to everyone who helped organise the event today and many thanks also to all of you that were present on what was a very special day indeed..
11 Aug 2013
The 50th Anniversary event at Brooklands is now only just over a week away. if anyone else would like to attend then I suggest you contact Brooklands Museum as soon as possible. Further details can be provided by either myself or the museum. There are no other events taking place at this time although I am hopeful that an engine run / taxi will be carried out at Newquay with The Classic Air Force 1-11 ZH763. Further details will be announced here.
10 Aug 2013
Several more aircraft have been scrapped in recent months. PK-TRU was reportedly scrapped during October 2012 while the two QinetiQ 1-11s at Boscombe Down, ZE433 has also been reduced to "tin cans"! As for the bid to preserve the forward section of ETPS 1-11 ZE432 I'm still hopeful! The two 1-11s at San Antonio were broken up during July. Reports also suggest that as many as 25 further aircraft may have met their final fate during the past 12 months, particularly the Nigerian fleet.
8 May 2013
Historic last enthusiast flights cancelled!
Business Jet Access have just announced that their BAC 1-11 N999BW won't be available for the historic flights in October! Therefore it is with great regret that I have been forced to cancel the planned 30 minute flights due to have taken place at Dallas Love Field on Sunday 20th October. I can confirm that I am not looking at any alternative dates in the future as it does appear that the aircraft will not fly again! The statement made by the company stated that the aircraft has been withdrawn from service for a "long period of time" pending the supply of spare parts which is becoming a major issue for the 1-11. It therefore sounds like they are about to make the decision to permanently withdraw the aircraft from service although they've not actually confirmed it just yet.. I apologise to those of you that have shown an interest in booking seats on one of these flights.
26 Apr 2013
Last ever flight of a BAC 1-11 in the UK has taken place today!
QinetiQ 1-11 ZH763 has finally flown from Boscombe Down to Newquay today for preservation! Gauntlet 59 departed from Boscombe down at 1130am and touched down in Newquay one hour later. It is just under 50 years since the very first 1-11 flew in the UK from Bournemouth Hurn on the 20th August 1963. I'll hopefully create a special feature shortly with more details about this very historic flight. Although the aircraft won't ever fly again, The Classic Air Force hope to retain the airframe in a fully serviceable condition and carry out regular engine runs.
17 Apr 2013
The 50th Anniversary Year - So Far
Plans for the BAC 1-11's 50th Anniversary are progressing well. The main event will take place at the Brooklands Museum in August. Invites will be sent out at the end of April / early May for what will be a very special occasion. However, numbers will be limited so if you have a direct link to the aircraft and aren't sure whether or not you'll be getting an invite then please contact me at the earliest opportunity. I can then pass on your details to the main organiser.
Duxford Aviation Society are in the process of re-painting their former British Airways 1-11 G-AVMU. Many of you might have seen it looking rather "green"! This is due to the primer which was applied late last year! It is hoped that a team of BA apprentices will complete the repaint later this year and a ceremonial roll out carried out on completion.
Two of the three 1-11s at Boscombe down ZE432 and ZE433 are due to be scrapped very shortly. It is hoped that the forward section of ZE432 can be saved and preserved at the Bournemouth Aviation Museum. I am hoping that it will arrive in time to participate in a 50th Anniversary event. As for QinetiQ 1-11 ZH763, no news I'm afraid.
28 Feb 2013
Fantastic news regarding the Northrop Grumman 1-11 fleet! N164W has been resprayed into a brand new livery which confirms their intent to continue flying the last two 1-11s left flying in the world! I hope that N162W follows shortly. N164W
A lovely aircraft - On final approach into Baltimore Washington on 12 Feb 2013 by Bob Garrard
14 Dec 2012
1-11 Review of the Year 2012
2012 has been an important year for me as I focus on a very significant event which takes place in 2013. The 50th anniversary of the BAC 1-11 will take place on the 20th August 2013. 50 glorious years is an amazing achievement for this very successful British Airliner. Compared to the Comet, Trident and VC10 to name but a few, it has had a very successful career as an airliner and executive jet and in smaller numbers as a freighter and military / radar test bed. Looking back, it's amazing to think that it has been around for all of my life and beyond! My lifelong interest in the aircraft began as a result of a production line tour at Hurn back in 1978. I was completely overwhelmed by the experience. Since then I am so pleased that I took such a huge amount of interest in this “less well known” product of our once world beating aviation industry in the United Kingdom. It has given me an immense amount of satisfaction and pleasure to have been involved with the 25th, 40th and 45th anniversaries of the aircraft. More importantly my interest has led to me meeting many other interesting and like minded people from all corners of the globe who share my enthusiasm and passion for the 1-11. The “www” revolution has uniquely allowed me to record many of the historic events related to the aircraft, and particularly so during the past ten years or so since I created my BAC 1-11 website. At this point I must mention three very enthusiastic friends who have helped me greatly over the past ten years and ensured that I’ve been able to deliver such a comprehensive insight into this very special aeroplane. Without them I simply couldn’t have done it!!!
Richard Church, author of the excellent Air Britain book “The One-Eleven Story” deserves a very special mention as without his input and support I would never have been able to produce such an incredible website. His book has been FULLY updated through the website since it was first published in 1994. So much has happened in the 1-11’s history since then, but every single moment has been captured thanks to Richard’s vast amount of research and dedication.
Nik Read, who has been an inspiration with the renovation of the most unique BAC 1-11 in the entire fleet G-ASYD which is housed at the superb Brooklands Museum. The aircraft has been extended, shrunk, and had many other amazing modifications made to it during its life at the British Aircraft Corporation / British Aerospace and is a very historic piece of British aviation history in its own right. Thanks to Nik’s research we know so much about Yankee Delta. His knowledge of all the “famous” characters involved with the aircraft and connections through Brooklands has given us a very personal insight into so many of their experiences.
Ian Haskell who has given me a great deal of support in gathering together a massive collection of BAC 1-11 images dating back to the very first flight of the aircraft in 1963. Without his support and especially the amount of time that he has put into scanning old photos etc I would never have been able to show so many images on my website or have been able to gather together such an incredible 1-11 archive.
There are of course many others who deserve thanks and much credit for helping to make the One-Eleven story such an interesting one for me personally and long may that continue! Thank you to everyone therefore who has given me support, given up their time, or just shown an interest in what I have been doing over the past few years. It is much appreciated.
As for the remaining fleet:- Not surprisingly there has been very little change from a year ago as a result of so few airframes still in service. I’ve been reiterating for some time now that the end is in sight for the aircraft and it is very clear that this sad day is moving ever closer.
The very last BAC 1-11 still flying in the UK, ZH763 with QinetiQ at Boscombe Down, completed its long service yesterday with a final couple of trials flights. It is expected to be disposed of within the next few weeks. Its future has still not been decided but I am very hopeful indeed that it will be ferried to Newquay to join the Airbase / The Classic Air Force http://www.classicairforce.com/
Some excellent news is that it is hoped that the two remaining airframes with Northrop Grumman will continue flying for another four or five years if they can keep them airworthy.
Not such good news is that N999BW, operated by Business Jet Access at Dallas Love Field, has not been seen or photographed this year which is a great shame after its very high profile enthusiasts flight which was the highlight of my 2011 review. I’ve no idea how much longer, if at all, that the airframe will continue in service. It was rumoured to be on the way to a museum in the Kansas City area back in the early summer and has also been up for sale, but the company’s website still lists it in its charter fleet portfolio.
Three aircraft therefore remain in service but it looks like the 2013 fleet will be down to just two aircraft operated by Northrop Grumman. At least there will be a couple of “flyers” during next years momentous anniversary. Its just a great shame that Northrop Grumman won’t be able to celebrate the event with us due to the nature of their business and their location in the USA.
Next year gives all of us just one final opportunity to celebrate the very long and successful history of the BAC One-Eleven. I certainly intend to make sure that the aircraft “goes out in style” as it finally disappears from our skies forever and joins the likes of Concorde, the Trident and very soon the VC10 as a museum piece!
Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and don’t forget to put August 20th 2013 “THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BAC ONE-ELEVEN” in your diaries! A date for the celebration / location will be announced shortly.
13 Dec 2012
Today saw QinetiQ 1-11 ZH763 bring to a close nearly 50 years of BAC 1-11 flying in the UK!!! It flew its final two trials sorties, refuelled in between them at Newquay before returning to its Boscombe Down base. It was very symbolic indeed that Newquay was chosen as it's final land away in view of my "bid" to get the aircraft donated to The Classic Air Force / Airbase by QinetiQ / the MOD! A final decision regarding its future will hopefully be known within the next few weeks.
ZH763 Parked on the Terminal Apron at Newquay today - Phil Salter
14 Oct 2012
An important development has taken place in my bid to ensure that QinetiQ BAC 1-11 ZH763 is preserved. Airbase have now closed for the winter at Coventry but will be re-opening on the 23rd March 2013 at Newquay / St Mawgan. The Classic Aircraft Trust has been created with the aim of preserving as many as 30 classic aircraft from the 1950s and 60s. It will become known as "The Classic Airforce". What is unique is that they have secured the former Nimrod hangar 404 on the site. This hangar used to house as many as three Nimrod aircraft so is large enough to provide covered accommodation for the entire collection, but crucially, the trust have offered a home to ZH763 which will also be housed in the large hangar as a serviceable aircraft. For further details about the move click on the following links:-Airbase and The Classic Aircraft Trust and "The Classic Airforce" As always there is a stumbling block and in this case, for the project to proceed, it needs to be sanctioned by the present owner QinetiQ. The aircraft is due to be replaced very soon so I am hopeful that they will agree that it is a worthwhile cause that's worth supporting. Further updates will appear here as soon as I have any more news.
8 Jul 2012
News regarding the future of QinetiQ 1-11 ZH763 is patchy to say the very least but it has been suggested that the airframe may yet soldier on into 2013, the 50th anniversary year of the BAC 1-11. Maybe it will therefore be possible to celebrate this landmark occasion after all with a live aircraft! As for the future of the airframe beyond its retirement, I still hope that it can be ferried to Coventry / Newquay to join the growing Airbase fleet of preserved aircraft rather than be scrapped at Boscombe Down. This will of course depend very much on the support of the QinetiQ / MOD team at Boscombe Down and on my ability to persuade them that at least one of the five unique 1-11 airframes that have served the RAE, BLEU, ETPS, DRA, DERA etc over the past 35 years should be saved. How XX105 was allowed to be scrapped is beyond me for example!
1 Jul 2012
I'm very pleased to announce that the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection (BDAC) has been saved and more importantly opened to the public today at their new facility at Old Sarum Airfield. They have moved into one of the very historic World War One blister hangars. Most of their exhibits including the cockpit section of BAC 1-11 XX919 have now arrived. I would highly recommend a visit to this very unique collection of aircraft, cockpit sections and other important exhibits related to the long and illustrious history of flight testing at Boscombe Down.
10 Jun 2012
1-11 survivors update:-
Business Jet Access - N999BW reportedly remains active although I'm awaiting confirmation of its current status.
Northrop Grumman - N162W and N164W flying for the time being with N161NG and N111JX being canibalised for spares in Mojave.
QinetiQ - ZH763 is out and about keeping aircrew current in conjunction with one more possible mission. Due for retirement between July and the end of December. ZE432 hangared at Boscombe Down, possibly being used as a trainer. ZE433 on the dump at Boscombe Down awaiting its fate! I'm still hoping that ZH763 can be saved for the nation and ferried to Coventry although no further news has been forthcoming for a while now. Keep checking in for more updates on this story.
Tombouctou Aviation - Nothing heard for some time now. TZ-BSA last seen parked at Tripoli Mitiga and not flown for at least 2 years. TZ-BSB last heard of in Bamako Mali, after having visited Bucharest Baneasa for maintenance early in 2011. TZ-BSC Parked in Bucharest Baneasa and going nowhere soon!
Four aircraft therefore remain in service.
01 Apr 2012
It has been announced that Northrop Grumman will retain 1-11 N162W in service. It was due to be retired during the first half of this year. Meanwhile news regarding the future of QinetiQ 1-11 ZH763 is imminent.
02 Mar 2012
It has been reported that the last BAC 1-11 flying in the UK, Boscombe Down based QinetiQ 1-11 ZH763, will be retired from service by the end of July 2012. That's less than six months therefore before it's all over for the BAC 1-11 in this country! Sadly this means that it is extremely unlikely that an "in service" aircraft will be available to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the type in August 2013. The aircraft is due to be replaced by an Avro RJ later this year. As for its possible preservation, an approach has been made to Airbase / Air Atlantique at Coventry who support the idea of retaining a "fully serviceable" aircraft in a similar way to many of their current exhibits such as the recently acquired Nimrod. I'll announce any further developments if and when they take place.
12 Jan 2012
Northrop Grumman 1-11 N161NG cn 067 carried out its last flight today. It was ferried from Baltimore Washington to Mojave where it will be stored and used for spares.
24 Dec 2011
1-11 Review of the Year 2011
It's been another very quiet year for the remaining 1-11 fleet. With no "airliners" remaining in service it's down to the very last half dozen executive / test aircraft to keep the flame alight for this almost extinct type. The biggest problem with these aircraft is they don't fly very often so capturing them is extremely difficult indeed! An example of this is QinetiQ's ZH763. It has flown just a handful of times this year but trying to photograph it is virtually impossible. Thankfully it was caught in action at RAF Cranwell during the summer though and again at Boscombe Down on the 30th November! Unfortunately sources suggest that the aircraft might be replaced by a BAe146/Avro RJ during 2012. As for the others, the Northrop Grumman 1-11s are photographed fairly regularly fortunately as these are very interesting aircraft indeed with all the extra bits and pieces hanging off the front and sides of the airframe. Sadly by next summer they will be down to one operational aircraft as N161NG and N162W are due for retirement. The Tombouctou Aviation fleet has been decimated this year sadly! It is believed that certification issues have grounded the two 475s with just 400 series TZ-BSB still reportedly in service from its base in Bamako, although I have been advised that even this airframe may now be stored rather than active! This leaves just N999BW in the USA. This airframe thankfully gave us one of the best moments in the BAC 1-11's long history in August as it carried out a very special enthusiast flight from its Dallas Love Field base. Please see my special feature for a complete in depth look at this magical day! Over 20 enthusiasts flew on board this immaculate aircraft for a two hour flight in the most incredible luxury! The event has been well covered, not only on this website, but by Global Aviation Resource and Airliner World (with an article in their December 2011 magazine). If this turns out to be the 1-11's final "public outing" then it certainly did it in some style. My only gripe was that nobody captured her graceful lines on an HD movie camera! Oh and of course I didn't make it over there, so they are going to have to do it all over again for the 50th PLEASE!!! I'm still hopeful that an airframe will survive up until the 20th August 2013 to celebrate the 50th but it's going to be touch and go! As for the stored fleet it is very sad that I have to report that the "most historic" stored aircraft of them all, series 201AC XX105, was broken up at Boscombe Down during December! I cannot hide my disappointment that this unique airframe wasn't saved. The 1-11 situation at Boscombe Down is very grim indeed with ZE433 recently having been moved to the scrapping area and no doubt ex ETPS 1-11 ZE432 will soon follow! With the pending retirement of ZH763 coming very soon it looks like all five 1-11s operated by the MOD over the past 37 years are all going to be scrapped. It cannot be understated how great their contribution has been over the years. All I can add is how really sad it is that not one of these amazing machines has even been considered for preservation by a major museum. Compared to the two standard series 510s preserved at Duxford and East Fortune, these airframes are truly historic! None of the stored fleet are ever expected to return to service.
Have a great Christmas - Thanks for continuing to support my 1-11 wesbite and forum at Yahoo Groups
A stunning approach shot of 1-11 ZH763 coming into land at Boscombe Down on the 30th November by Liam Daniels
11 Oct 2011
An article about the special enthusiast flight on BAC 1-11 N999BW which took place at Dallas Love Field on the 27th August will be appearing in the December 2011 issue of Airliner World Magazine. It is due for publication on November 9th. If you've seen the Special Feature on my website then it should be a very good write up indeed. I would certainly recommend buying the December issue therefore.
6 Oct 2011
QinetiQ 1-11 ZH763 has unexpectedly flown again. It carried out several circuits at RAF Cranwell yesterday to presumeably keep the 1-11 crews current due to its next mission refit which should keep it in the hangar at Boscombe Down until next February.
10 Sep 2011
An interesting article has just appeared in the October 2011 copy of "JETS MONTHLY" magazine about BAC 1-11 operations at Air Malawi. The airline used the aircraft for 21 years. Author, Arthur Stevens has spent many years out in Africa gathering much information about the history of Air Malawi and he now shares it with us in this intruiging article. It can be bought at WH Smith, other newsagents or online at http://www.kelsey.co.uk/magazines.php?mag=jt
2 Sep 2011
I have just received news from Tombouctou Aviation that their 1-11 operations have been dramatically reduced this year. As feared, one aircraft TZ-BSA, has been trapped in Tripoli Mitiga where its condition is in doubt due to the on-going situation. To make matters worse I've been informed that this particular aircraft hasn't actually flown since the beginning of 2010. Therefore it has been suggested that its flying days are almost certainly over! The other 475 series aircraft TZ-BSC was flying at the beginning of 2011 but was ferried to Bucharest Baneasa by March where it has been parked ever since. The situation with TZ-BSB is a little clearer. This aircraft returned from maintenance in Baneasa via Mitiga to its base in Bamako, Mali in March but has not flown since. I have been informed that it is due to take to the skies again shortly. The reason for all the problems haven't actually been related to the War in Libya but with Type Certificate issues that have become apparent in Romania and more particularly with Romaero where the aircraft have been maintained. It is my understanding that the stage three hushkit on the series 475 is the main issue. Therefore, it appears that TZ-BSB, a series 400 aircraft, is the only one that can continue flying unless there is a change to the regulations in Romania. Watch this space for any further developments regarding this sad situation.
Other than the well publicised flight of Business Jet Access 1-11 N999BW last weekend 1-11 news isn't good! The QinetiQ aircraft ZH763 is back in the hangar at Boscombe Down until at least February next year while Northrop Grumman plan to retire two of their three airframes within the next six months. Clearly this will reduce the surviving 1-11 fleet down to as little as four airframes by this time next year at best, and that figure could possibly be even worse. It's therefore very possible that there won't be a single airframe left in the air to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the type in August 2013! I'm still hopeful though that ZH763 or N999BW will be around at that time.
31 Aug 2011
Business Jet Access 1-11 N999BW took to the skies on the 27th August for its historic enthusiast flight. It was organised by Classic Jet Tours who put on a fantastic day. All those present have heaped praise on both organisations stating how well they looked after them and all commenting on how well organised the event was. The flight lasted for two hours and was photographed by several additional photographers on the ground. It is hoped that an article will appear on the Global Aviation Resource website shortly as well as one appearing in one of the mainstream aviation magazines although I've no idea which one just yet. In conjunction with Richard Church, author of "The One-Eleven Story" I will be placing a special feature about this unique event on my website as soon as possible. I must thank Kevin Perry for this lovely image of the aircraft getting airborne at Dallas Love Field.
04 Aug 2011
Last historic passenger flight to go ahead!
It has been confirmed that the "Classic Jet Tours" flight will go ahead on Saturday 27th August. It will be a very historic moment in the long history of the BAC 1-11. It is hoped that the event will be recorded on film for posterity. The flight will be taking place at Dallas Love Field on Business Jet Access 1-11 N999BW c/n 120. I will definitely be doing a special feature about the flight so watch this space for it within the next couple of months.
02 Jul 2011
QinetiQ 1-11 ZH763 finally flew again last week at Boscombe Down. It carried out a test flight eight months after its last flight in October 2010. This was the first flight of a 1-11 in the UK this year and was carried out by what will almost certainly be the last 1-11 to be seen flying in this country! Unfortunately the event went totally un-noticed as is always the case with all of its flights from its home base! Whether or not it will be seen on the ground or flying again publicly is doubtful. What a sad final chapter to such a fine British Airliner. I can only hope that I can persuade QinetiQ to allow the aircraft to carry out one final flypast at Bournemouth during the aircraft's 50th anniversary event in August 2013, if it remains in service that long! Otherwise it will simply be removed quietly from service to rot alongside it's three sister ships at Boscombe Down before a very undignified scrapping.
25 Jun 2011
Fancy one last chance to fly on a BAC 1-11 before the worldwide fleet becomes extinct? Then please click on this link:- http://www.classicjettours.com/bac111.html
Looking at the remaining fleet, I really do believe that this will be the final opportunity to ever fly on a BAC 1-11, and not just any old rust bucket but an absolutely immaculate executive jet! It isn't cheap but Classic Jet Tours / Business Jet Access only need to fill 30 seats so fingers crossed that maybe one or two of you 1-11 enthusiasts out there can get yourselves onto this special flight and share in an historic moment in the 1-11's 50 year history!
24 Jun 2011
Northrop Grumman have finally announced retirement dates for two of their three 1-11s! One will go by September this year, One in the spring of 2012 leaving just one in service for a few more years. At this stage I've no idea what will replace these unique aircraft.
13 Jun 2011
With the fleet getting ever smaller there is very little to report since my last update in March. Business Jet Access 1-11 N999BW emerged from a seven month refit during May and is once again being advertised "for hire". QinetiQ's ZH763 still remains in the hangar awaiting the refitting of its engines and will hopefully fly again later this summer. I've heard nothing from Tombouctou Aviation since the Libyan uprising. Two aircraft were based inTripoli Mitiga but whether they escaped or not before the no fly zone was put in place is unknown. The third aircraft is still based in Bamako to my knowledge. Northrop Grumman have been keeping busy with their three airframes. Storage wise not much has changed although two airframes have now been preserved. The Former Chrome Air 1-11 5N-UJC has been rescued from the Lagos Airport dump and transferred by road to Warri City in the Niger Delta where it is been used by school children as an educational tool. It is also open to the public for viewing. I'll enclose some interesting images of it when I receive them. The forward section of former European Aviation 1-11 G-AVMZ has been transferred to the Atlantic AirVenture Aviation Visitor Centre at Shannon where it has been painted back into it's British European Airways livery. I'm hoping to bring you an article about this with some images within the next few weeks. In Pakistan the thee former Aero Asia 1-11s are due to be scrapped at any time now as the airport authorities in Karachi have informed the owner that these derelict airframes "must go"!
14 Mar 2011
A very newsworthy item has just reached me from South Africa. The first image of a 1-11 taken in 2011! TZ-BSC of Tombouctou Aviation taken during a visit to Lanseria by Sean Mowatt. It is probably the lowest houred aircraft in the remaining fleet having been stored at Hurn for several years before being sold to Jetline as YR-HRS and then on to Tombouctou Aviation. TZ-BSB has also been reported as flying recently. It was returned to its base at Tripoli Mitiga on the 4th March after an overhaul by Romaero at Bucharest Baneasa. Meanwhile, back in the UK QinetiQ 1-11 ZH763 is due to fly again shortly after several months in the hangar at Boscombe Down after a mission refit / maintenance.
4 Feb 2011
It has been confirmed that Empire Test Pilot School (ETPS) BAC 1-11 ZE432 has been permanently withdrawn from use due to the on-going corrosion issues. It last flew in November 2009. As a result of this sad news I can confirm that ZH763, a series 539GL, is now officially the last 1-11 left in service in the UK! No one at Boscombe Down is able to say for how much longer this aircraft will remain in service. I am hopeful that it will be flown into Coventry to join the Classic Flight / Airbase collection when the time comes.
13 Dec 2010
1-11 Review of the Year 2010
2010 has been a very uneventful year for the BAC 1-11 as it quietly continues its slide towards oblivion. I can honestly say that I don't think there have been any "highlights" this year.
With the "current" UK fleet down to the very last airframe I really believed that there would have been a greater response amongst the aviation enthusiast world acknowledging the fact that another of our great British success storieswas reaching the end of its final chapter, but sadly its last days are going virtually un-noticed! It's very nearly gone forever"!!! It isn't helped of course by the fact that this aircraft is operated by QinetiQ and is based at Boscombe Down, as only the hardiest enthusiasts would venture up to the fence in the inhospitable climate that currently exists around the Salisbury Plain airfield! And then of course it's virtually impossible to ever find out when the aircraft is due to fly! How different it was when the last BA Trident's made their final parallel landings at Heathrow all those years ago! If the recent Nimrod retirement is anything to go by then the last flights of the VC10 will be a huge occasion! Aviation enthusiasts and photographers will no doubt be flocking to Brize Norton! Somehow I don't think the same will happen at Boscombe Down for the 1-11.
The active fleet at the end of 2010 currently stands at just eight aircraft worldwide, down from eleven this time last year. The remaining aircraft continue to fly with the following companies:-
3 with Northrop Grumman, 3 with Tombouctou Aviation, 1 with QinetiQ, 1 with Business Jet Access. (See the current fleet page on my 1-11 website for further details.)
Northrop Grumman has been keeping their fleet busy on various radar testing missions from their Baltimore Wasington base and have no current plans to retire the aircraft.
Tombouctou Aviation's fleet have been flying from Tripoli Mitiga and Bamako although how much flying has actually taken place is unknown. Two of the aircraft have been sighted at Paris Le Bourget over the past 12 months. Clearly the type isn't therefore banned from EU countries despite the type certificate having been withdrawn in February 2010.
QinetiQ have been flying the series 500 ZH763 throughout 2010 but sadly the ETPS aircraft ZE432 has been hangared for over a year with serious corrosion issues. A recent update suggests that it might not return to service.
Business Jet Access still have N999BW on their books, but I've received no firm news to suggest that it has been doing much, over the past 12 months. According to my sources, the company have been trying to sell the aircraft for some considerable time but without success.
As for the three aircraft that have since been retired, the Royal Air Force of Oman finally withdrew their last 1-11 553 in July, ending 35 years of continuous operations with the aircraft. Unfortunately the Air Force decided against flying the aircraft back to the UK for preservation. Apparently they intend to preserve it themselves!
Trast Aero withdrew their last 1-11 EX-086. It was bought by the Alsalam Aircraft Corporation and flown from Ras Al Khaimah to Riyadh earlier in the year where it has become a ground trainer with the Saudi Development and Training (SDT) Academy.
The third aircraft is of course ZE432, so watch this space to see if it ever returns to service!
Other aircraft that are currently in storage but potentially airworthy are:-
The two former Select Aviation aircraft, N200EE and N200JX. They have been parked at Orlando International (MCO) for nearly 18 months now, having never flown with their new operator, Elite Aviation. I personally don't think they will fly again.
Two airframes are still stored at Toluca in Mexico. XB-KCE and XA-CMG which for some unknown reason has recently been re-registered as XB-KQL.
GST Aero / East Wing 1-11 UP-BA111 was last reported as stored at Chimkent / Shymkent. It was noted parked in a scrapping compound early in December.
There has been no further news regarding the fate of the Romavia ROMBACs although it was suggested that YR-BRI might end up as a museum piece!
Amazingly I have just received news that the former Tarom freighter YR-BCR, which has been stored for many years at Bucharest Otopeni having been retired by its previous operator Chrome Air of Nigeria, might fly again! Seeing will be believing in this case as it must need a huge amount of work doing to it and an absolute fortune spent on it to make it airworthy again.
I was advised in September that the former Chrome Air 1-11 5N-UJC, currently derelict at Lagos, may be saved and relocated to Warri where it would be used as an educational trainer but I've heard nothing further.
Other surviving airframes are either gathering dust or have been reduced to hulks awaiting their fate.
It is very clear that this "classic" 1960s airliner veteran of the skies and masterpiece of British aero engineering is soon to slip away into the history books. I am, more than most, very pleased that I've recorded its final years in service. I really do hope that at least one airframe makes it to the 20th August 2013, the 50th anniversary.
Thank you once again to those of you who have helped me over the past ten years with my 1-11 project, including the website and the forum at Yahoo Groups.
8 Nov 2010
ETPS 1-11 ZE432 has failed to re-enter service due to ongoing corrosion issues! New doubts now exist as to whether or not we will ever see this airframe in the air again. The aircraft remains hangered at Boscombe Down pending a final decision regarding its future. I have just placed another special article on the website in an attempt to raise the profile of the plight of the very unique airframes used by the MOD over the past five decades as they come to the end of their flying lives. One of these aircraft must be saved to tell the special story of the five 1-11s used by the UK military since the early 1970s.
5 Oct 2010
N999BW was photographed this week by Brian Higinbotham at its base, Dallas Love Field. It has been kept in immaculate condition by its owner Business Jet Access. It remains to be seen how much longer this 43 year old "classic" British jetliner will remain in service as the last of a very long line of 1-11 execs registered in the USA.
24 Sep 2010
I've just received a new image of the two Mexican registered 1-11s which are stored at Toluca. Much to my surprise one has been re-registered! XA-CMG c/n 079 is now XB-KQL while c/n 183 is still XB-KCE. The owner is listed as Coapa Air S.A. de C.V. The two airframes have been stored at Toluca for at least two years as far as I know but anything is possible with these old airframes so I daren't say they won't fly again!
19 Sep 2010
I've recently received an email stating that former Chrome Air 1-11 5N-UJC c/n 255 will hopefully be rescued from the dump at Lagos and transferred to Warri, a city in the south west of Nigeria where it will hopefully become an educational tool for the training of youths wishing to go into the aviation profession. I await further details with interest.
22 Jul 2010
A picture is slowly emerging regarding the final operations of the two Trast Aero 1-11s EX-086 and EX-103 (4L-BAS). It appears that EX-086 was parked up in Ras Al Khaimah sometime during the summer of 2009 for storage pending any further work. EX-103 was then parked up towards the end of 2009. Out of the blue came photographic evidence that a 1-11 with the registration 4L-BAS was present at Ras Al Khaimah in March 2010. It was established that this could only be EX-103. The condition of the aircraft suggested that its flying days were over especially as it was being robbed of many parts. At the same time a photo confirmed that EX-086 was being worked on. I can therefore only guess that EX-103 was in the process of being prepared for a new operator during the winter months. It appears that this was Transaviaservice of Georgia. The deal obviously fell through at some stage. I then received news that EX-086 was in Riyadh! After some more "detective work" it looks like the 1-11 was patched up for a one off ferry flight to Riyadh where it will now become a ground trainer for a Saudi maintenance company called Alsalam Aircraft Company Ltd. 4L-BAS has since been scrapped.
20 Jul 2010
Great news has just been received regarding the future of ETPS 1-11 ZE432. A repair job has been approved and it is hoped that the aircraft will return to service sometime before the end of October! It last flew in November 2009.
14 Jul 2010
It has just been announced that the last Royal Air Force of Oman BAC 1-11 553 c/n 251 has been officially retired from service today. It "WILL" remain in Oman!
9 Jul 2010
I have just received this superb night shot taken at the Old Athens airport (Hellinikon) by Ilias Diakoumakos of BAC 1-11 SX-BAR c/n 096. It arrived on delivery to Hellenic Air in September 1992. Unfortunately Hellenic never commenced operations and the 1-11 never flew again! It is therefore amazing to think that it has survived for nearly 18 years since then! See if you can find it on Google Earth! Ilias has asked me to give you a link to a very interesting website that he is involved in at www.airpics.net
25 Jun 2010
Having viewed the excellent facilities at the Air Atlantique Classic Flight "Airbase" Coventry base last week, I am in no doubt whatsoever that this organisation offers the very best chance to preserve the last UK based BAC 1-11 when it finally comes up for retirement. Where possible they keep their aircraft in a fully serviceable condition in order to present them to the public as they should be seen and heard! They intend to retain their "new" Nimrod in a condition that will allow it to carry out taxi runs along the runway during future open days. It has been suggested that a 1-11 would be a worthy addition to the collection that could be maintained in a similar way. Most importantly the company has a very highly skilled and motivated team of engineers who work in the excellent facilities at the Coventry base. I would thoroughly recommend a visit to the "new" Airbase hangar. http://www.airbase-europe.com/
20 Jun 2010
Former Trast Aero 1-11 EX-086 has recently been ferried from Ras Al Khaimah to Riyadh in preparation for a possible return to service. A Saudi maintenance company is to carry out the maintenance but questions remain as to whether or not the required work can be completed by this particular company, especially in view of the fact that the type certificate has now been withdrawn.
1 Jun 2010
It has been confirmed that the retirement date for the final RAFO BAC 1-11 553 is the 16th July 2010. This is still subject to change. It "will not" be coming back to the UK for one last visit or preservation sadly. It will be handed over to the local training college for further use as a ground trainer.
15 May 2010
So what now for 1-11 preservation?
With chances of another BAC 1-11 being saved for preservation diminishing, what now for the future of 1-11 preservation? There are presently three 1-11s in UK museums although all are outside and have been so for nearly 20 years! They can't be in good shape beneath the surface as corrosion will almost certainly have taken a firm hold by now and will definitely be the winner in the end! Externally the two ex British Airways 1-11s, G-AVMO (East Fortune Museum of Flight) and G-AVMU (Duxford) are both in desperate need of a repaint and look aweful. Inside they are lovingly cared for, but you can't beat the good old English weather, not to mention the odd ash cloud helping with a steady deterioration! G-ASYD (Brooklands) has been cared for by a fantastic team over the years but once again these airframes cannot survive forever out in the open! Out of 244 1-11s built all I want to see is just "ONE EXAMPLE" saved undercover for posterity!!! Is that too much to ask for, for one of our most famous passenger Jetliners? It looks very much like QinetiQ's ZH763 will present the very last opportunity to save an "airworthy" BAC 1-11. Let's not miss that opportunity!
13 May 2010
End in sight to my ambition to save the last airworthy 1-11 in the UK for preservation at Bournemouth?
It has been announced that the Royal Air Force of Oman will be retaining their last BAC 1-11 553 in Oman once it is retired later this year. This will therefore leave just one last opportunity to preserve a BAC 1-11 at its birthplace in Bournemouth. The aircraft in question is QinetiQ 1-11 ZH763 which was originally built for British Airways as G-BGKE. At this stage I have been told that the Bournemouth Aviation Museum will not be able to accept the aircraft on their present site which is off airfield at Bournemouth Airport. Since the Manchester Airport Group have indicated that there is no way that they will allow a BAC 1-11 to be displayed anywhere else on the airfield then I've got no option other than to drop the whole idea! With no support to save another BAC 1-11 in sight at all, I'm off to save yet another Nimrod as it seems that everybody wants one and that there are loads up for grabs!!!
10 May 2010
Another surviving 1-11 has recently been photographed at Moron, Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is LV-OAX which previously flew for Austral many years ago. By the look of it, it has become a "teenagers play / picnic area"! The photo was taken by Robert Domandl on the 1st of May.
1 May 2010
NEWSFLASH!!! - UK BAC 1-11 FLEET DOWN TO ONE AIRCRAFT
ETPS 1-11 ZE432 is currently out of service with a serious corrosion problem! It appears unlikely at this stage that it will return to service, although a final decision regarding its future is expected shortly. If this is the case then it will leave ZH763 as the very last BAC 1-11 in service in the UK. It's ironic that 763 is probably the least seen / photographed of the entire 1-11 fleet within the UK and beyond. Therefore, if you see it, please report it and photograph it if you can! As I've said in the past, if only it was the last Concorde or even the last Nimrod / VC10 then everyone would be "flocking" to see it!!! Somehow and very sadly the BAC 1-11 just hasn't had the same affect!
5 Apr 2010
If anyone thought that US Air 1-11s were a thing of the past, then how about this shot that was taken last year by Howard Challoner at Orlando International Airport. N1117J has been a fire trainer for many years though this is the first time it has been captured on camera in action with the fire crews and makes quite a sight!
21 Mar 2010
Tony Best supplied this shot of BAC 1-11 UP-BA111 which was taken at Chimkent earlier this year. At some point it was ferried from Almaty. It looks like it is still stored but only time will tell if it re-enters service. As for the new registration, it appears that Kazakhstan have introduced "UP" instead of "UN"!
20 Mar 2010
I've just received two images of the Trast Aero 1-11s in storage at Ras Al Khaimah. It is clear that 4L-BAS is now a spares source which will hopefully allow EX-086 to return to service. I must thank Rainer Bexton for allowing me to use the images on my website.
10 Mar 2010
It has just come to light that 1-11 UN-B1110, stored at Almaty for many months, has been re-registered as UP-BA111 and departed to Chimkent/Shymkent. Reports still suggest that its flying days are over as it appears to have continued its long period of storage on arrival. It still has "East Wing" titles on the fuselage.
15 Feb 2010
Three days after the Type Certificate was withdrawn by Airbus I thought that an update on the surviving fleet was due!
Business Jet Access N999BW - Remains active at Dallas Love Field. There are no immediate plans to retire this airframe.
Northrop Grumman N161NG, N162W, N164W - All remain current at Baltimore Washington with no plans to retire the fleet.
QinetiQ ZE432, ZH763 - Both remain current at Boscombe Down. They are due to remain in service for the next couple of years at least.
Royal Air Force of Oman 553 - Remains in service and very busy. It is due to be retired by the end of July 2010.
Tombouctou Aviation TZ-BSA, TZ-BSB, TZ-BSC - Reportedly still active at Tripoli Mitiga although TZ-BSB may have been retired.
Trast Aero EX-086, EX103 - Both seen parked at Ras Al Khaimah in January 2010 but there have been some interesting developments which remain a mystery at present. EX-086 has been receiving some maintenance and may fly again while it appears that EX-103 has been re-registered as 4L-BAS. Some images of 4L-BAS were received on the 17th February which appear to suggest that it is being scrapped and providing spares for EX-086. No further details are currently available.
12 Feb 2010
Airbus withdrew the BAC 1-11 Type Certificate today. What this means for further operations isn't 100% clear yet, but this is the same certificate that was withdrawn from Concorde!!! The difference with the 1-11 is that no aircraft still operate within any EU member state. For operators outside the EU, operators need to contact their own state of registry for a decision on the continuing validity of any certificates that they have issued. My understanding of this is that operations may continue if an exemption can be justified. For example QinetiQ and Northrop Grumman are using their aircraft for research etc whereas those registered in Mali or Kyrgyzstan may find it much more difficult to continue their operations!
Any further comments / thoughts regarding this very significant development would be most welcome. This really does sound like the beginning of the end!
16 Jan 2010
A new and totally unknown registration, 4L-BAS, has appeared and been confirmed on a 1-11 stored at Ras Al Khaimah. I've no idea which aircraft it is other than maybe former EX-103. EX-086 is also stored at the same location. Any leads would be most welcome!
31 Dec 2009
1-11 review of the year 2009
The remaining in service fleet is declining at an ever increasing rate! Highlight of the year has to be, what might turn out to be, the last visit of a RAFO 1-11 to the RIAT at Fairford in July. It was well documented that 553's visit would possibly be the last public display of an Omani 1-11. I must thank all of you who took many photos of this immaculate airframe over that weekend. My "current fleet" page still lists eleven aircraft in service although I believe that the number is more likely to be in single figures by now. Looking more closely at the remaining operators, Business Jet Access's 1-11 N999BW has been on the ground for most of the year due to maintenance and a refit. Northrop Grumman have been keeping busy with their fleet although N161NG hasn't been seen in service this year which suggests that it has been in for a "mission" refit. QinetiQ have been busy with ZE432 while ZH763 spent much of the year in the hangar being prepared for it's next mission. It re-entered service in September. The Royal Air Force of Oman withdrew 552 in March which leaves just 553 in service. It will be retired when the next A320 arrives at Muscat but I've been advised that it could be any time between January and July 2010. It remains to be seen whether or not it will make one last appearance at the RIAT in 2010. As for its preservation, keep an eye on my news page. Tombouctou Aviation now have three 1-11s in service with TZ-BSC (ex YR-HRS) being the latest addition. It appears that the fleet spend much of their time at Tripoli Mitiga, presumeably because it is more central to their operations throughout Europe and the Middle East. It has been suggested that the series 400 aircraft, TZ-BSB, may in fact have been withdrawn from service by now. Trast Aero have been keeping fairly busy during the year with their two 1-11s being leased out at various times. The main operator appears to have been OSOB Airline Ltd. They leased both aircraft at various times throughout the year. I have been advised that EX-086 is now in storage at Ras Al Khaimah. EX-103 is therefore the last passenger 1-11 in service! Other 1-11s that have been in the news this year have been the ex Select Aviation 1-11s. All three aircraft have finally been sold, but despite the absolutely pristine condition of these aircraft, it looks like their fates have been sealed. N200EE and N200JX flew into Orlando Intl at the beginning of July but haven't flown since, while N111JX is going to become a spares ship for Northrop Grumman. It carried out its final flight to Mojave on the 10th December. Finally all has gone very quiet on the Romavia 1-11 front. I was told that their 1-11 operations were due to end during the first half of the year. This has yet to be confirmed, although it has to be said that the Government aircraft YR-BRE has not been seen away from Bucharest this year.
11 Dec 2009
N111JX has finally flown for the last time! The former Select Aviation 1-11 departed from Waukesha Crites Field yesterday bringing to a close a very interesting chapter of 1-11 history. It flew into Mojave via Pueblo Memorial Airport where decommissioning commenced today. All useful spares will be used by Northrop Grumman.
5 Dec 2009
A big thank you to Peter Spence for allowing me to use this fantastic shot of Northrop Grumman 1-11 N162W getting airborne at Los Angeles during a visit in November. It is one of three very unique aircraft based at Baltimore Washington. The latest news from Northop Grumman is that they intend to keep their three airframes in service for the foreseeable future.
25 Nov 2009
Former Select Aviation 1-11 N111JX c/n 163 has been sold to Northrop Grumman as a spares ship for their three active 1-11s. The other two Ex Select Aviation 1-11s that were sold to Elite Express LLC still haven't flown since their arrival at Orlando Intl at the beginning of July. It therefore seems very unlikely that they will fly again.
10 Nov 2009
Google Earth images appear to confirm that former Albarka Air 1-11s 5N-MBM and 5N-BBU have finally been broken up at Abuja, Nigeria where they had been stored for many years.
Oct 21 2009
RAFO 1-11 553 made another "last visit" to Bournemouth today. Unfortunately it arrived as it was getting dark!!! It is due to depart in a couple of days time. As of today, no further news has been received regarding the possible preservation of the aircraft at Bournemouth.
Oct 10 2009
All three Tombouctou Aviation 1-11s were present at the LAVEX 2009 exhibition held at Tripoli Mitiga earlier this month. One of the three, TZ-BSB appeared to be in storage although I await confirmation of this. The resident stored aircraft 5A-DKO was also noted in a reasonable condition with engines still attached. Below is an image of the latest aircraft to join the Tombouctou Aviation fleet, TZ-BSC previously YR-HRS, taken at Mitiga. This is likely to be the last time that a 1-11 is re-registered.
Sep 30 2009
It's time to give you an update regarding the BAC 1-11 fleet in the USA starting with N101PC. This aircraft was photographed by Simon Cod at Atwater Merced, a former US Air Force base on the 19th September 2009. It has been parked there for several years and most definitely won't be flying again, despite its appearance.
The active US 1-11 fleet is down to just four aircraft. These being the three with Northrop Grumman, N161NG, N162W, N164W and one with Business Jet Access, N999BW. Three others are airworthy but don't fly, these being N111JX, N200EE and N200JX. The remaining aircraft are either stored like N101PC or are derelict. These include N789CF which survives with engines attached and N1117J / N1134J which are both derelict. N1117J sits on stilts at Orlando International Airport. For what purpose is unknown. N111RZ is now located at a private site where it is understood that its wings and tail may have been re-attached after their removal last year. I am only aware of one other 1-11 that is stored in the US and this is XA-ADC at San Antonio. This aircraft has been there for years and is derelict.
7 Aug 2009
I have received the email I'd been waiting for from the RAFO but it wasn't the news I'd been hoping for unfortunately. No announcement will be made for the time being. All is not yet lost but all we can do in the meantime is sit tight and hope that a favourable outcome is eventually reached.
29 Jul 2009
More news has been received regarding the two ex Select Leasing pair of 1-11s, N200EE and N200JX, that recently flew into Orlando International Airport. They are now owned by a company called Elite Express LLC. Very little is known about this organisation, but they intend to carry on flying the aircraft in their present executive layout as far as I am aware. To date the aircraft haven't flown since their arrival.
21 Jul 2009
Regarding the RAFO 1-11 553, no official announcement is now expected until the 2nd August at the earliest!
20 Jul 2009
And a further quote from the aircrew at Fairford when asked the question by a visitor:-
Having had a splendid tour of 553, I spoke to the flight crew this weekend at Fairford, they confirmed it *will* be going to the museum at BOH because “it’s not their aeroplane” they “have no right to it” and it “belongs in the UK” (!) – amongst other reasons. Obviously it’s a believe it when it happens but these guys are convinced its going to BOH!
A quote from a RAFO engineer with the 1-11 at Fairford:-
The Oman 1-11 will return to Bournemouth at about 12.15 on Monday 20th July to night stop before heading home on Tuesday 21st July. This was quoted at the RIAT today by a RAFO engineer with the aircraft and he confirmed this. He said that he is also aware of the effort being put in to get the aircraft back to the Bournemouth Aviation museum. Here's hoping!
At last, someone from the RAFO with a "little bit of upfront info"!!!
14 Jul 2009
553 is due into Bournemouth today at 1655 as MJN565. It will be staying for two nights before positioning to Fairford at around midday on Thursday. I'll once again ask anyone who can make it to please record this "significant moment" in the 1-11s history which could be the last time we ever see an active 1-11 on the ground at Hurn. Any digital images or movie footage would be much appreciated. Only time will tell whether or not we can bring this 1-11 home for preservation!
4 Jul 2009
Amazing news received this week is that two of the three stored Select Leasing 1-11s have flown out of Waukesha Field to Orlando International (KMCO). N200EE departed on the 24th June and N200JX, the oldest surviving 1-11, followed on the 1st July. It therefore appears that the aircraft have finally been sold. Whether or not the remaining 1-11 N111JX follows remains to be seen.
30 Jun 2009
I've just received a very interesting report, including some lovely images, of one of Northrop Grumman's 1-11s taking part in Exercise Northern Edge 09 which was held at Elemdorf Air Force Base in Alaska. http://www.elmendorf.af.mil/news/story_media.asp?id=123155225
25 Jun 2009
I have just been advised that the MIA Airlines 1-11, YR-HRS has been re-registered as TZ-BSC. It joins two other former sister ships with Tombouctou Aviation in Mali. They are all believed to be based at the Mali capital Bamako.
12 Jun 2009
It has come to light that the world's "last" passenger operator of the BAC 1-11, Trast Aero has recently launched a new website at:- http://trastaero.com/ This is an interesting development since it shows the company operating three 1-11s including the very last ex British Airways series 510ED aircraft EX-215. Having been rescued from Nigeria last year, it was believed that this was acquired for spares use only! I await confirmation of its status from the company themselves. EX-086 and EX-103 have both been photographed at Dubai over the past month. Photographic evidence appears to be the only way to proove without any doubt that these elusive airframes are still in service so please keep them coming!
01 May 2009
Most of you are probably not aware that today is a rather significant anniversary. 1-11 G-BLHD "Last Hurn Delivery" made its maiden flight from Hurn exactly 25 years ago on the 1st May 1984. This occured just before the final closure of the BAe factory at Hurn with the loss of over 2000 jobs, and more importantly bought to a very sad end a great era of aircraft production at the Bournemouth site. 146 Varsities, 279 Viscounts and 222 BAC 1-11s were built at Hurn from 1951 to 1982. G-BLHD and G-BLDH remained unsold and unflown at the BAe Factory until 1984 when they were bought by McAlpine Aviation.
29 Apr 2009
RAFO 1-11 553 confirmed for the Fairford RIAT 2009!
It has been confirmed on the RIAT website that 553 will make one last appearance at the Air Tattoo this year. It will be in the static display. I have also been advised that it will visit Bournemouth as well.
28 Apr 2009
I have just received a telephone call from Steve Rhymes stating that the trustees of the Bournemouth Aviation Museum have “overwhelmingly” supported my plan to bring one of the last serviceable 1-11s back to Hurn for display at the new museum site across the road from the Airport next to Adventure Wonderland!!! They made the “absolutely crucial decision – for the future of the museum” at their meeting earlier this evening! This is fantastic news, although I will have to try and stay calm until it actually happens just in case there are any major disappointments along the way! It’s not in the bag until it’s sat in that field in all its glory, so this is just the beginning! There is now the small matter of persuading either the Omani’s or QinetiQ to part with their last aircraft when the time comes! Timescale wise we are looking at between 8 months, for the Omani 1-11 and a couple of years or so for the QinetiQ aircraft. The aircraft in question are 553 or ZE432/ZH763.
I would welcome any thoughts and / or ideas. Please keep in touch for further updates.
BAC 1-11 Forum at Yahoo Groups
Bournemouth Aviation Museum
22 Apr 2009
ZE432 made a very welcome appearance at Hurn today! Along with 553, which departed last Friday, that's two 1-11s in a week! It makes it all the more appropriate therefore that I'm making my "FINAL" bid to have a 1-11 preserved at Hurn, and ironically it will hopefully be one of the aircraft which visited over the past week! Several enthusiasts have now made the same obvious statement as me and that is:- "how can you have an aviation museum at Bournemouth without a 1-11 in the collection"!!! If you share this view then please start making some very loud noises over at the museum and around the airport. This really is the last chance to save Hurn's finest aircraft!
15 Apr 2009
553 arrived at Bournemouth this afternoon at just after 5.00pm as MJN 530. This could be one of the most significant 1-11 movements ever at Bournemouth if it turns out to be the last ever visit of the type. It is hoped that 553 might visit once again later this year, but with time rapidly running out, you have to assume that every visit of a 1-11 to Hurn is possibly the last!
553 landing on runway 08 courtesy of Bob Finch
13 Apr 2009
RAFO 1-11 553 should be arriving at Bournemouth during the late afternoon on Wednesday 15th April for what will probably be the last ever visit of an Omani 1-11 before the last of three aircraft is retired by the end of the year. The aircraft were delivered new to the Royal Air Force of Oman in 1974. Therefore they've been in service for 35 years with the RAFO making them the longest ever operator of the type.
Sadly I can't make it once again due to work commitments but I would be "very grateful indeed" if this event is recorded by "diggy cam and camcorder if possible"!!! I've yet to get some really good close up footage of any of the Omani 1-11s despite the number of visits to Hurn by the aircraft!
This could, in theory, be the last ever visit of a BAC 1-11 to Hurn unless QinetiQ fly any of their three aircraft in again.
I've received no further word regarding whether or not the aircraft will make one final appearance at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford in July.
8 Mar 2009
RAFO 1-11 552 was flown from Muscat Seeb to Masirah and into retirement today. It will be parted out before being handed over to the RAFO fire school.
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