History Of Bac One – Eleven
An aircraft produced by the British Aircraft Corporation, and having its maiden flight on the 20th of August 1963. BAC 1-11 was finally released to the public, with the first delivery to its launch costumer in 1965.
SX-BAR BAC One – Eleven – 215AU
In 1966 a special type BAC 111-215AU is manufactured with Construction Number BAC.096, 79 Seats, 2 Rolls Royce Turbofan engines, Registry Number N11181, Name Queen Kapiolani and delivered to Aloha Airlines to commence operations.
The unit finds itself under a Greek airline called Hellenic Air. It changes registration to the Greek one SX-BAR, but fails to meet noise legislations for the Greek airspace and it ends up grounded inside Athens airport for several years. Hellinicon used to be the main airport of Athens, Greece, but in 2001 the main Airport becomes Eleftherios Venizelos and the decommissioned units remain abandoned inside the old airport and decay over time. The units that used to be proud gems of the skies, now remain on the ground, rotting and vandalized by people breaching the old and neglected airport.
Zela Aviation Takes Action
In 2022 a Cypriot aviation brokerage company named Zela Aviation led by chairman Mr Andreas Christodoulides, stumbles upon the abandoned BAC1-11. Air charter broker Mr Ignatiou Evangelos, in his attempt to find old aircrafts that may be able to be sold as spare parts or as firefighting training units, stumbles upon the BAC1-11 and realizes that it is abandoned and may go for scrap in the next few months. Mr Christodoulides, an avid aviation lover, was fascinated by BAC 1-11 since his childhood. He used to travel with his parents, with a Cyprus Airways Bac 1-11, to Greece for vacation. An important note is that the BAC 1-11 aircraft served as the backbone of Cyprus economy after the Turkish invasion in 1974. Sentimental and touched, Mr Christodoulides decides to save the plane and along with Mr Ignatiou, they enter a journey to find a resting place for the abandoned unit.
After a lot of difficulties and negotiations, Mr Christodoulides buys the abandoned unit saving it from the unfortunate destiny of being recycled and scrapped without any glory. Chairman Mr Christodoulides and Mr Ignatiou are then on a mission of finding a resting place for the – now – historic Bac One Eleven SX-BAR as a mural inside Athens, Greece.
Several meetings and rejections later, in 2023, they strike an agreement with the Municipality of Lavrion and Mayor Dimitrios Loukas, for the unit to be put on display next to one of their main roads. Zela Aviation then hires Notis Cranes ( a professional team that handles heavy machinery and special projects) along with its construction crew and in a few months journey, the unit is disassembled and transferred in Lavrion.
As of January 2024, SX BAR Bac One-Eleven 215AU is standing proudly, as a mural, reminding the world that aviation, is a huge part of our evolution and lives. We must protect our technological treasures and give them a bit more life, being observed and admired for everything that they have offered throughout the years. The unit was retouched and restructured by Notic Cranes’ crew and looks brand new. It is one of the very few BAC 1-11 remaining globally, with approximately another 5 scattered around the world. Make sure to visit Lavrion town and everyone would be able to point you exactly at this aviation treasure that now stands proudly under the sky that it once used to soar.