British Aircraft Corporation

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{ship, engine, design}
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The British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) was a British aircraft manufacturer formed from the government-pressured merger of English Electric Aviation Ltd., Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft), the Bristol Aeroplane Company and Hunting Aircraft in 1960. Bristol, English Electric and Vickers became "parents" of BAC with shareholdings of 40%, 40% and 20% respectively. BAC in turn acquired the share capital of their aviation interests and 70% of Hunting several months later.[1]

Contents

History

BAC was formed following a warning from government that it expected consolidation in the aircraft, guided weapons and engine industries. The government also promised incentives for such a move, including the supersonic BAC TSR-2 strike aircraft contract, the maintenance of government research and development spending and the guarantee of aid in launching "promising new types of civil aircraft".[2]

When BAC was formed, the Bristol Aeroplane Company (Car Division) was not included in the consolidation, but carved off by Sir George White whose family had founded the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company in 1910 (later the Bristol Aeroplane Company). It remains operational today as Bristol Cars.[3]

Most of the BAC designs were taken over from the individual companies that formed it. BAC did not apply its new identity retrospectively, hence the VC10 remained the Vickers VC10. Instead the company applied its name to marketing initiatives, the VC10 advertising carried the name "Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Limited, a member company of the British Aircraft Corporation". The first model to bear the BAC name was the BAC One-Eleven (BAC 1-11), a Hunting Aircraft study, in 1961. Bristol had eschewed the subsonic airliner market and was working on the Bristol 223 supersonic transport, which was eventually merged with similar efforts at Sud Aviation to create the Anglo-French Concorde venture. The first Concorde contracts were signed with Air France and BOAC in September 1972.

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