Aircraft makers had, for a lot of four decades, attempted to design the elusive DC-3 substitute with dissimilar powerplant types, including the piston-engined Convair 240/340/440 and Martin 2-0-2/4-0-4 series and the turboprop Vickers Viscount, Fokker F.27 Friendship, and Hawker Siddeley HS.748. The latest undertake had been made by the British aircraft industry when both de Havilland and Hawker Siddeley had conducted market exploration and formulated designs for a small-capacity, short-range airliner powered by pure-jet engines for the duration of 1959 and 1960.
Of the two, de Havilland, with it is former Rapide, Dove, and Heron pistonliners, had had substantial territorial aircraft experience and had designed the world’s introductory pure-jet airliner in the form of the quad-engined DH.106 Comet. An firstborn study for such a DC-3 replacement, indicated the DH.123, had featured a 60.6-foot overall length, an 81.3-foot wingspan, two 1,150 shp Gnone turboprops attached to a high wing, and a 22,100-pound greatest or most complete or best possible take off weight. So configured, it would have accommodated amid 32 and 40 passengers, or somewhat more than the DC-3′s standard 21 to 28.
De Havilland, subsequently taken over by Hawker Siddeley and redesignated the “de Havilland Division,” had forcibly discontinued design work on the DH.123 because it would have competed too almost with Hawker Siddeley’s own Rolls Royce Dart-powered Avro 748 which had seated 44. Nevertheless, existent turboprop competition, coupled with de Havilland’s faith that pure-jet engineering would attract significant passenger appeal, resulted in the mid-1960 DH.126 design proposal, which featured the later-standard configuration of most low-capacity, short-range twin-jets, such as the SE.210 Caravelle, the BAC-111, and the DC-9, with a swept wing, aft-mounted engines, and a t-tail. Powered by two 3,860 thrust-pound de Havilland PS92 jet engines, it had featured a 60.3-foot length for accommodation of 30 passengers and a 62-foot wingspan.
Several iterations had introduced progressive, altho moderate wingspan, thrust, and gross weight increments by 1964, but further development had been hampered by four rudimentary obstacles:
1. Suitable pure-jet engine availability.
Hawker Siddeley, believing that the turboprop engine had only been interim-step technology, had evenly embarked on a pure-jet airliner design program of it is own long before the de Havilland merger, though it is low-wing, aft-engined, t-tailed configurations had strongly resembled it is former competitor’s.
Attempting to minimize development costs by utilizing the cockpit, forward fuselage, systems, and passenger cabin of it is own Avro 748, it had proposed the HS.131 in 1964, which had featured similar 62.8-foot overall lengths and 67-foot wingspans as de Havilland’s comparable DH.126, but it is projected 5,000 thrust-pound Rolls Royce RB.172 engines had enabled it to offer a higher, 30,000-pound gross weight and a 32-passenger capacity.
Faced, like de Havilland, with engine unsuitability and unavailability, Hawker Siddeley developed iterations round projected powerplants. A radical configuration change, introduced by the HS.136 of 1967, for instance, had resulted in a low-wing aircraft powered by two 9,730 thrust-pound Rolls Royce Trent engines with a conventional tail accommodating 57 passengers in a five-abreast cabin and supplying a 54,000-pound greatest or most complete or best possible take off weight. Although the arrangement would have eradicated the aft-mounted, t-tail’s propensity toward deep-stall and flame-out conditions, and it is close ground proximity would have facilitated passenger, aircraft servicing, and maintenance access, the potential for alien object debris (FOD) engine ingestion had yielded to the proposed HS.144 two years later, which had once again reverted to the now general aft-engine configuration.
Progressive design evolutions and dimensional and thrust increments had intermittently resulted in an airplane whose passenger capacity had been double that of the DC-3′s, and with the Rolls Royce bankruptcy-sparked discontinuation of Trent development in 1970, the DC-3 replacement, now powerless, had become ever more elusive.
This low-capacity, short-range jetliner had, like never before, hinged upon a powerplant for it is existence, and the only potential lay with a little turbofan being invented by Avco Lycoming in the US. Based upon the 7,000 thrust-pound F102 which had powered the Northrop A-9A, the engine, a derated civil derivative indicated ALF-502, had been launched in 1969 for the Canadair CL-601 Challenger business jet and had primary run two years later. In order to offer mercantile application, it had been of modular construction.
Because the type’s 6,500 thrust-pound rating had been inadequate for the latest aircraft design, the HS.146 of 1971, and because no other suitable powerplant had been in the development stage, the extreme DC-3 substitute had been forcibly designed round four, not two, engines and it featured neither the standard, aft engine-mounted, t-tailed nor substitute wing-mounted configuration. Instead, it would sport two high, modestly swept wings to which the four turbofans would be pylon-mounted. Accommodating 88 passengers, or three times as galore as the DC-3, the airliner, with an 86.2-foot length and 84.10-foot wingspan, had a 70,000-pound gross weight and 700-nautical mile range.
Nevertheless, the HS.146 offered assorted vantages over the earlier, standard-arrangement de Havilland and Hawker Siddeley design studies. Short-field performance, entirely the equivalent of the turboprops it had intended to replace, had been attained by it is thrust-to-weight symmetry and wing, which, with 78-percent coverage of it is trailing edge with Fowler flaps, had obviated the need for leading edge devices, and simplification and weight reduction had been further achieved with the elimination of thrust reversers. The t-tail, remaining from the earlier designs, had been kept in order to keep out of the way of engine and wing turbulence interference.
The four engine pods, which had been interchangeable with each other, housed modular construction cores built up of the basic fan, the accessory gearbox, the gas producer/compressor, and the combustion turbine sections.
An 11.8-foot fuselage diameter had permitted an internal, six-abreast coach seating arrangement, which had been double that of the DC-3′s.
In order to cater to dissimilar route demands, Hawker Siddeley offered an initial, 88-passenger HS-146-100 and a stretched, 102-passenger HS.146-200 version, both at maximum, six-abreast densities, even though capacity could be scaled down with varying class, seat pitch, and abreast arrangements.
Fully intended as a pure-jet counterpart to the turboprop Viscount, HS.748, and F.27, the HS.146 had been optimized for multiple daily, high frequency, short-range spheres from short and unprepared, gravel runways, yet achieve 15-percent lower direct-operating-costs than these aircraft. Slow, controlled approach speeds, of just over 100 knots, had been attainable by it is aft fuselage, petal airbrakes and 40 degrees of trailing edge flap, permitting operation from 5,000-foot runways.
Hawker Siddeley had approximated a market of 1,500 aircraft of it is type by 1982.
HS.146 program launch, based upon a 40 million British pound government backing and the manufacturer’s own investment, had occurred on August 29, 1973, and the introductory flight, of the short-fuselage HS.146-100, had been purposed for December of that year with corroboration following in February of 1977, while the stretched HS.146-200, coinciding with the seventh airframe, had been purposed for certification in August of 1978. A full-scale wooden mock-up had been intermittently built at Hatfield.
Like so a lot of British mercantile projects, it is instinctive had been of a sudden arrested a little more than a year after it had been initiated. Escalating fuel prices resulting from the Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur War, altering economic conditions, and a general recession, coupled with the pending nationalization of the UK aircraft industry, had rendered the HS.146 program economically unfeasible by October of 1974. As a result, it had been halted, altho small-scale engineering had continued and the aircraft’s drawings, tools, and jigs had been retained.
Three years later, on March 15, 1977, British Aerospace had been formed with the merger of Hawker Siddeley and the British Aircraft Corporation, and the design, redesignated BAe-146, had been relaunched. It had been the original to have been undertaken by the new conglomerate the following year, on July 10, 1978.
Rolled out for the original time three years later on May 20, 1981 at Hatfield, the aircraft, registered G-SSSH, became the primary new British design since the BAC-111 had flown 18 years earlier.
The aircraft, in it is original BAe-146-100 form, featured a pressurized, semi-monocoque, aluminum alloy/copper fuselage whose inner fuselage frames bore the aircraft’s bending loads and whose outer, notched rings carried the sheer loads, a construction technique which annihilated a lot of 5,000 stringer/frame cleats. Its 11.8-foot diameter, permitting five- or six-abreast coach seating, had ensured that passengers would take pleasure in the same ease on the type’s typical feeder routes as that offered by wide body aircraft operating long-range spheres to which they ofttimes transferred.
Single-class capacity varied from 71 in a five-abreast, 33-inch configuration to 82 at a six-abreast, 33-inch arrangement and an extreme 93 at a six-abreast, 29-inch density. Total capacity decreased with a forward, 12-seat, initial class cabin in a four-abreast configuration.
The aircraft had an 85-foot, 11½-inch overall length.
The wings, with an 86-foot span and 832-square-foot area, had featured a 15-degree sweepback and three degrees of anhedral at their leading edges. Due to the aircraft’s short, 150-nautical mile sectors, cruise speeds higher than it is optimized Mach 0.7 had not been necessary and had consequently averted the need for dandier sweepback. Low-speed, short-field performance had been attained by means of it is single-section, tabbed, trailing edge Fowler flaps which, with a 210-square-foot area, had covered 78 percent of the span and had been hydraulically operated by Dowty Rotol actuators. Roll control had been provided by manually-operated, trim- and servo tab-equipped ailerons, which operated in conjunction with each outer wing’s hydraulically-actuated roll spoilers. Three further and added inboard spoilers served as lift dumpers after touch down.
Power had been provided by four Textron Lycoming ALF-502R-5 turbofans, each ranked at 6,970 pounds of thrust, and these had substituted the lower-thrust, 6,700-pound ALF-502Hs in the first place intended for the design. Avco Lycoming had since become “Textron Lycoming.”
A total of 3,098 US gallons of fuel could be carried in two wing integral and one center section tank, the latter located above the passenger cabin and equipped with a vented and drained sealing diaphragm. The single-point pressure fueling had been located on the right wing, outboard of the number four engine.
The fixed horizontal tailplane, mounted atop the vertical fin, had not required the frequent variable-incidence geometry because the absence of wing leading edge widgets had annihilated the balance-out requirements ordinarily affiliated with the latter’s pitch changes. Its location, avoiding wing downwash and engine thrust interference, provided the biggest moment-arm, therefore reducing required area and weight. Its elevators had been manually operated, while the vertical fin’s rudder had been hydraulically actuated.
Key to the BAe-146 design had been the 40-square-foot, hydraulically-actuated petal air brakes forming an integral, aerodynamic percentage of the tailcone at the extreme end of the fuselage and deployable to a greatest or most complete or best possible 60-degree position. Augmenting slow, controlled, increased dissent rates, they had enabled the aircraft to descend at 7,000 fpm above 10,000 feet and 4,000 fpm under it, extenuating short-runway operation and eliminating the need for thrust reversers.
The aircraft’s hydraulically-operated, tricycle undercarriage had been comprised of a steerable, telescope strut-attached, forward-retracting nose wheel and two outboard-displaced main units which retracted inwards into blister-type fairings on the fuselage’s sides. All featured Dunlop wheels, while the main gear’s multi-disc carbon brakes had only been antecedently applied by Concorde.
Two 3,000-psi hydraulic systems powered the trailing edge flaps, the petal air brakes, the undercarriage, and the wheel brakes. A Garrett AiResearch GTCP 36-100M auxiliary power unit had provided cabin conditioning and engine starting power and had been operable up to 20,000 feet.
With an 84,000-pound greatest or most complete or best possible take off weight, the BAe-146-100 had an 880-nautical mile range with it is greatest or most complete or best possible payload and a 1,620-nautical mile range with it is greatest or most complete or best possible fuel.
First flying on September 3, 1981, on a one-hour, 35-minute fight at a 64,000-pound take off weight, the BAe-146-100 had been pronounced as “remarkably stable, very responsive, and delightfully quiet” by it is test pilot and had been awarded it is Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) type certificate on February 4, 1983. FAA corroboration followed three months later, on May 20.
Dan-Air Services, Ltd., the type’s launch customer, had placed two firm and two optioned orders the former September, and inaugurated it into scheduled service on March 1, 1983, with an intermittently-provided aircraft from British Aerospace, on the London/Gatwick-Berne, Switzerland route, before it deployed it is own aircraft on the route as of May 27. The BAe-146 had been the only pure-jet airliner which had been capable of operating from Berne’s short runway.
The larger, BAe-146-200, with a five-frame stretch, featured a new, 93.10-foot overall length and could accommodate 100 passengers in a six-abreast configuration at a 33-inch seat pitch or a greatest or most complete or best possible of 112 at a 29-inch pitch, but other than as supposed or expected kept the BAe-146-100′s wingspan. The aircraft, with a 93,000-pound greatest or most complete or best possible take off weight, had a 1,130-nautical mile range with a full payload or a 1,570-nautical mile range with full fuel.
First flying on August 1, 1982 and registered G-WISC, the type had been inaugurated into service the following year, on June 27, by Air Wisconsin, which had placed an order for four firm and four optioned aircraft, setup for 100, on May 20, 1981, the same day that the shorter-fuselage variant had primary rolled out. Joining a fleet of Fairchild Swearingen Metro IIs and de Havilland of Canada DHC-7 turboprops, the BAe-146-200 had been deployed on average, 127-mile route sectors, seldom climbing higher than 17,000 feet, and by the spring of 1984, it had served 16 mid-western cities, operating 14 daily spheres per day. It in the end substituted the turboprops.
The biggest single order, for 20 firm and 25 options, had been placed by another US territorial carrier, Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA), while other US operators had included Air-Pac of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, Aspen Airways, Air-Cal, American Airlines, Discovery Airways of Hawaii, Presidential Airways, Royal West, USAir, and WestAir Commuter.
The BAe-146 had been the introductory pure-jet to have been certified to operate from London City STOLport, located in the docklands region, because of it is steep approach capability, short-runway performance, and low noise emission.
In order to further exaggerate it is product line, offer increased passenger capacity, and more adequately compete with Fokker’s own advanced, stretched F.100, British Aerospace offered a second stretch over it is introductory BAe-146-100, which had entailed 8.1-foot forward and 7.8-foot aft fuselage plugs in comparison to the BAe-146-200. The resultant version, the BAe-146-300, featured a strengthened center section fuselage and a new 100-foot, 8 ¼-inch overall length, but other than as supposed or expected used the same wingspan and ALF-502R-5 turbofans. Single-class, five-abreast capacity, at a 31-inch seat pitch, had been 103, even though 128 high-density passengers, at a 29-inch seat pitch, could be accommodated with the addition of type III emergency exits installed in the center fuselage. The 97,500-pound variant, with a 1,040-nautical mile range with a full payload and a 1,520-nautical mile range with full fuel, had original flown on May 1, 1987, after the BAe-146-100 prototype (G-SSSH) had been converted to this frequent and reregistered G-LUXE.
Air Wisconsin, again launch client for the version, had taken deliverance of it is original longer-fuselage BAe-146-300 on December 10, 1988, one of five which had comprised it is former order for -200s.
A freighter version, the BAe-146-QT Quiet Trader, had been available in all three passenger versions. Incorporating an upward-opening, hydraulically-operated, 10.11-by-6.4 foot door on it is aft, left side; a given a healthy elasticity to floor; and a loading system; the aircraft, devoid of passenger windows and facilities, could accommodate nine LD-3 containers or six 108-by-88 inch pallets of up to 6,000 pounds each and a single 53-by-88 inch half pallet. The prototype, a BAe-146-200 converted by Hayes International Corporation, had firstborn flown on March 20, 1986 and had been inaugurated into service by TNT International Aviation Services the following year on May 5. The operator had subsequently acquired a significant number of them.
A representative BAe-146-200 flight, operated by Air Zimbabwe from Hwange to Kariba, had been taken in September of 1994.
Founded in 1967 as Air Rhodesia to operate the Rhodesian routes of Central African Airways, the carrier, continually altering as a result of increased black majority rule, had been redesignated Air Rhodesia-Zimbabwe in 1979 and, simply, Air Zimbabwe the following year after the country had attained independence. The transition period, fraught with political instability, had sparked ceaseless route structure realignment, which had only encompassed South Africa.
When the internal circumstance had ultimately been restabilized, the route scheme had been gradually reestablished, once again providing connections amidst Zimbabwe and some territorial African nations, as well as those in Europe. In 1982, Air Zimbabwe had operated eight Viscounts, three 720Bs, and three 707-320Bs, even though further and added 707s had later substituted the 720s.
Due to deregulation-spawned competition, the little carrier had increased it is attempts to stay competitory with bettered passenger service and a more modern, three-type fleet which had included one BAe-146-200, three 737-200s, and two 767-200ERs, serving the five Zimbabwean domestic destinations of Bulawayo, Harare, Hwange, Kariba, and Victoria Falls; the 11 African international destinations of Dar-es-Salaam, Durban, Gabarone, Johannesburg, Lilongwe, Lusaka, Manzini, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, and Windhoek; and the three European intercontinental destinations of Frankfurt, Larnaca, and London.
In June of 1983, it had embarked on a “Customer Care Program” to improve service and introduce a new Executive Business Class on it is two widebody aircraft in order to more efficaciously compete with the larger, global carriers which had operated amid Europe and Africa.
It had toted three slogans: “A Tradition of Caring,” in 1989; “Above All, We Care,” in 1992; and “Experience our Commitment to Excellence,” in 1994.
Its self-stated goal had been “to be the airline that best meets the needs of the customer, to operate profitably, and to bestow to the development of Zimbabwe using the attainments and natural abilities and qualities of a committed workforce.”
The BAe-146-200 operating the day’s flight, registered Z-WPD and named “Jungwe,” had been set up with 91 single-class, six-abreast seats and had been fitted with a passenger audio system. Routed from Victoria Falls to Hwange, Kariba, and Harare underneath flight number “UM 229,” it operated three spheres spanning 30 minutes, one hour, and 45 minutes in duration.
After boarding from the single terminal by means of it is forward, left airstair, the high-wing, quad-engined British territorial jet, sporting it is colorful black, red, yellow, and green striped livery, executed a lengthy taxi roll on the concrete runway flanked on either side by Hwange National Park’s dry, brown grass and scrub expanses, sporadically interspersed by feeding herds of impalas.
Completing it is “Before Take Off” checklist, and extending it is trailing edge Fowler flaps to their 24-degree position, the aircraft throttled into it is acceleration roll, it is four ALF-502R-5 turbofans propelling it is 35,500-kilo mass with their 6,970 pounds of thrust into life-generating speed. Leveraging itself into rotation at 112 knots with it is horizontal tail-hinged elevator, the BAe-146 surrendered itself to the hot African atmosphere at a 118-knot V2 velocity, retracting it is tricycle undercarriage and accelerating through a 171-knot VFTO speed toward the gray, obscuring ceiling.
Leaning into a right bank over the brown and tan African expanse at 4,200 feet, the BAe-146 retracted it is flaps from the 24- to the 0-degree position, completing it is “After Take Off” checklist. Ascending through 7,600 feet, at which time a 291-knot ground speed had been registered, it maintained a 1,800-fpm climb rate. Its NAV conveyed a 135.4-mile distance to Kariba.
Plunging through the dirty opaque obscurity at 15,780 feet, Fight 229 triumphed over white, mountainous-appearing cumulous, now unrestrictedly bulleting through the illustriously-blue mid-afternoon purity at 18,640 feet.
Inching the throttle back a moment later, the British territorial liner settled into it is 21,000-foot level off plateau at a 354-knot ground speed with 97.7 miles remaining to it is destination.
Cabin service on the one-hour domestic sector had included a selection of sodas, solid homogeneous inorgani substance water, orange juice, and lemonade and a snack undertake of potato chips and peanuts.
The ground speed had pinnacled at 411 knots.
Descent, initiated with 54 miles remaining on it is flight plan, had been attained by dialing in 5,500 feet in the cockpit’s “ALT SEL” autopilot, resulting in a 2,000-fpm dissent rate.
Surrendering once again to the dense, reference-losing obscurity of the cloud deck, the aircraft plunged through 10,000 feet at a 260-knot speed with 21 miles remaining to Kariba, extending it is petal air brakes at 7,000 feet, which formulated a very controlled, but drag-induced profile. An altitude of 4,500 feet had been intermittently dialed into the “ALT SEL” window.
Emerging from the ceiling mist over the baby blue of Lake Kariba, which had been outlined by it is dry, tan and brown scrub shoreline, the captain consulted his landing flap chart matching to a 34,500-kilo weight.
Extending it is Fowler flaps to the 18-degree position at 3,600 feet, at which time 6.4 miles had remained on it is flight plan, the airliner unleashed it is undercarriage at a 162-knot ground speed and actuated it is high-lift widgets into the 24-degree position while arcing into a left bank over the parched expanse of desert. Black mountain silhouettes rolled into view in front of the cockpit windows.
Descending through 2,600 feet at a 161-knot ground speed, the BAe-146-200, now sporting 33 degrees of trailing edge flap, maintained a 270-degree heading, the runway, seemingly plowed amid brown straw, visible through the windshield.
Extending it is petal air brakes to the 60-degree position, the aircraft, at a negligible dissent rate, passed over Runway 27′s threshold at 120 knots, retarding it is throttle and flaring into main undercarriage contact with the sizzilingly hot concrete. Decelerating with significant brake applications, and with it is spoiler handle already deployed to the “LIFT SPLR” position, the thrust reverser-devoid quad-jet consumed the centerline with it is nose wheel until it had reached it is other threshold and could carry through a 180-degree turn.
Taxiing toward the single terminal’s ramp among the sweltering, 94-degree heat, the high-wing, t-tailed airliner, though normally minuscule next to an intercontinental wide body, dwarfed the United Air PA-23 Aztec and collection of private pistons now parked around it.
The BAe-146 had, as evidenced by this sector, served as Zimbabwe’s link among it is often road-unconnected cities and communities.
Although the British Aerospace BAe-146 had only sold 219 examples of all of it is versions to 45 world airlines, it had nevertheless formed the basis of it is later, more advanced, Textron Lycoming LF507-powered Avro RJ70, RJ85, and RJ100 derivatives.
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