Tag Archives: BAe 146

True British RAF Transporter turned 35

The only true British military transport aircraft type in Royal Air Force service has turned 35 years old. On 3 September 1981 the BAe 146 took first to the skies, as a regional airliner, at Hatfield in Hertfordshire. Many years later the four RAF machines are part of the surviving active fleet of 220 BAe 146s worldwide.

Serving with No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron at RAF Nordholt two BAe 146 CCMk2s are there to transport members of the Royal Family and other senior government or military hotshots. A pair of grey painted BAe 146 CMk3s – based on the civilian QC variant – provide tactical air transport in both the passenger and palletised freight role.

Succesful jetliner

RAF’s quartet are part of a successful British regional jetliner production when looking at the numbers. A total of 394 BAe 146s – and its successor the Avro RJ – were built until production ceased after 22 years of operations in November 2003 in Woodford, Ceshire. Together the type has made more than 12 million hours of flight.

Civilian role

In a civilian role the BAe 146s often provide freight services, for example with Virgin Australia. In parts of Europe the type is commonly deployed as city hopper, for example between Stockholm-Bromma and Brussels IAP.

Firefighting

In the aerial firefighting role three operators in North America will use the machine as a 3000 gallon fire extinguisher and are replacing older piston and turboprop aircraft.

Coming decades

With many of the aircraft having made 20,000 to 35,000 take-offs and landings, most of the BAe 146s are still very much able to double or almost triple that number the coming decades.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com senior contributor Marcel Burger
Featuring image: Historic image of a RAF Royal Flight BAe 146 CC2 landing at Zürich-Kloten on 23 January 2008 (Image © Juergen Lehle (albspotter.eu))

Hail damaged British Hercs returned to duty

Flightdeck of the Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules. Here a combined US/Canadian crew at work on the runway of Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan (Image © Staff Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez/USAF)
Flightdeck of the Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules. Here a combined US/Canadian crew at work on the runway of Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan (Image © Staff Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez/USAF)

The five Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules aircraft that were severely damaged during a hail storm at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan in April 2013 have returned to active duty.

British minister for Defence Equipment, Support, and Technology – Philip Dunne – confirmed this when answering parliamentary questions on 16 January 2014. The price tag for the repair has been a whooping 12 million euro. The aircraft returned to duty make up a fifth of the British Hercules C.4/C.5 fleet.

Apart from the Hercs a BAe 125, a BAe 146, Westland Sea King helicopters and Westland Lynx helicopters of the British armed forces were damaged as well. Moreover, the hail severly damaged eight Afghan Air Force Cessna 208B Grand Caravans and up to tens of US military helicopters. The status of those machines has not been disclosed by anybody.

Source: UK Government with additional reporting by AIRheads’ Marcel Burger

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