14 FEBRUARY 2022


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Article from BTNews 14 FEBRUARY 2022

Goodbye 146

The Royal Air Force Brize Norton says it has completed the retirement of four BAe 146s, once called ‘The Queen’s Flight’ with two VIP-configured BAe 146-100s set to become museum exhibits while two BAe 146-200(QC)s have been sold to Pionair Australia, Bankstown, near Sydney.

"The BAe146 aircraft have served the UK proudly over many decades, including during numerous operations including Iraq and Afghanistan. After four decades of service, the aircraft have now reached the end of their service lives, and I am delighted that the 146s are going to good homes and joining the collections of two fantastic aviation museums", Air Vice-Marshal Suraya Marshall said of the VIP-configured aircraft.

ZE701 was ferried to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford on 25 January. Sister ship ZE700 will transfer to the South Wales Aviation Museum at St Athan Airport in the coming weeks for display. The two aircraft have been operated out of Northolt airport as government transports since 1986 by 32 (The Royal) Squadron.

Starting life as the de Havilland 146, the four engine “whisperjet” it quicky became the HS 146, then the BAe 146, developed as the Avro RJ, and finally the Avro RJX which successfully performed its maiden flight in April 2001, any further development cancelled at the end of the year, a victim of the 9/11 financial crisis.

With 387 aircraft produced, the Avro RJ/BAe 146 is the most successful British civil jet airliner programme.  As of July 2019, there were still 94 aircraft in active service around the world, 30 BAe 146s and 64 Avro RJs. A number of these are fulfilling roles as private jets as well as firefighting roles as water and fire-retardant bombers. 


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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

William Tahil, France

It really is an incredibly quiet aircraft - nothing else matches it, certianly not more modern twins. Designed for the European city centre airports that were supposed to come and make intra-European business travel a dream - never happened and instead it's a nightmare. Four engines for STOL, short BFL and EFATO requirements, high propulsive efficiency, low enhaust velocity and hence low noise. With geared fan as well. A very intelligent design, ruined by the engine problems. Money sent to Phoenix.

Philip Birtles, United Kingdom

You may be interested to know ZE701 has been bought by Pioneer for the engines which will be exchanged for life expired units before passing to Duxford Aviation Society