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The British Aircraft Corporation was formed by a Government forced merger of Vickers, Bristol, English Electric and Hunting. The 'One-Eleven' was the first commercial aircraft produced by the newly formed BAC. It was designed as a jet replacement for the earlier turboprop Viscount which had been extremely successful. This gave the 1-11 a clear place in the aviation market and unlike the VC10 and Trident it was not hindered by the strict specifications of a single airline. Early trials gave problems, with the prototype crashing a few weeks into testing. An unrecoverable deep stall was found to be the cause, the 'T' tail being caught up in the air disturbance from the main wing. The main wing leading edge was redesigned, along with the elevator controls. The original elevator, a non-powered servo-tab design, was replaced with a more reliable hydraulically assisted elevator with geared tabs to ease the loading.
Despite the early problems, an impressive 60 plus orders were secured prior to its production, including important orders by the US airlines Braniff and Mohawk.
The Series 500 ((Shown)) was launched on the strength of an order placed on the 27th January 1967 by British European Airways. This version had the fuselage extended by 13ft 6in (4.11m) by the insertion of two plugs. This allowed for four more seat rows to be installed and therefore increased passenger capacity by twenty. Overwing emergency exits had to be doubled to four. Underfloor hold volume was increased. Various structural changes were also required and higher rated Speys were fitted. This gave the aircraft a maximum take-off weight of 47400 kg. The aircraft (G-ASYD cn 053) first flew from Hurn on the 30 June 1967. First delivery (G-AVMJ cn 138) went to British European Airways on the 29 August 1968. Other Series 500 customers included British United Airways, Caledonian Airways, Panair / Paninternational, Aviateca, Bahamas Airways, Court Line, Sadia / Transbrasil, ALA / Austral, British