BAC 1-11 Aircraft Design Engineer

DHC BAC1-11 Rolls Royce Tay Re-Engine

Among the now-obsolete aircraft that I once worked is the BAC One-Eleven. It was produced produced in small number (244) by British Aircraft Corporation from 1963–1982 in the UK, and later until 1989 in Romania. This twin-engine jet resembles the McDonnell Douglas DC-9, a widely used airliner produced in greater number (976) from 1965–1982.

Dee Howard Company, founded in 1964 and known for its head-of-state aircraft modifications and thrust reversers, embarked on a project to re-engine the BAC 1-11 with Rolls Royce Tay engines. In collaboration with Schwartz Engineering Company and Avionics Engineering Services, the prototype aircraft also underwent interior modifications, an electrical system retrofit, and modernization of its instrument panel. The updated BAC 1-11 was to be sold for corporate/private use and additional airframes were to follow. But in April 1997, Alenia Aeronautica of Italy with its controlling ownership in Dee Howard withdrew backing of the project after significant work had progressed in the certification program.

Despite the smaller numbers, the BAC 1-11 was sought after as an available and affordable airframe. I worked on others including a BAC 1-11 interior project with Pyka Design for Chrysler Corporation. Then on the electrical systems of a BAC 1-11-400 for H&M Holdings Ltd. undergoing instrument panel and avionics rack retrofits and antenna installations. On a third BAC 1-11, operated by Lukenbill Enterprises for the transport of the Sacramento Kings basketball team, I worked with the design team at Gary Aerospace in Hondo, Texas on interior modifications and structural installations.