Showing posts with label Bae146. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bae146. Show all posts

24 October, 2023

A brief look back at the BAe 146: A Versatile and Innovative Regional Aircraft

The BAe 146, developed by British Aerospace (later known as BAE Systems), is a remarkable regional jet that made a significant impact in the aviation industry. Known to many as The Whisper Jet, the 146 had a unique design that made it so very recognisable and loved around the world. With its advanced features and exceptional performance, BAe 146 became a popular choice for regional airlines around the world. This article delves into the fascinating history of the BAe 146, exploring its development, key milestones, technological innovations, and enduring legacy.

Development and Design:

The origins of the 146 can be traced back to the late 1960s and early 70s when Hawker Siddeley identified a market demand for a new regional jet. The project, initially known as the HS.146, aimed to address the need for a 70-ish-seat aircraft that could operate from shorter runways, have excellent fuel efficiency and offer quiet operations.

The design of the 146 incorporated several innovative features. It featured a high-wing configuration, which allowed for a simplified and efficient structural design, improved short-field performance, and reduced noise levels in the cabin. The aircraft also utilized a unique four-engine layout, with engines mounted at the rear, providing enhanced performance and enabling operations at airports with challenging conditions. The programme was initially launched with backing from the UK government, which despite a lot of opposition, agreed to contribute 50% of the development costs in return for a share of the revenues from each aircraft sold

First Flight and Certification:

The first order for the BAe 146 was placed by Líneas Aéreas Privadas Argentinas in June 1981. The 146 took its maiden flight on September 3, 1981, showcasing its capabilities to the aviation world. The flight test programme involved extensive evaluations to ensure the aircraft's performance, handling characteristics, and systems met the stringent regulatory requirements for certification. 

In 1983, the BAe 146 received its certification from the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the US Federal Aviation Administration. The certification confirmed the aircraft's compliance with safety standards, paving the way for its entry into commercial service.

Variants and Enhancements:

Over the course of its production, the BAe 146 underwent several variants and enhancements to meet evolving market demands and customer preferences. The initial series, known as the -100, featured a passenger capacity of around 70 to 82 seats, while the subsequent -200 series offered increased seating capacity.

One of the significant developments in the BAe 146 family was the introduction of the Quiet Trader variant, later renamed the BAe 146QT. This variant served as a freighter aircraft, allowing for the efficient transportation of cargo while maintaining the aircraft's versatility and short-field capabilities.

In the 1990s, BAE Systems introduced the Avro RJ series, which incorporated various improvements, including upgraded engines, enhanced avionics, and improved passenger comfort features. The Avro RJ variants offered improved performance, increased range, and higher passenger capacities.

Operational Success and Global Adoption:

The BAe 146 quickly gained popularity among regional airlines worldwide due to its exceptional performance and operational flexibility. Its ability to operate from short runways and airports with challenging conditions made it an ideal choice for regional connectivity.

The aircraft found success in various markets, including Europe, the United States, Australia, and Asia. It became a popular option for both scheduled regional flights and charter operations, serving passengers in remote regions and connecting secondary cities to major hubs.

The BAe 146's reputation for reliability, efficiency, and passenger comfort contributed to its widespread adoption. It was praised for its low noise levels, providing a quieter and more comfortable experience for passengers, especially during takeoff and landing.

11 April, 2023

ASL Aviation buys Pionair, Australia’s leading independent provider of charter and ACMI services

ASL Aviation Holdings, the 
aviation services company with seven airlines based in Europe, South Africa and Asia has just taken over Australian airline, Pionair, Australia’s leading independent provider of charter and ACMI services. The acquisition of Pionair has received all required regulatory approvals and is effective immediately. 

 The Sydney-based Pionair will continue to operate as a proudly Australian airline and over time the carrier will emphasise its Australian identity and will be re-branded as ASL Airlines Australia in common with ASL Group’s European airlines ASL Airlines Ireland, ASL Airlines Belgium, ASL Airlines France and ASL Airlines United Kingdom.

ASL’s investment in Pionair will be of significant benefit to the economy across the airline’s main bases in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Cairns. Pionair is set to become a stronger and larger service provider in the Australian aviation market, particularly in the important express parcel and e-retail sectors.

There will be no job losses due to this acquisition with staff numbers set to increase in line with ASL’s growth and fleet plans. Pionair owner and CEO Steve Ferris will support ASL Airlines Australia with a continued leadership role in the airline.

The Pionair fleet of 12 aircraft, including Embraer E190-E2’s and Bae 146/Avro regional jets will join the ASL Group’s current fleet of 140 aircraft. ASL’s aircraft range from the Boeing 747 to the turbo prop ATR72-600 freighter and includes the largest Boeing 737 freighter fleet in Europe.

“Expansion into the Australian and Oceania markets was a logical step for ASL as we develop our services globally to meet the needs of our customers,” said ASL Aviation Holdings Chief Executive, Dave Andrew. “Pionair was a natural fit for us, with the same field of operations and a foundation of safety, reliability and quality that matches our fundamental customer service values aimed at providing a service that is better than our customers could have expected.”

ASL Aviation Holdings is halfway through a five-year fleet renewal programme that includes an agreement with Boeing for 40 B737-800BCF (Boeing Converted Freighters) conversion slots. Converted aircraft are allocated to ASL airlines in Europe, Thailand and India and ASL expects to allocate a first B737-800BCF to ASL Airlines Australia as part of this programme.

The 737-800BCF meets ASL customer requirements for a next generation freighter that offers higher reliability and lower fuel consumption and operating costs per flight. The aircraft can carry up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 pounds) of freight with a range of up to 3,750 kilometres (2,025 nautical miles). ASL is the world’s largest operator of the B737-800BCF which supports ASL’s commitment to sustainability and net-zero emissions by 2050. The B737NG emits 15% fewer carbon emissions than earlier versions of the B737.

17 June, 2022

Four most memorable aircraft according to component experts

There have been countless lists comparing and contrasting the greatest aircraft of all time, but what about those that are often overlooked? We asked the experts at leading aircraft component supply and repair solutions company Artemis Aerospace to tell us which aircraft they are most fond of and why....

BAC 1-11

Jim Scott – Co-founder and owner


Photo Ken Fielding/
An early jet liner produced by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), the BAC 1-11 was originally conceived by Hunting Aircraft as a 30-seat jet, before its merger with BAC in 1960. Following a British United Airways order in 1961, it eventually became an 80-seater design to compete with the early Boeing 737 variants that would be used by multiple carriers worldwide. After its first commercial flight in 1965, the aircraft was redesigned in 1967 to introduce a stretched 500 series. Jim remembers them fondly:


“It was the first civil aircraft I remember flying back in the early 70s and a stalwart of British Caledonian’s fleet out of Gatwick that serviced European holiday destinations. In my case, it was the magic machine that took us to Spain!


“The BAC 1-11 was something of a pocket rocket, with its pair of aft-mounted Rolls-Royce Spey engines. This added to the magic for me as a passenger, as there was always an incredible roar during take-off. It was also rather special for its over-wing facing seats and the ability to deploy a set of airstairs from below its tail. Naturally, these features were long before anyone thought of maximising passenger numbers and minimising weight for the sake of economics!”


BAe 146 Whisperjet

Deborah Scott - Co-founder and owner


Manufactured in the UK by British Aerospace (later BAE Systems), the BAe 146 was in production from 1983 until 2001 and can still be seen in service today. Designed as a short-haul and regional airliner, improved versions of the aircraft were launched in 1992 (Avro RJ) and 1997 (Avro RJX). However, only two prototypes and one production aircraft of the Avro RJX were ever produced before production ceased in 2001. One of the most successful British civil jet airliners produced, the Avro RJ/BAe 146 is a small, beautifully proportioned jet that Deborah considers was ahead of its time. She says:


Photo RAF
“It was extremely quiet and agile, so it was ideal for built-up areas – it could come in at very steep angles and land effortlessly on short city-centre runways, such as London City Airport. For business travellers taking short journeys in the 1990s, the Whisperjet was luxurious compared to alternatives, such as the twin-engine turbo prop F27, which couldn’t fly above bad weather. Passengers on these aircraft would experience a lot of turbulence while flying over the Channel.


“The Whisperjet’s innovative design meant there were fewer components, thus keeping maintenance to a minimum. The QC (Quick Change) version had modular seats which can very easily be reconfigured for freight transportation. This meant it could fly passengers during the day and freight during the night – beauty and brains. What a fabulous aircraft!”


Airbus A380

Dan Frith – Flight Simulator Support Sales Director and Beth Wright – Sales Manager


One of the most recent additions to the skies, the magnificent A380 with its large wide-body, huge wingspan and four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 turbofans, is immediately identifiable when it flies overhead.


First delivered to Singapore Airlines in October 2007, it is the world’s largest passenger aircraft and can hold up to 853 passengers – hence its nickname, Superjumbo. At its peak, as many as 30 aircraft a year were being produced. In 2021, Airbus announced its production would end. However, this full-length double-decker aircraft has remained a firm favourite among aircraft enthusiasts.


With two votes from the team, the majesty of this aircraft certainly hasn’t been lost on the passengers of today.


Dan was at Farnborough Air Show in 2006 to see its public debut and has loved the experience of flying A380 ever since. He said:


“The first time I got to fly on the A380 was during a trip to Singapore. I was in the economy cabin, which is extremely spacious and comfortable. It’s also the quietest aircraft I have ever travelled on, which seems bizarre considering it’s also the biggest!”


Beth, who is former British Airways cabin crew, has travelled on them for work and leisure. She has fond memories of both:


“I have always loved flying on the A380. For such a large aircraft, it’s incredibly comfortable and absorbs a lot of turbulence – so much so that I could hardly feel the sudden incline of a go-around during an approach into LAX. Passengers were always thrilled to have a tour of it – they were particularly fascinated by the staircases at the forward and rear sections. Such is the size of the aircraft, that during take-off, I often remember feeling we would surely run out of runway by the time we took off!”

If you'd like your very own Airbus A380,  you might give the European manufacturer a call and ask them, or better yet just take a look at these super aircraft models.... 

Air Models have various airlines and sizes available,  that look so superb.

The one on the left is 1/160 scale with a wingspan of  50.5cm and a length of 45.5cm.

Includes a stand and detachable landing gear. 


Boeing 747SP

Andre Viljoen – Global Logistics Manager


A shortened version of the Boeing 747, the 747SP was designed to compete with McDonnell Douglas’s DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011 TriStar.


Part of Pan Am’s iconic fleet until the airline ceased operating in 1991, the 747SP was borne out of a request by the company to create a 747 variant that could carry a full payload, non-stop on its longest route at that time between New York and Tehran. The company took delivery of the first aircraft, Clipper Freedom, in 1976.


Originally, the aircraft was designated the name 747SB for ‘short body’, but later became SP for ‘special performance’ – a nod to the aircraft’s greater range and higher cruising speed.


Andre, a former South African Airways pilot, explains why it is his favourite civil aircraft of all time:


“I first flew on a 747SP in 1979 (JNB-LHR) when it was a relatively new addition to the SAA fleet. It was ideal for the requirements at that time, which demanded a high-performance, long-range aircraft. Cruising at Mach 0.86, it could get to its ceiling of 45,000 feet faster and stay there longer than any of its counterparts. This made it more fuel-efficient and helped increase its range by 1200NM.


“It was an absolute joy to fly and had the benefit of a flight engineer – something technology has now consigned to history.


“In the end, Boeing only ever produced 45 airframes, but its wing design and engineering heralded the production of later aircraft, such as the SUD 300 and 747-400.


“In 1996, my journey came full circle when I was part of a crew that flew an SAA SP from JNB to the old Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong. After a long dark night over the Indian Ocean, flying the checkerboard approach onto runway 13 really did help focus the mind and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!”

British Airways 747 Model. 

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20 April, 2022

Jota Aviation quietly ends operations…..

Jota Aviation quietly ends operations…..

There has been no big fanfare,  no great announcement,  no heartfelt apologies but it would see that the charter and cargo carrier Jota Aviation has just quietly gone out of business.

According to reports in Aviation News and Simply Flying the firm stopped trading over the Easter Weekend holiday which saw the firm delete its Twitter account.

Jota Aviation can trace its roots back to 2009 when owner Simon Dolan partnered with founding Chief Executive Officer, Andy Green to create an airline initially for the purpose of providing aviation services to its sister company Jota Sport and to the wider Motorsport industry.

The firm commenced operations with three Piper PA-31 Navajo planes which were later joined by two Beechcraft King Airs. The business mainly consisted of providing passenger and cargo charters and medical flights.

Jota’s next chapter saw the arrival of a BAe 146-200, registration G-SMLA which allowed the company to greatly enhance its capabilities. In 2016 an Avro RJ85 registration G-JOTR joined the fleet and this was followed by G-JOTS, an Avro RJ100 which meant Jota was able to become a trusted Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance operator and provide services to other airlines, such as BA CityFlyer, CityJet, BMI, Flybe and Eastern Airlines.

In 2018 Jota launched its cargo division and four BAe 146-300 QT Freighters quickly arrived and promised to help the carrier enter exciting new opportunities in the air cargo market.

According to, G-SMLA was retired in 2021, on 17th March the RJ85 G-JOTR was withdrawn from service and placed into storage at Cranfield Airport. G-JOTS was removed from service in April and has also been put into store at the same Bedfordshire airport.  Of the cargo planes, it seems that G-JOTD was put in storage last April, G-JOTF went into mothballing in February whilst G-JOTE is understood to have stopped flying in September last year and all are up at Cranfield.

Calls to Jota have gone unanswered and the Jota Motorsports website remains under maintenance.

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27 March, 2022

RAF say farewell to to BAe146 four-engined transport used by the Royal Family and top officials,,,,

A jet named after a Welsh winner of the Victoria Cross and used by the Royal Family was delivered to a South Wales aviation museum today after making its final flight for the RAF.

The BAe146 four-engined transport, previously operated by the Queen’s Flight, is being given by the RAF to the South Wales Aviation Museum (SWAM) at St Athan.

The aircraft was delivered by 32 Squadron, known as 'The Royal' Squadron - the unit has operated the aircraft for many years to transport members of the Royal family, senior government ministers and Ministry of Defence personnel. 

Aircrew stand by BAe146 aircraft.

Piloting the aircraft, number ZE700, on its final flight was Wing Commander Chadwick, the current Commanding Officer of 32 Squadron.

"Crews old and new are exceptionally fond of the 146’s characteristics and capabilities.  They’re proud of her proven reliability, her rich heritage and the significant role she’s delivered.  While it is a sad day to say goodbye to the aircraft we hold so dear after years of unrelenting service, she thoroughly deserves her retirement, and it’s time for 32 (The Royal) Squadron to enter a new chapter in its history."

Wing Commander Chadwick
Commanding Officer of 32 Squadron

Personnel talk outside BAe146 aircraft.
Pilot of the BAe146 aircraft, Wing Commander Chadwick, the current Commanding Officer of 32 Squadron.

Former RAF Chief Technician, Barry Kelly, was also on ZE700’s last flight.  He has worked on the aircraft both in the RAF and as a civilian contractor for over 30 years since it entered service in the mid-eighties and it was an emotional day for him.

18 June, 2020

A Royal Air Force transport aircraft has been adapted to carry medical patients in record time............ BAe 146 from the Royal Squadron gets a make over

A Royal Air Force transport aircraft has been adapted to carry medical patients in record time and at no cost.

In just two months two BAe146 Mk.3 aircraft operated by 32 (The Royal) Squadron at RAF Northolt have been adapted to transport critically ill patients and RAF medical staff for the first time.

Wing Commander Jo Bland is Officer Commanding Tactical Medical Wing (TMW), said: "This has been an amazing achievement in all areas bringing together 32 (TR) Sqn residual capacity, Tactical Medical Wing’s aeromedical evacuation (aeromed) capability and the design, production and engineering skills of Joint Air Delivery Test & Evaluation Unit. This project embodies the very spirit of Astra; using existing military aircraft in a dual-hatted role and optimizing use of key Defence assets. TMW have never delivered aeromed on the BAe146 in this manner before and it has been achieved at zero cost and in record time by smart use of pre-existing, available assets."

The Astra Programme aims to encourage innovation across the RAF. Personnel from TMW and 32 (TR) Sqn looked at the options for using the BAe146 on 1 April and concluded that stretcher stanchions already in use on Voyager could potentially be affixed to pallet flooring inside the aircraft.

25 March, 2019

British Airways flight to Dusseldorf lands in Edinburgh by mistake.....

D-AMGL on earlier flight     Photo WDL
There are some red faces at British Airways and WDL Aviation today after it has emerged that a flight from London City Airport destined to go to Dusseldorf in Germany, went on a detour - ending up in Edinburgh.

According to reports, the passengers only realised they were in the wrong place when a 'Welcome to Edinburgh' message was played to them upon landing.  The passengers were asked if they still wanted to go to Germany following their Scottish excursion, which they all did. 

The huge mistake has so far been blamed on the flight paperwork being submitted incorrectly, although a full investigation is already underway. The flight was operated by German firm WDL Aviation on a BAe 146-200 aircraft with the registration D-AMGL, on behalf of British Airways as part of leasing deal. 
Replay the flight with flightradar24

WDL assured that it would be "working closely with the authorities to investigate how the obviously unfortunate mix-up of flight schedules could occur.  At no time has the safety of passengers been compromised. We flew the passengers on the flight with number BA3271 to Düsseldorf after the involuntary stopover in Edinburgh," 

British Airways claimed to have "apologised to customers for this interruption to their journey and will be contacting them all individually," and assert that as the flight plan was submitted for Edinburgh by mistake, air traffic control allowed the flight to take that route and at no point was the pilot lost at any time. 

31 October, 2017

Arrivederci Avro

There was another sad farewell this last weekend as Brussels Airlines said arrivederci Avro, or perhaps more accurately adieu or vaarwel Avro as they retired the last of their Avro RJ aircraft.

On Saturday 28th October Brussels Airlines ended revenue services with the aircraft type it started with, the Bae 146/AVRO RJ. Over the years the airline has operated more than 30 of that family of the four-engined jets and on Saturday scores of aviation enthusiasts flew to Geneva for the Avro’s last commercial service.

The touchdown of RJ100, OO-DWD, on flight SN2720 Geneva-Brussels at 19:40 on Saturday evening, marking the end of the carrier’s AVRO era. Leaving sadness and more than a few moist eyes in their wake. 

15 August, 2017

A fond farewell - Bye Bye Avro RJ's

Swiss said a fond farewell on Tuesday to a stalwart of their fleet that had served them well for many years - the Avro RJ

Yes, for the last time a Swiss International Air Lines Avro RJ100 flew a commercial flight, departing from Geneva and heading the relatively short distance to Zurich.  

Immediately after landing in Zurich, the aircraft HB-IYZ received the traditional water fountain farewell salute by the airport fire brigade before being officially taken out of service to loud applause from a crowd of employees and aviation fans.