QinetiQ BAC 1-11 flies into history

29 Apr 2013

29 April 2013 - The last remaining BAC 1-11 has flown into history, having been flown by a military air crew from MOD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire to Newquay Museum in Cornwall.

QinetiQ, which operates and manages the airfield on behalf of the MOD, has donated the aircraft to the “Classic Air Force” museum so this British designed aircraft could be preserved for future generations to view and enjoy.

The aircraft was flown to Newquay on Friday 26 April 2013 and was Captained by Flt Lt Mark Hasted, a Boscombe Down trials pilot. On arrival at Newquay it has become one of the non-flying air display aircraft at the Museum.

Built in 1980 as a BAC 1-11 series 500 aircraft, it was delivered to British Airways who flew it as G-BGKE on short-haul domestic routes with 5 crew and up to 119 passengers. GEC Marconi Defence Ltd took ownership of the aircraft in Feb 1991. Between 1991 and Jan 2003 the aircraft was leased to the Defence Research Agency (now QinetiQ).

After a major overhaul, G-BGKE was delivered to Royal Aircraft Establishment Bedford in July 1991. The aircraft subsequently remained in storage at Bedford, and briefly at Farnborough. It was placed on the military aircraft register as ZH763 in Jan 1994 and transferred to Boscombe Down in July of the same year.

The aircraft was then installed with an Enhanced Surveillance Radar (ESR) and was subsequently employed exclusively for ESR flight trials until 2002. 

Ownership transferred to QinetiQ in January 2003 and the aircraft has been progressively transformed to fulfil the Large Flying Laboratory role. One of its significant features was the addition of a large, removable belly radome and a side radome for radar trials work.

This was the last flying BAC 1-11 aircraft in the UK when the aircraft was retired from operational flying in December 2012.

A team of QinetiQ technicians were at the Museum in Cornwall when the aircraft landed as part of the official handover, and it is envisaged that the aircraft will be a major draw for aviation enthusiasts and encourage tourism to the area

Notes for Editors:

BAC 1-11

The concept for this aircraft came from Hunting Aircraft, but it was developed and produced by the British Aircraft Corporation when Hunting merged into BAC (along with several other British aircraft makers in 1960).
The BAC 1-11 (or BAC One-Eleven) was designed for short-range routes. However, in 1967 a larger 119-seat series 500 type was introduced. This "stretched" version was delayed for at least a year while its launch customer British European Airlines assessed its requirements. This gave the American DC-9 and Boeing 737 the chance to make up for the early BAC 1-11 penetration in their home domestic market; however, 95 were eventually built.
The BAC 1-11 was one of the most successful British airliner designs (with a total production at British and Romanian factories of 244); serving until its widespread retirement in the 1990s due to noise restrictions.
British Airways retired its last BAC 1-11 in 1998 and, in 2010, the European Aviation Safety Agency accepted an Airbus request to revoke its Type Certificate. As a result civil aircraft registered in any EU Member State are no longer eligible for a Normal Certificate of Airworthiness. Of all the BAC 1-11’s built it is believed that there are only about 4 still classed as airworthy.

Performance

Operating to the normal flight envelope of 350Kias/0.77IMN and up to 35000ft a typical Take-Off Weight, with full fuel, is around 39 Tons. The still air cruise range of around 1800nm or an endurance of 6 hours is possible.

Instrumentation

ZH763 was instrumented to a significant degree with Trials / Test equipment which included: A Honeywell military H764G Ring Laser Gyro Inertial Navigation System with embedded GPS receiver (IN/GPS) and 1553B data bus output, integrated with a cockpit Control and Display Navigation Unit (CDNU) and Penny and Giles Digital Air Data Unit. This system was interfaced with the aircraft auto-pilot and auto-throttle to provide autonomous control of the aircraft during the Surrogate Unmanned Air Vehicle (SUAV) trials. A stand- alone Garmin 165 GPS (Global Positioning System) was also installed.
Banks of 19” Instrumentation Racks were installed to accommodate a wide range of trials equipment. To meet EASA legislation, an Allied Signal/Honeywell TCAS 2 and dual Mode S transponder system was also installed
The original Bendix conventional “spinning wheel” vertical gyros were replaced with two Litton LTN 90 Laser Gyro Inertial Reference Units. This was done to overcome the problem of the existing gyros erecting to a false vertical during turns.
As with all QinetiQ Trials aircraft it is fitted with an Accident Data Recorder (later modified with a Multi Purpose Flight Recorder).

Leading Particulars

Two Rolls-Royce Spey 512-14DWE turbofan engines delivering 12000lbf Static Thrust.
A Garrett GTCP 85-115CK APU provides independent facility for electrical supply and engine starting.
Two Skydrol Hydraulic systems, operating at 270 bar (3916 PSI), provide power to both Primary and Secondary Flight control systems, plus the undercarriage system.

Major Trials

Enhanced Surveillance Radar (ESR) which was (at the time) state of the art radar, fully programmable giving it the capability to mimic both existing radars and potential future systems.
Surrogate Unmanned Air Vehicle (SUAV) Phases 1-5.
A series of successful flight trials were flown using QinetiQ's Tornado Integrated Avionics Research Aircraft (TIARA - ZD902), flown by an RAF Test Pilot as the command and control aircraft and ZH763 acting as a "surrogate" unmanned air vehicle (UAV). Once both aircraft were airborne, the Tornado pilot assumed control of the “BAC 1-11 surrogate UAV” and three simulated UAVs during each flight.

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QinetiQ BAC 1-11 flies into history