One of the rarest visitors to this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo was a military-operated BAC 1-11 airliner flown in by the Omani air force. Future chances to see the service’s more than 30 year-old aircraft in the UK are likely to be limited, with the air force expecting to retire its three examples during 2009 as part of a planned modernisation to its airlift capabilities.

Used for mixed transport and limited VIP duties, Oman’s 1-11s are likely to be replaced by a fleet of three new Airbus A320s, according to an air force officer speaking at the show. The Rolls-Royce Spey-powered fleet entered Omani use in 1974-5, according to Flight’s MiliCAS database. The pictured aircraft was deployed to the UK solely to participate in the show, and will depart for its return journey on 16 July, conducting three refuelling stops en route.


Advanced over the last few years, Oman’s ongoing air force transformation effort has already included the acquisition of 16 AgustaWestland Super Lynx helicopters – one of which has been lost to an accident – and 12 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D fighters. In addition to its pending 1-11 replacement effort, the source says the air force is also likely to seek a new inventory of tactical transports to replace its current Lockheed C-130s.

BAC 1-11

Source: Flight International