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.
'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.