A Southampton museum has unveiled plans to exhibit a 43-year-old passenger aircraft and turn part of it into a café.

The BAC 1-11 will be transported to the Solent Sky complex in Albert Road South and put it on show alongside the Calshot Spit lightship.

It used to be on display at Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre and was in danger of being scrapped after the attraction closed last year.

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The jet has now been bought by Solent Sky, which is planning to exhibit the front 60ft of the fuselage on the forecourt. Staff are hoping it will arrive in the next six weeks.

Modifications will enable the museum to provide wheelchair access to the flight deck and a café at the rear of the passenger cabin.

Daily Echo: Calshot SpitThe scheme has been given the go-ahead by Southampton City Council.

A council report said the aircraft was too big to be displayed inside the museum building, adding that the wings and tail would have to be removed to enable it to be exhibited on the forecourt.

It said: "The fuselage would have the wheels locked into position. Because of the size of the structure and degree of permanency of the exhibit planning permission was required. No objections have been received."

The report said the fuselage would not harm the character or appearance of the area or the amenities of neighbours.

It said: "The ramp access has been designed not to obstruct the existing fire exit door.

"The museum has advised that the fuselage will arrive on a trailer and can be reversed into the area whilst avoiding the adjacent horse chestnut tree and wheeled into position."

Daily Echo: Some of the aircraft on display at Solent Sky are suspended from the ceilingSome of the aircraft on display at Solent Sky are suspended from the ceiling (Image: Newsquest.)

Built at Hurn, near Bournemouth, in 1980 the plane was delivered to British Airways and operated out of Birmingham Airport for several years.

In 1991 it joined the Defence Research Agency and took part in radar trials at Boscombe Down, Farnborough, and Bedford before making its last flight on April 26, 2013.

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Solent Sky is already home to more than 20 planes, some of which are suspended from the ceiling.

Exhibits include a 1943 Sandringham flying boat, a Supermarine Spitfire, and a Supermarine S6A that took part in the 1929 Schneider Trophy air race.

The flying boat's former pilots include Charles Blair, whose wife, Hollywood star Maureen O'Hara, often accompanied him on flights.

Solent Sky is also home to one of only two joint police and fire museums in the country.