Re: BAe ATP performance

From:         spagiola@FRI-nxt-Pagiola.Stanford.EDU (Stefano Pagiola)
Organization: DSO, Stanford University
Date:         28 Jul 93 13:48:21 PDT
References:   1
Followups:    1 2
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

Robert Ashcroft writes
> There's another market for the BAe 146 (soon to be the BAe RJ).
> That's service to small downtown airports, based on it's short
> take off and landing capability.  London City Airport and Stockholm
> Bromma come to mind.  I think it's also capable of using Miegs
> Field (Chicago) and Lakefront (Cleveland) but other (non-flight)
> regulations prohibit this at the moment (anyone know the details
> about this).

I know BAe has flown the 146 into Miegs Field; I'm not sure why  
services from there never developed.  Is there any service at all out  
of Miegs?  I'd imagine that if service was practical it would start  
with a fast turbo-prop.
Another close-in airport you might add to the list is Toronto's  
Island airport.  Again, the 146 has been demo'd there.  I think the  
lack of a bridge from downtown has been the main constraint to  
development of service from there.
Along these lines, one might add that the Swedish Aviation Authority  
has now banned Malmo Aviation from operating their service from  
Bromma to London City, in what looks very suspiciously like a move to  
quash competition to SAS.

> The decision to allow the 146 to use London City had to be a
> no-brainer for the British govt:  it's the only jet that could
> ever use the airport, and so opening LCY to the 146 could only
> stimulate 146 sales.  And it really is extraordinarily quiet.

Well, letting the 146 in did require extending the runway and  
preventing development of tall buildings, so some trade-offs had to  
be made.
And yes, it is extremely quiet.  I once almost backed into a taxiing  
146 when i was photographing on the ramp at Denver because I didn't  
hear it over the whine of jets taxiing to the runway several times  
further from me than the 146 was.  One exception to the quietness:  
the 146 has a very distinctive whine when it lowers its flaps; back  
in the glory days before PSA got gobbled by USAir, you could alwys  
tell when the 146s came in over Stanford on long finals to SFO.

> British commercial aircraft development has been a farce since
> the end of WWII (with certain exceptions, e.g. BAC 1-11, maybe
> the Viscount).  It's a pity, because some of their aircraft were
> really quite nice.  I've always been fond of the VC-10, which I
> think is one of the most beautiful post-war aircraft.  The Russians
> paid it the ultimate compliment by ripping off the design,
> wholesale, for the IL-62.

Well, lets not start that debate again ;-) (interested readers might  
want to refer to R.E.G. Davies' latest book, on Aeroflot, for a  
discussion of that very point).  But I definitely agree that british  
commercial aircraft development has been a farce.  Lots of technical  
talent combined with very little marketing acumen, a blinkered vision  
of the world (they were still designing `Empire' planes into the  
1950s), and political shenanigans that make the US congress look  
good.  What a pity.

(Another thing that got lost along the way is the tradition of giving  
aircraft names; getting people to pronounce Viscount correctly  
(vigh-count, _not_ viss-count) may have given Vickers' marketing  
people ulcers, but it does not justify them coming up with  
appelations like `VC10' (no hyphen).  And whoever thought up the  
RJ70/RJ85/RJ100/RJ115 name sequence should be shot.)

Still, with over 240 airframes built, the 146 looks set to be the  
best-selling British jetliner, and might rival the Viscount in sales.   
I won't complain; its one of the few airliners with character in  
today's plethora of cookie-cutter twins.
--
-
Stefano Pagiola
Food Research Institute, Stanford University
spagiola@leland.stanford.edu (NeXTMail encouraged)
spagiola@FRI-nxt-Pagiola.stanford.edu (NeXTMail encouraged)