Re: What happened to the BA146?

From:         rcarpen@dgsys.com (Robert J. Carpenter)
Organization: Digital Gateway Systems
Date:         27 May 96 13:35:38 
References:   1
Followups:    1
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Tim Long (tlong@mail.vcnet.com) wrote:
> I seem to remember around 1982 or so, PSA (later merged into USAir)
> started flying the BA146. Lots of bragging about being the quietest
> commercial jet aircraft flying at the time.I know they're still marketed
> as the Avro RJ 100 or some such, but why so few of them? They would only
> be 14 years old or so; you would expect them to still be flying/common.
> What caused them to not become popular? Reliability? Cost of maintaining 4
> engines?

  I've heard that the engines had unusually high maintainance costs, at
least in the early days (and there are 4 of them).  In the US, few routes
require the short field performance of the 146, and can get along just
fine with turboprop Dash-8, ATR, etc., aircraft, which give
not-much-longer block times on short routes.  There aren't many airports
in developed countries that have substantial passenger traffic and very
short runways.
  A LIAT competitor in the Caribbean recently started-up using 146s, but I
notice that they have reduced frequencies because the planes are too large
and load factors too low.  LIAT has used Islanders on some routes, where
a Twin Otter is a "jumbo".
  Similarly, you don't see many Dash-7s since their short-field
performance isn't an issue most places, while the four engines must be
maintained.  It's interesting to see a Dash-7 land at DCA.  They seem to
regally float in and stop a few plane lengths after touching down.  Then
the longish taxi to the USAir terminal.

   Regards   Bob Carpenter   w3otc@amsat.org