History of the 146
Early design studies | The HS 146 | The BAe 146 | 146 Developments | The Avro RJ | The Avro RJX
Although earlier predictions were that airlines would order predominantly the smaller 100 series variant, in fact what they wanted was more seats. After its final flight as a 100 series in 1986, the prototype G-SSSH was brought back for conversion to the further stretched 300 series. This was achieved (structurally) by the addition of two fuselage extensions, one fore and one aft of the wing and some strengthening around the centre section which was subsequently incorporated into the 100. An optional EFIS flightdeck became available and newer versions of the ALF 502 powerplant.
|G-SSSH undergoing conversion - British Aerospace|
The original 300 series concept had incorporated a more modest fuselage stretch, together with the EFIS cockpit, uprated engines and winglets, but it was decided to provide more room (important for the American market), delete the winglets and keep the engines and cockpit common with the other variants. The completed 300 prototype, re-registered G-LUXE was unveiled in the new 146 Assembly Hall at Hatfield on May 1st, 1987. Ton increase production capacity, a second production line was established at Woodford, Manchester, the former Avro site.
|G-LUXE - British Aerospace|
Additional variants offered around this time were the QT (Quiet Trader) and QC (Quick Change) variants, a side loading freighter and a dual role passenger transport / freighter respectively. The QT formed the basis for the military STA (Small Tactical Airlifter), which although took a variety of forms on paper, was demonstrated using a converted series 100 airframe. The STA featured a refuelling probe mounted above the cockpit. The demonstrator, G-BSTA was painted in a generic camouflage but the STA did not receive any orders (there was for example no requirement in the RAF and other aircraft such as the Hercules were probably more suitable for this role).
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