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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 20%, 40% and 40% respectively. BAC in turn acquired the share capital of their aviation interests and 70% of Hunting several months later. Its head office was on the top floors of the 100 Pall Mall building in the City of Westminster, London.
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".
The new corporation was jointly owned by Vickers, English Electric and Bristol. Internally it had two divisions – the Aircraft Division under Sir George Edwards and the Guided Weapons Division under Viscount Caldecote. The aircraft operations of the three parents were now subsidiaries of BAC; "Bristol Aircraft Ltd", "English Electric Aviation Ltd" (with Viscount Caldecote as general manager) and "Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd" (under Sir George Edwards). BAC also had a controlling interest in Hunting Aircraft. The parents still had significant aviation interests outside BAC. English Electric had Napier & Son aero-engines, Bristol had 50% of Bristol Aerojet and Bristol Siddeley engines and smaller investments in Westland and Short Brothers & Harland.
On 29 April 1977, BAC, the Hawker Siddeley Group and Scottish Aviation were nationalised and merged under the provisions of Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977. This new group was established as a statutory corporation, British Aerospace (BAe).
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