British Aerospace BAe-146 / Avro RJ
British Aerospace BAe-146 / Avro RJ
The British Aerospace BAe-146 is a four-engine short-haul regional jet airliner, seating 70-100 passengers.
The history of the BAe-146 started in 1973, when the British aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley Aviation announced a project for a new four-engine airliner designated 'HS.146'. The company started large-scale development, but stopped work after a few months because of the bad economic conditions following the 1973 oil crisis. In 1978 the project was launched again, now named 'BAe 146', as Hawker Siddeley in the meantime had become part of British Aerospace.
The BAe-146 is fitted with four turbofan jet engines to enable it to operate well from short runways. The engines are rather quiet, what makes the aircraft a good neighbour of residents living near small city-based airports. The fuselage of the 146 is suitable for five- or six-abreast seating, depending on how much elbow room an airline allows its passengers. With its high wing and T-tail the aircraft has the appearance of a military transport, but although BAe offered a military variant, fitted with a refuelling probe, the 146-STA, none was sold.
The BAe-146 made its maiden flight on 3 September 1981 and in May 1983 Dan-Air London took delivery of the first production aircraft. British Aerospace developed three main versions: the standard 146-100, the stretched 146-200 which first flew on 1 August 1982, and the further stretched 146-300 which made its maiden flight on 1 May 1987. A VIP-version is named 'Statesman'. Of the stretched airplanes, cargo variants exist as 146-200QT (Quiet Trader) and 146-300QT. The last 146 was delivered in 1993. BAe built a total of 221 146s.
The BAe-146 was followed by the improved but identically looking Avro RJ (Regional Jet), which was also produced in three main versions: RJ70, RJ85 and RJ100. The numbers correspond with the number of seats in the aircraft. The Avro RJ85 was the first of the new versions to fly on 23 March 1992, soon followed by the RJ100 on 13 May 1992 and the RJ70 on 23 July 1992. The Avro RJs (named after the former Avro factory - A.V. Roe - near Manchester, where the RJs were built) have improved engines, systems and a digital cockpit.
In the late 1990s, after the collapse of the Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker - the Fokker 100 was the BAe-146's most important competitor - British Aerospace began to work on a further improved version, the Avro RJX. The first RJX-85 flew on 30 April 2001 and the first RJX-100 on 23 September 2001, but due to bad market forecasts the aircraft manufacturer, now named 'BAE Systems' soon dropped the project.
Of the entire BAe-146 / Avro RJ family 395 aircraft have been built. Production of the Avro RJ series ceased in 2002. In early 2016 more than 150 aircraft are still in airline service. BAE Systems intends to develop a passenger-to-freighter conversion programme for the RJ100 and possibly for the RJ85. Some ex-airline aircraft are in use as aerial tankers and forest fire extinguishers.
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BAe-146-100 / RJ70 Specifications
Wingspan: 26.21 m (86 ft 0 in). Length: 26.20 m (86 ft 0 in). Height: 8.61 m (28 ft 3 in).
Empty weight: 23,288 kg (51,342 lb) (RJ70: 23,900 kg (52,690 lb)). Max. take-off weight: 38,100kg (84,000lb) (RJ70 43,091 kg (95,000 lb)). Passengers: 70-94. Range: 1,630km (880 nm) (RJ70: 2,665 km (1,440 nm)). Cruising speed: 767 km/h (414 mph). Engines: four Textron Lycoming ALF 502R-5 turbofan (31 kN - 6,970 lb) (RJ70: ALF-507 (27.3 to 31.1 kN - 6,130 to 7,000 lb))
BAe-146-200 / RJ85 Specifications
Wingspan: 26.34 m (86 ft 5 in). Length: 28.55 m (93 ft 5 in). Height: 8.61 m (28 ft 3 in).
Empty weight: 23,882 kg (52,651 lb) (RJ85: 24,600 kg (54,239 lb)). Max. take-off weight: 42,185 kg (93,000 lb) (RJ85: 43,998 kg (97,000 lb)).
Passengers: 85-112. Range: 2,095 km (1,130 nm) (RJ85: 2,130 km (1,150 nm)). Operating speed: 767 km/h - 414 mph). Engines: four Textron Lycoming ALF 502R-5 turbofans (31 kN - 6,970 lb) (RJ85: ALF-507 (31.1kN - 7,000lb)).
BAe-146-300 / RJ100 Specifications
Wingspan: 26.34 m (86 ft 5 in). Length: 30.99 m (101 ft 8 in). Height: 8.61 m (28 ft 3 in). Empty weight: 24,878 kg (54,848 lb) (RJ100: 25.600 kg (56,438 lb)). Max. take-off weight: 44,22 5kg (97,500 lb) (RJ100: 46,039 kg (101,500 lb)). Passengers: 100-128. Range: 1,927 km (1,040 nm) (RJ100: 2,130 km (1,150 nm). Operating speed: 790 km/h - 426 mph).
Engines: four Textron Lycoming ALF 502R-3 turbofans (30 kN - 6,700 lb) or: ALF 502R-5 (31.0 kN - 6,970 lb) (RJ100: ALF-507 (31.1 kN - 7,000 lb)).