Re: A 777 with four engines.

Date:         11 Jul 98 03:00:18 
From:         "Antoin Daltun" <adaltun@tinet.ie>
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The early BAe146 100 was also specifically designed for operation to short
fields where a four-engined aircraft is beneficial in extreme cases (points
such as Innsbruck,  a private field used at Aspen CO).  This did mean that
it was over-powered for most purposes and sold very poorly.
The stretch to the 200 series traded off some performance for better payload
and helped sales a bit, but the four engines have always been seen as having
an operating cost penalty.  There are well-established thermodynamic reasons
why large engines are more cost and weight-efficient than small ones in most
normal circumstances.  The 146 also suffered from poor reliability problems
specific to the engines fitted, one operator remarking that engine-changing
on 146s should be an Olympic sport since his airline could put up a winning
team and it was more widely-practised than synchronised swimming.

The idea of a twin-engined version of the 146 surfaces every few years.

As an aside, aircraft normally undergo ditching trials (models in a water
tank).  This  was done later than usual in the development of the 146 and I
understand some early aircraft had (or have?) permitted overwater time
restricted to gliding time from land.  This would be quite restrictive on
those aircraft (e.g. London-Copenhagen not permitted).

Antoin Daltun