Flybe - British European
The BAe 146 (also known as the Avro RJ) is a medium-sized, commercial aircraft
manufactured by BAE Systems. It carries its four jet engines on a high wing
above the fuselage (not below or at mid-fuselage as on most conventional
civilian aircraft). The aircraft has STOL capabilities and very quiet operation
(note the name Whisperjet), so it sees wide usage at small city-based airports.
In its primary role it serves as a regional jet, short-haul airliner, or
feederliner. The freight carrying version has the designation 'QT' ("quiet trader").
The BAe 146 comes in -100, -200 and -300 models. The -300 model includes a glass
cockpit and sees wide use among European airlines such as Aer Lingus, Air Berlin,
Lufthansa, and Aegean Airlines.
The only commercial jet with 4 turbofan jet engines and wings mounted on top
of the fuselage, the BAe 146, also has a T-tail. Having extremely large flaps
and spoilers, the plane does not need reverse thrust at landing. Consequently
the four engines (supplied by the U.S. manufacturer Lycoming) do not have this
facility. The plane can takeoff and land on extremely short runways such as
those at Mönchengladbach, and at London City Airport, a converted dock.
Hawker Siddeley Aviation carried out the original design in 1973, using the
designation HS146, but soon abandoned the project as a result of the world
economic downturn from the oil crisis. Low-key development proceeded
however, and in 1978, British Aerospace, Hawker Siddeley's corporate successor,
re-launched the project.
Production began in 1983, with the series 100 carrying 70 - 84 passengers, and
ended during the 2001, world aviation market slump.
The type name "Avro RJ" superceded "BAe 146" in 1993, in a new joint venture.
The Avro RJ comes in three sizes: for 70, 85, and 100 passengers. All three
sizes have the same cockpit, engines, and operations. Turbofan engines from
Honeywell Inc., housed in newly designed nacelles, replaced the original Lycoming
engines. Production of this aircraft has now ended. Many airlines will replace
the Avro/BAe with the Boeing 717, Airbus A318, Bombardier CRJ 700, or EMBRAER
models such as the EMBRAER 170 and EMBRAER 190.
146-100 and RJ70
First flight of the -100 occurred in September, 1981, with deliveries commencing
in 1983. Early customers included Dan-Air and the RAF's Royal Flight. The -100
migrated last to the Avro RJ standard development with first deliveries of the
RJ70 beginning in late 1993. The RJ70 differed from the 146-100 in having FADEC
LF 507 engines and digital avionics. The RJ70 seats 70 passengers, 82 six abreast,
or 94 in high-density configuration.
146-200 and RJ85
The 146-200 features a 2.41 m (7 ft 11 in) fuselage extension and reduced
seat-distance costs. The -200 first flew in August, 1982, and entered service
six months later. The RJ85, the first RJ development of the BAe 146 family,
features an improved cabin and the more efficient LF 507s. Deliveries of the
RJ85 began in April, 1993. The RJ85 seats up to 112 passengers.
146-300 and RJ100
Designers' initial proposals for the -300, the final development of the 146
product line, included a 3.2 m extension to the fuselage of the -200, more
powerful engines, and winglets. However due to the requirements of airlines for
higher efficiency rather than capacity the production 146-300 emerged as a
2.44 m stretch of the -200 without winglets or the proposed ALF 502R-7.
Deliveries began in December, 1988. The Avro version of the 146-300, the second
such development of the 146 product line, became the RJ100. It shared the
fuselage of the 146 version but with interior, engine, and avionics improvements.
The most common configuration of the RJ100 seats 100 passengers. The RJ115
seats 116 standard, or up to a maximum of 128 in a high-density layout.
Avro RJX Series
The RJX-70, RJX-85 and RJX-100 aircraft represented advanced variants of the
Avro RJ Series. The RJX used Honeywell AS977 turbofans for greater efficiency
(15% less fuel-burn, 17% increased range), quieter performance, and 20% less
maintenence costs. Druk Air of Bhutan placed orders for two RJX-85s, while British
European placed orders for 12 RJX-100s. However, BAE Systems terminated the
project in December, 2001, having completed and flown only three aircraft - a
prototype each of the RJX-85 and RJX-100, and a production RJX-100 for British
European. The termination of the RJX project marked the end of commercial
airliner production in the United Kingdom.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Avro RJ100".