ROMBAC 1-11 - Romanian aircraft manufactured under British license

This article started from a photograph with a ROMBAC 1-11, the first and only Romanian aircraft produced under a British license, before 1989.

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In communist times, Romania was one of the few countries in Eastern Europe that had the courage to buy and use airplanes outside the Soviet bloc. The story of the model ROMBAC 1-11 is very interesting and exciting.

It all started in 1967, the year in which the first relations between Romania and the British company British Aircraft Corporation - BAC were established. On this occasion, the British company undertook to deliver 6 BAC 1-11 aircraft to TAROM carrier. The aircraft model had been introduced in 1963 series production.


At the end of 1968 it was considered "the most commercially successful European aircraft". At the same time, BAC undertook to order 215 2-seater twin-engine "Islander BN-9" aircraft at Britten-Norman. These were to be assembled in Romania, and their sale in other markets was ensured by the English side for five or six years (1968-1973).


The first flight of a 1-11 BAC plane for TAROM, from the 424 EU series, took place at 23 January 1968. It had two engines Rolls-Royce Spey 25 Mk. 511 and was delivered to TAROM at 14 June 1968, being registered YR-BCA.

The following five BAC 1-11 aircraft from the same series were received by the Romanian authorities until the end of the 1969 year.

But Ceausescu did not give up the idea of ​​developing the aircraft manufacturing industry in Romania. Thus, in 1975, “Turbomecanica”From Bucharest for the licensed manufacture of engines Rolls Royce Viper (Mk 632 and 633) and Turmo IV C engines.

The former were needed for the IAR-93 B aircraft, the latter were used IAR-330 "Puma" helicopters.

Also in the same period, Ceausescu purchased the manufacturing license for BAC 1-11 and promised to build 80 aircraft under the name ROMBAC 1-11.

Unfortunately, the project was not completely completed, and only 9 aircraft left on the gates of the Romaero Baneasa factory, and other 2 remained at the kit stage until the '90 years and were destroyed.


The first flight of an aircraft ROMBAC 1-11 (registered YR-BRA) took place at 18 September 1982, in the presence of Nicolae Ceausescu.

The inaugural passenger flight of the plane ROMBAC 1-11 (YR-BRA) took place at 28 January 1983, on the route Bucharest-Timisoara. The first external flight of this aircraft was performed at 23 March 1983, on the Bucharest-London route.

The 9 ROMBAC 1-11 (YR-BRI) flew for the first time in April 1989, and two years later entered the company ROMAVIA.

Photo by Michael Frische

The ROMBAC 1-11 aircraft was an aircraft equipped with two double-flow turbojets. Rolls-Royce Spey Mk 512-14DW, capable of a thrust of about 6.000 kgf.

ROMBAC 1-11 could carry up to 119 passengers. The cruise speed was 870 km / h and the flight range was 3500 kilometers.

The BAC One-Eleven model was a model built in 244 copies. In contrast, the Romanian model ROMBAC 1-11 was not successful, only 9 complete aircraft were built.

ROMBAC 1-11 was a fast-moving model. In about 8 years, very few models were made with outdated technology. Most of the components were manufactured in Romania.

According to 1989, due to the loud noise produced by the engines, ROMBAC 1-11 ROMAVIA aircraft were banned at several airports in Europe.

The other seven ROMBAC 1-11 devices were sold by TAROM to various other airlines in Asia and Africa.

After 30 years, there is no clear statistics on these Romanian aircraft. It is only known that two ROMBAC 1-11 operated charter flights for tourists, in Egypt, in the year 2010.

But with certainty, no ROMBAC 1-11 aircraft was involved in a plane crash with injured or dead people. But not too many flight hours were recorded.

(Sources: wikipedia)

  1. Green says

    Sorin, this is not the first British licensed aircraft. The first I think was the BN-2 Islander. We manufactured over 500 pieces in Băneasa.

    1. Sorin Rusi says

      At the level of commercial passenger aircraft, Rombac 1-11 was the only one.

  2. nemo says

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  3. gicu says

    What is known about the accident when trying a model in the 80's?

    1. Sorin Rusi says

      ROMBAC or BAC?

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