IslandHopper
Topic Author
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BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 4:57 am

From 1982 to 2002, 394 BAe-146s and Avro RJs were built. Not disastrous numbers, but consider that Canadair made almost three times as many RJs since only 1992!

After some teething problems, the jet seems to be technically successful, and most remain in service (unlike BAe's ATP, which was a dismal failure at 65 frames and almost half are already WFU!). Also, it was the only wide RJ made, which I thought was genius because one could include a first class section unlike other RJs.

Do you consider the BAe-146/Avro RJ to be a success or failure? Did BAe make any money from the project? Will there ever be any wide RJs produced that will allow 2-2 first class seating? With RJs taking over more and more routes, I would think this would be welcome by the airlines.
 
Greek_fspilot
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2000 11:56 pm

RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 5:03 am

In my opinion, It's difficult to win with the BAe 146/Avro RJ the concurrence of Airbus and Boeing with such a small aircraft equipted with 4 engines and no power in them....
 
MEA-707
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 5:07 am

394 airframes is a fairly OK production run, although the early and the final years were a bit too slowish (about one a month). Only a few major designs passed the 500 mark... Remember the BAC 1-11 (237 built) and Fokker F-28 (241), Fokker 100/70 (327) and Caravelle (282) are also seen as fairly succesfull European jets, and the ARJ outscored them all.
The new Embraer 170/190 and Dornier 728/928 (and to a certain extent the Boeing 717) can be seen as in the same class as the ARJ, with their 5 abreast coach seating I'm sure they can have a nice 2-2 first class compartiment.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
bobrayner
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 5:13 am

It's an interesting niche.

Reliable, STOL, quiet. Very useful for some awkward destinations like LCY.

with 4 engines and no power in them

It's hardly underpowered!
Cunning linguist
 
IslandHopper
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 7:21 am

>Reliable, STOL, quiet. Very useful for some awkward destinations like LCY.

Yeah, but why did some of their jets sit for six years in Mojave without buyers? Never seen any other RJs have that problem. What was USAir's issue with the jet?
 
GDB
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 7:29 am

Considering that it was designed for a market that never really emerged (STOL ops from city centre airports), the aircraft did well.
LCY was one of the few airports that actually used the aircraft in the role it was designed for.
 
levg79
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 7:40 am

I flew on two of these jets. Those 4 engines seem to give enough power to power a heavy aircraft and not such a small RJ. You can very well feel the thrust at take off. However, I would much rather fly in a bigger plane. I just feel more confidence in bigger jets. Or maybe it was because of the trasition, my connecting flight was in an A333. Overall, from a passenger point of view, I would rate the Avroliner below average.
A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
 
bobrayner
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 8:30 am

As well as the city centre airports... think of users like Druk  Wink/being sarcastic
Admittedly a small minority.

I've often been on them on routes like BRU-MAN - perhaps not the best use; a regular RJ might be more appropriate there.
Cunning linguist
 
sllevin
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 8:49 am

I remember when the 146 was brought out. It, like the Dash 7, were really based around the concept that quiet ops, and steep/STOLport ops would become a reality. Everyone talked about noise, and how it was so unbearable, and how you'd see airports built out in the middle of nowhere for the big jets, with the Dash 7's and 146's pulling in passengers from small metro area airports.

But it turned out people preferred the noise over the higher fares and taxes those plans would have brought, so we still have jumbos operating from LAX, JFK, SFO, etc.

Steve
 
POSITIVE RATE
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 8:51 am

The BAE-146 is underpowered, i think the RJ has uprated engine has it not? The BAE-146 is a dog in terms of climb performance, and it's altitude limited to FL250 due engine icing, plus it's slow too. The newer Avro RJ's have better performance i've heard.
 
Ant72LBA
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 8:59 am

"Never quite fufilled its potential" would sum up the plane in my view. As stated above its true market never materialised but having flown ER145s, F100s and CRJ70s (as well as Avroliners) from Northern English airports to the continent, I must admit to enjoying the extra width in the Avro. There is also something comforting about watching the engines as they hang from the wings above.
(Possibly think the presence of a large party of females on the only Avro flight I took may have contributed to the rose-tintedness of my spectacles!)
 
levg79
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 9:05 am

How can BAe-146/Avro RJ be compared to a Dash 8? One is a turboprop, while the other one is a four-engine jet. And it's definitely cruises higher than FL250. When I was on one, the pilot said that we're cruising at an altitude of 9km (that was in Europe), which makes it roughly FL 310....I might be off by a couple of feet though.
A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
 
srbmod
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 9:36 am

It's in a way ironic that many BAe-146/Avro RJ customers switched to CRJs.
 
POSITIVE RATE
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 11:09 am

And it's definitely cruises higher than FL250

Here in Australia all BA 146 a/c are altitude limited to FL250, i thought the rest of the world was the same sorry my bad. The reason being the engine intakes can get iced up causing engine failure. This happened to an Ansett BA 146 in 1992- all 4 engines failed in flight due to icing.
 
sllevin
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:46 pm

How can BAe-146/Avro RJ be compared to a Dash 8?

Not to the Dash 8, but to the 7 -- DeHavilland's 4 engine STOL turboprops.

Steve
 
BA
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:49 pm

The BAe 146 and Avro RJ both have a cruising altitude of FL350. They certainly are not underpowered.

One would assume that the BAe 146/Avro RJ were failures, but you have to remember that it was a niche aircraft and was never designed or expected to sell as well as RJs such as the CRJ or ERJ.

I think the Avro RJX had potential. What a shame that it was canceled...........
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
PSA53
Posts: 2928
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 1:54 pm

RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 4:17 pm

When U.S. Air(ways) got the BAe-146 fleet
from PSA, they weren't smiling. In a polite way,
"The plane was uneconomical to run," and parked
them. Although I never rode them, I heard also
they were underpower and the bathrooms were
too small.



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Lufthansa
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 4:33 pm

The bathrooms are VERY small!

One of the main draw backs and its a pitty cause the little jet certainly is a nice one.

I think on of the biggest problems with the 146/ARJ is that it doesn't cost very much more to run a 737, with a hell of a lot more seats and better performance. This is particularly so in the USA, with cheaper fuel and nav charges on weight not being as high. Think about it. For a similar price on can lease a 737-300, with at least 45 extra seats..... a lot more profit potential in the good times.(hell even the 732 could squeeze a significant extra amount of seats in!), and in the bad times, may mean the difference between loss and profit. Of course these is a hypothetical figure, but think about it, if you spend 10% more but u increase your capacity by 40%? two or 3 extra seats sold on a lot of flights will pay for that difference in operating costs.
 
jetblast737
Posts: 58
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Wed Oct 29, 2003 4:47 pm

There's a quite a few 146s and 2 freighters for sale in Australia.The Ansett administrators are having trouble selling them.They have already scraped two of them.I wonder why they are so hard to sell?

jetblast737  Smile


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tokolosh
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:31 am

From a passenger's point of view the 146 was also a bit flawed. Do not choose an underwing seat because there is virtually no overhead stowage space; the toilets are cramped; and there is a row where a "window seat" is simply blank wall and you can't even see the window of the person in front of you -- ideal for clausterphobics!; and quite frankly I found the 3-3 configuration quite cramped.
Did the chicken or the egg get laid first?
 
DIJKKIJK
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:39 am

In my opinion, a four engined short/medium range airliner is a very bad idea.
The costs of the engine inventory would eliminate any profit you can make. I doubt if this aircraft was profitable at all.
Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience.
 
ufsatp852
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:46 am

In my opinion the 146 is one of the best aircraft ever built. The 17 that we are still flying are over twenty years old, have who knows how many cycles on them, and still break less than brand new CRJs. The aircraft is rarely weight restricted ( at least in ORD, I have heard horror stories about mountain cities) and allows us to fly to very profitable cities like ASE that no other commercial jets can get into.
 
GDB
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:11 am

For a design made for a market that did not emerge, it did OK.
You really have to compare it to the aircraft it replaced, like HS-748s, F-27s and other older commuter aircraft.
PSA brought them as they were the only jets that could operate out of very noise restricted local airports in CA.
Some operators used them on routes they were not designed for, others found them useful and workmanlike aircraft.
Has that not happened with most airliners over the years?
 
BeltwayBandit
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:25 am

It all comes down to CASM (cost per available seat mile). Between fuel burn and maintenance cost, it never had a chance. Airlines will not - never - buy an aircraft based on anything other than operating cost.
 
PSA53
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Thu Oct 30, 2003 5:30 am

To GDB:
Great point! In the PSA/AirCal systems, it made more sense
in California/West remote areas.And that is what the BAe-146
was used for.

Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
 
IslandHopper
Topic Author
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2003 8:28 am

RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Thu Oct 30, 2003 7:21 am

Yeah...USAir stopped serving most of PSAs routes once they parked the 146s. I think that was the real reason, rather than economics.

They actually had 3-3 seating?!?!? I thought coach was 3-2.
 
RickB
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Thu Oct 30, 2003 7:26 am

IslandHopper - they definately had 3-3 seating !! Flew on a 146 4 times in the last week alone - 3-3 is the norm.

RickB
 
PSA53
Posts: 2928
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 1:54 pm

RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Thu Oct 30, 2003 8:21 am

PSA went to a 3-2 seating on the BAe-146
together with the MD-80(DC-9-80).They went and
advertised that fact."All planes, 5 across seating".


Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
 
POSITIVE RATE
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Thu Oct 30, 2003 10:46 am

It makes a good little freighter though. Australian Air Express operates a small fleet of dedicated BA-146-300 freighters and the advantage is they are not noise restricted and can takeoff and land even when curfews are in place.
 
tito
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:15 pm

Do you know why the BAe-146 was designed with FOUR engines? Because they couldn't fit six.

I think it would have been more of a success if the proper engines had been available to make it more reliable or even design it as a twin... Or if the RJX would have been developed as a twin. I assume its more expensive to maintain four engines, and that may have been a deterent to sales. The engines are still a bit too small for the aircraft and run HOT relative to other types, thus they were very unreliable until operators learned to baby the engines (they are much more reliable nowadays). So early on the 146 had a well deserved reputation for poor reliability.

The engines are still the weak point of the 146, as was mentioned earlier some operators are still limited to FL260 because of several "roll-back" incidents where all 4 engines went to sub-idle in icing conditions. (Air BC was the latest just a couple of years ago out of DEN). One of the captains I fly with was the first to experience "roll-back" of all four engines, sounds like a scary experience... they got 3 engines started again, but all four were toast. (the "roll-back" isn't a flame-out as there is still fuel burning, but not enough to keep N2 above idle and the engine overtemps). The LF-507 fixed the problems with 502 but I think the marketing damage had been done, changing the name to Avro RJ wasn't enough to distance it from the 146's nightmarish maintenance reputation.

BTW, ZW's entire fleet now has it's 502's modded with "anti-rollback" kits which delete one set of stators aft of the "supercharger" and bleed hotter air for anti-ice, and now can operate above FL260.

It is underpowered but the thick wing and plentiful drag make it a great STOL airplane, and its fun to fly.

-Tito
 
GDB
Posts: 12653
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RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Thu Oct 30, 2003 5:38 pm

While I agree that a twin RJX should have been a twin developed several years sooner, the original 146 was a STOL aircraft designed in the early 70's as the HS-146, for the exacting requirements with STOL and noise, the engines fitted were the only ones available then.
The HS-146 was cancelled in 1973, but restarted as the BAe-146 in 1978.
 
IslandHopper
Topic Author
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2003 8:28 am

RE: BAe-146/Avro RJ...a Success Or Failure?

Fri Oct 31, 2003 2:41 am

I can't imagine 3-3 seating on a 146...2-3 was tight enough! Isn't the cabin width smaller than a DC9? As far as I know, no DC9s were 3-3.

I also heard the bathrooms were tiny. Supposedly if a man was 6ft. tall you couldn't close the door, stand, and pee.  Laugh out loud

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