ВАС (British Aircraft Corp. Ltd.) 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”.
Like BAC, the Hawker Siddeley Group was expanded by merger, while engine design and manufacturing was concentrated at Rolls-Royce and the newly formed Bristol-Siddeley Engines. Helicopter development was given to Westland Helicopters.
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).