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Why 4 Engines On A Regional Jet?  
User currently offlineReuschAir From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 36 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 20189 times:

I remember the AVRO Regional Jet with 4 engines. Gives a visually impressive yet misleading notion of power in today's two-engine aircraft majority. Why was that configuration used? Why has it been phased out and isn't there a circumstance where a similar 4-engine configuration on a smaller aircraft could be used? Wouldn't there be some sort of fuel advantage to selectively use 2 vs 4 engines or all engines with different levels of power in each according to circumstance? What about simple aesthetics? Four-engine aircraft can simply look nicer than two.

Thanks,
Reusch

51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAquariusHKG From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2010, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 20190 times:

From what I know, the 4 engine design is because when the Avro predecessor, the BAe146, is designed, there isn't a suitable engine that can power the plane as a twin, thus the plane ended up with 4 engines

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15744 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 20182 times:



Quoting AquariusHKG (Reply 1):
From what I know, the 4 engine design is because when the Avro predecessor, the BAe146, is designed, there isn't a suitable engine that can power the plane as a twin, thus the plane ended up with 4 engines

The primary reason I believe was to make the BAe 146 quiet. The engines on the BAe 146 are actually derived from the engines that power the Chinook helicopter.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineSlz396 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 20126 times:



Quoting ReuschAir (Thread starter):
I remember the AVRO Regional Jet with 4 engines

There have been almost as much AVRO RJs built as there have been MD-11s built, so it's not such an odd bird really, especially not if you also add the 200+ copies of the visually identical BAe146....

Quoting ReuschAir (Thread starter):
Why has it been phased out?

What are you talking about?

Notably at STAR alliance's European airlines, the AVRO is still in full operational use, with
SN, LX, LH all operating fairly large fleets of them.

Quoting ReuschAir (Thread starter):
Why was that configuration used?

Because the AVRO RJ is based on the BAe146, which needed to be capable of operating at LCY and had thus to comply with very strict noise restrictions; back then when the BAe146 was built, it was not possible to comply with those with a twin-engined design. Even today, you can produce a same amount of thrust quieter with 4 iso 2 engines, it's just that twins have become sufficiently quiet not to bother about it any longer....


User currently offlineRikkus67 From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 1646 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 20010 times:


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Photo © Max Bryansky - Russian AviaPhoto Team



ANTONOV AN-148


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Photo © Urs Zimmermann



BAe AVRO RJ

Copying being the best form of flattery in this case. Makes you wonder if there could be a successful re-engining program, eh?

But, BAe wasn't the only recent 4 engined regional... here's a couple aircraft from the same manufacturer


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Photo © Gary Vincent



DeHavilland Canada DHC-7 (Dash 7)



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Photo © Matthew Lee - Contrails Aviation Photography



...and a more modern two engined version, a bit more common:
DeHavilland Canada DHC-8 (Dash 8)



AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
User currently offlineAstockla From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 19992 times:



Quoting Slz396 (Reply 3):
What are you talking about?

I think what the Original poster meant was that why don't they make them anymore (although I could well be wrong) and you yourself gave the answer.

Shame though, I loved the BAe 146 and all of the variations of the 'avroliner'. Seeing one land at LCY is quite a sight, flying of Canary wharf at what appears to be a stupidly steep angle only to kiss the tarmac.

One thing I find interesting is the lack of reverse thrust. Was this done for the same reason (i.e. noise reduction)?

Alex



above us is only sky
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15744 posts, RR: 27
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 19938 times:



Quoting Rikkus67 (Reply 4):
DeHavilland Canada DHC-7 (Dash 7)

I think that noise had less to do with the DHC-7's configuration than field performance. I think that the Dash 7 was a little on the expensive side to operate unless you really needed the short field performance, which was part of why it was superseded by the Dash 8.

Quoting Astockla (Reply 5):
One thing I find interesting is the lack of reverse thrust. Was this done for the same reason (i.e. noise reduction)?

That is probably part of it, but judging by the field performance (which does not account for reverse thrust in certification by the way) the BAe 146 didn't need them anyway. They do add weight that needs to be hauled around.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineOV735 From Estonia, joined Jan 2004, 913 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 19794 times:



Quoting Astockla (Reply 5):
One thing I find interesting is the lack of reverse thrust. Was this done for the same reason (i.e. noise reduction)?

The BAe 146/Avro RJ had very efficient aerodynamic brakes, both in the form of flaps/slats, as well as the airbrake built in the tailcone. These, and wheelbrakes, were probably enough to give a good deceleration. As BMI727 said, there's no point in carrying around the extra weight of the reversers, if there is no use for them.

The Yak-42 is another example of a 100-seat regional jet without reversers.

Quoting Rikkus67 (Reply 4):
ANTONOV AN-148

BAe AVRO RJ

Copying being the best form of flattery in this case.

I wouldn't call it copying, really. The An-148 evolved from a completely different kind of aircraft:


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Photo © AirNikon Collection-Pima Air and Space Museum



User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4397 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 19720 times:

The AN148 indeed looks more like a Do 328-300 to me.

Yes, when the BAe146 came out there was no twin engine available, and the low noise and excellent short field performance still make it a valid aircraft, especially for countries that have dense

British Aerospace gave up the business in the time when all the others left too,Fokker, Saab, Dornier, I assume to avoid the faith of those in time.

By the way, does anybody know if Saab has anything to do still with the car maker Saab that is starved now after GM has suck all money out of them?


User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1359 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 19640 times:

The engines originally intended for the BAe-146 failed to materialise, and so BAe had to make do with what was available, which turned out to tbe the ALF-500s (a derivative from a prop-shaft engine). It was far from the ideal solution, mainteneance and fuel-burn wise, but it did provide the aircraft with sufficient umph to perform short-field missions (Lugano and London City springs to mind).

The main reason for choosing not to fit reversers was actually not weight, but the associated development and maintenance costs. And as flight tests later showed, they weren't necessary.

I read somewhere, belive it was in the LX inflight magazine, that the Quadra-Puff burns around 7.5 liters of Jet-A1 per passenger kilometer vs. something like 3l/pkm for the A320 series.

The Q-Puff is on its last leg as far as passenger service is concerned; the last two big operators in Europe (LX and LH) will replace them with E-jets and C-Series.

There might, however, be a future for them as box haulers, but as a box hauler it's also very far from being an ideal solution. Unless you can get them very, very cheap it doesn't make much sense buying a Q-Puff over a Classic Guppy (B737-300/400) that's been P2F'd.

The Q-Puff is being marketed towards armed forces various, promising to deliver a short-field capable tactical transport. Whether or not they can pull it off remains to be seen, but on paper it does tick a couple of neat boxes, and if it does work as per spec this might very well be where the future lies for what Crossair called the Jumbolino.



From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2407 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 19616 times:



Quoting OV735 (Reply 7):
These, and wheelbrakes, were probably enough to give a good deceleration.

But don't the wheelbrakes get worn pretty fast then?


User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6858 posts, RR: 75
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 19554 times:

Quadrapuffs... love it hate it... it did serve it's purpose and did so well!

The QPuffs (also known as the PentAPUs) will end up in niche operators operating in remote regions and/or where terrain issues render a twin useless/unviable.

Someone was daring/crazy enough to send the 146s down to Wamena/WAJW... and someone else wanted to send it to a place called Oksibil... no place for a jet twin, but the props just can't carry enough... send the 146s rightly or wrongly...

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2013 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 19400 times:



Quoting Burkhard (Reply 8):
By the way, does anybody know if Saab has anything to do still with the car maker Saab that is starved now after GM has suck all money out of them?

No, they sold off their car division to GM. Scania the truck maker is controlled by VW now.

Quoting Mandala499 (Reply 11):
The QPuffs (also known as the PentAPUs) will end up in niche operators operating in remote regions and/or where terrain issues render a twin useless/unviable.

I'm sure the BAe 146 was originally designed for 3rd world operators anyway, it's relative simplicity and decent short field performance being benefits for this market. That it got decent sales (for a while) in the US due to it's quietness was a bonus! As to why a twin version was never introduced (once the Fokker 100 with it's Tays was launched) only BAe can answer that, i think they were too busy buying car makers and property companies...

Quoting Rikkus67 (Reply 4):

Photo © Gary Vincent



DeHavilland Canada DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Is the Dash7 one of those planes that will patched up and kept in service forever by the operators that rely on them, as there are no obvious replacements for it?



it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7703 posts, RR: 21
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 19319 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Rikkus67 (Reply 4):
Copying being the best form of flattery in this case. Makes you wonder if there could be a successful re-engining program, eh?

Er, assuming you have eyes, then surely you can see that aside from having a similar size of wing and fuselage, there is no way in hell that is a copy. In any case....

Quoting OV735 (Reply 7):
I wouldn't call it copying, really. The An-148 evolved from a completely different kind of aircraft:


 checkmark  Nothing to do with the BAe146 at all.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineLamedianaranja From Venezuela, joined Nov 2004, 1246 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 19163 times:



Quoting Slz396 (Reply 3):
What are you talking about?

Notably at STAR alliance's European airlines, the AVRO is still in full operational use, with
SN, LX, LH all operating fairly large fleets of them.

Here in AMS we get a lot of the CityJet ones seeing they're operating some VG and AF regional routes.


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Photo © Joachim Eichner




I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
User currently offlineRampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3138 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 18404 times:



Quoting Rikkus67 (Reply 4):
But, BAe wasn't the only recent 4 engined regional... here's a couple aircraft from the same manufacturer

DeHavialland Canada is/was not part of BAe! They were once owned by Boeing for a short time, IIRC, and now part of Bombardier. Other than that, they were independent, until you go way back in history.

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 12):
As to why a twin version was never introduced (once the Fokker 100 with it's Tays was launched) only BAe can answer that, i think they were too busy buying car makers and property companies...

I'm pretty sure a re-engined derivative was actually considered by BAe, and recently. Others more in the know can fill in.

-Rampart


User currently offlineOldAeroGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3523 posts, RR: 66
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 18237 times:



Quoting OV735 (Reply 7):
The BAe 146/Avro RJ had very efficient aerodynamic brakes, both in the form of flaps/slats,

There are no slats or any type of leading edge high device on these aircraft.



Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
User currently offlineBohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2700 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 17525 times:



Quoting OV735 (Reply 7):
The BAe 146/Avro RJ had very efficient aerodynamic brakes, both in the form of flaps/slats, as well as the airbrake built in the tailcone. These, and wheelbrakes, were probably enough to give a good deceleration.

 checkmark 

Quoting OV735 (Reply 7):
there's no point in carrying around the extra weight of the reversers, if there is no use for them.

A 146 mechanic told me that having reversers would have required another hydraulic system which would have added even more weight.


User currently offlineYellowtail From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 6171 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 17368 times:

I once flew an Ansett Australia one CNS- Alice Springs.....was a really nice flight..


When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
User currently offlineFlyboyseven From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 17326 times:



Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 12):
Is the Dash7 one of those planes that will patched up and kept in service forever by the operators that rely on them, as there are no obvious replacements for it?

I sure hope so. Nowadays, they are a niche airplane, but there are still a lot of niches in this world. If nothing comes along, and they start gettting to old to maintain, I can see Viking Air, the owner of the type certificates for all the old DHC planes from the beaver to the Dash7 making a new run of them. They have already started makeing brand new Twin otters, and there is the possibility that they could start making DHC-5 Buffalos to replace the very aged models still in use by the canadian coast gaurd. I think that they are also trying to get the Australians on board to reaplace their Cariboos. That would make my day. I love the sound of the buffalo and it has such amazing STOL preformance.....But, I digress....



As long as the number of take-offs equals the number of landings...you're doing fine.
User currently offline413X3 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1983 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 16721 times:



Quoting Slz396 (Reply 3):
What are you talking about?

Notably at STAR alliance's European airlines, the AVRO is still in full operational use, with
SN, LX, LH all operating fairly large fleets of them.

Considering the poster is American, I would imagine he/she means phased out in America


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11655 posts, RR: 60
Reply 21, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 15883 times:



Quoting Rampart (Reply 15):

DeHavialland Canada is/was not part of BAe! They were once owned by Boeing for a short time, IIRC, and now part of Bombardier. Other than that, they were independent, until you go way back in history.

Perhaps getting confused between DeHavilland who originally had a hand in developing the prototype BAe-146 and DeHavilland Canada who designed the Dash 7 and 8.

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 12):

I'm sure the BAe 146 was originally designed for 3rd world operators anyway, it's relative simplicity and decent short field performance being benefits for this market

Although it has good rough field performance, it was primarily designed for quiet operation at airports close to city centers.


Dan  Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25332 posts, RR: 22
Reply 22, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 15841 times:

Quoting Astockla (Reply 5):
Shame though, I loved the BAe 146 and all of the variations of the 'avroliner'.



Quoting B777LRF (Reply 9):
the last two big operators in Europe (LX and LH)

If not mistaken, Brussels Airlines and AF CityJet are the largest operators with 26 and 23 respectively, more than LX (20) and LH (18). Fleet totals from Airfleets.net.

I frequently fly on LX Avro RJ100s and they're one of my preferred types, especially with LX's spacious 5-abreast seating. SN's are also 5-abreast. However I go out of my way to avoid 6-abreast 146s/RJs like those operated by LH and CityJet which are very cramped.

[Edited 2010-01-08 11:37:20]

[Edited 2010-01-08 12:18:50]

User currently offlineRampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3138 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 15694 times:



Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 21):
Although it has good rough field performance, it was primarily designed for quiet operation at airports close to city centers.

It hasn't been anwered yet, or least sufficiently, that while quiet operations and short field performance, plus lack of other powerplant, are the reasons for 4 engines, the most correct answer, I believe, had to do with the contingency for loss of an engine on takeoff. Back then, losing an engine (1 of 2) might allow for takeoff, but not on a short field, nor (less importantly) quietly. Losing 1 of 4 engines still allowed for a safe takeoff on short field. Not that important at mose places, but would be important at LCY, ASE, and LUG. "4 engines 4 short takeoff". That's what I've read, at any rate.

-Rampart


User currently offlineRB211LTN From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 15156 times:

I used to work for Dan-Air and we had quite a decent fleet of the BAe146, which led to the Avro RJ. I never worked on the 146 but we often positioned on it and it was a dreadful, noisy cramped machine. We used to fly LGW-RMI on the 727 and there was a parallel service on the 146. Flying time on the 727 was 1hr 50, the 146 was 2hrs 20. It was known as the cockroach. and because it never flew at night it was crewed by the housewives and became known as the Knitting Fleet. It may have been quiet outside but it was certainly not quiet inside. BTW it didn't have thrust reversers because the engines were never engineered for them and the development costs would have been prohibitive, plus the carbon wheel brakes and tail-mounted air brakes made them unnecessary. Was it the first aircraft with carbon brakes?


The customer is always right.....unless he is a passenger!
25 Dan-air : I worked for Dan also, although I left right before the 146 arrived. Dan were the first airline customer for the 146, and remembering management's mi
26 PlymSpotter : The answer is essentially a combination of everything. Engine choices were limited for an airliner which needed to be quiet, but needing four of them
27 Rwessel : Even for aircraft with reversers, the wheels provide the vast majority of the stopping force. While using the reversers (if you have them) will reduc
28 Rikkus67 : I wasn't really focusing on anything more than four engines on a smaller regional airplane. The airline I pictured (now part of AC Jazz), successfull
29 Prebennorholm : I read almost the same. But instead of "per pax/km" I read "per 100 pax/km". But these figures are LX figures in LX everyday use. Since the A320 aver
30 ACW367 : Online production lists give that 394 BAe146/Avro RJ were built of which 265 remain in airline service. The top users are: Brussels Airlines - 26 City
31 Mayor : The way I heard it, BAE stood for "bring another engine". Perhaps those extra engines are spares???
32 ReuschAir : Thanks for the interesting replies to my original question! Does anyone recall the history of the BAe146/AvroRJ in the US? United used them a great d
33 Rampkontroler : Mesaba operated them for quite a while, and I believe that is where most of CityJet's RJ-85's came from.
34 Viscount724 : Those operated in the U.S. were mainly flown by UA and NW regional partners, not by mainline carriers. They were inefficient due to the pilot scope c
35 Railker : Rights to the DHC-1 Chipmunk through to the Dash 7 are currently held by Viking Air Ltd. in Victoria, BC, Canada. (And they're starting prodution of
36 Archer : We flew in Blue 1 or something (connecting to SAS) from Helsinki to Copenhagen in September 2008. Cramped. High wing (+ engines) messes up the view.
37 Dashman : The Avro(BAE 146 series) and Dash 7 are old technology aircraft. The number of engines is more a function of availability of larger horespower (thrust
38 Jlbmedia : I flew on the BAE-146 several times with US Air on the west coast, I believe US Air acquired them in the PSA merger. A little off topic, but was the
39 Dashman : The Fokker F28-1000 thru 4000 series had a speed brake like the Avro and very excellent wheel brakes. I agree why carry around the weight of the thrus
40 Mayor : DL connection carrier Business Express used BAE146-200s and Avro RJ-70s in the mid 90s
41 Post contains links and images PM : No. The 146 (as the HS146) was conceived long before LCY was thought of. The design and engine choice were settled as long ago as 1971. See this link
42 Post contains links and images PM : Ah, yes. I knew there were others! Thanks! View Large View MediumPhoto © Bill Hough
43 Post contains links and images ERJ : Well, US inherited them from PSA... so if it counts: View Large View MediumPhoto © Frank C. Duarte Jr.
44 PM : Certainly does. Looks good, too!
45 GDB : As stated, the Avro came from the BAe-146, but the BAe-146 was originally the HS-146, from the early 70's. Back then, it was felt that there would be
46 SpeedyGonzales : I've only flown it once, AMS-LCY, and from my seat just behind the wing, it was very loud, especially with extended flaps.
47 AirPacific747 : Plus, landing distances must never be calculated with the use of reverse thrust, to put in an extra safety margin.
48 SandroZRH : That's only true for dry runways, for wet or contaminated runways, reversers are included in the landing distance calculations.
49 Aesma : Another European airport where the plane is needed is Florence, Italy. I have family near there so I hope to take one someday.
50 Post contains images Rampart : " target=_blank>http://www.mikefoxtrot.org.uk/ Cool website, thanks. I disagree about the LCY timing, however. True, the 146 was not built for LCY sp
51 FutureFO : The Bae146 was designed with 4 engines as the queen mum would not go on anything with less than that even across the channel.
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