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BAE / AVRO 146

Old 10th Dec 2019, 14:41
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Many years on the 146 in Oz.
Flying with some of the older captains was a lot of fun whilst they would demonstrate what she could do. No QAR/Acars- nothing. GPWS would never keeping up with some of them (in clear wx).

TOD was POB. Barber-pole to 10 miles. Stabilized at 500'. Vacate after 500m. It had every device available to go down, slow down and stop. Nothing the other way round!
Under powered it was, as has been mentioned above.
Operating in ISA +25*, full flap, full power, curvature of the earth takeoff.
Even on descent in icing, power had to be above 80% to cope with the bleed load of the anti-icing

Icing was it's nemesis. Engine roll-backs were happening all the time. Descents in cruise were normal to get out of ice and of course that exacerbated the range issue.
We went everywhere and then some. Remote islands and remote inland destinations. Many right on the limit on it's range and they all had the pannier LR tanks installed. 14 aircraft if l remember.
Lots of 'Jeppesen whizz-wheel' action going on recalculating continually and some times replanning or diverting.

No APU was a good one in remote hot places. Shut down 1,2 & 3. Get PAX off. Start 1 shut down 4. Refuel and get bags off/on. After that start 4 shut down 1 and load PAX shut door start 1, 2 & 3.
This was all done to keep the electrics available and a pack on. No bleed required for starting, as it was electric starters all round.
And not starter/gen's either. Each motor had an individual electric starter. Then the inboards had hydraulic pumps, the outer had generators. Weird.

Living on the radius of my base airports visual arrival was perfect. At max flap extension, start feeding them out. The missus would hear it and come and pick me up! Also gave her a chance to get rid of the boyfriend
​​​​​​​
Every maintenance issue was a nightmare with the QRH/FCOM/MEL pages everywhere trying to figure out what worked and what didn't.
Yes it had redundancies with hydraulics helping electrics vis a vie and other stuff but it all came with caveats. That's why there was a lot of head scratching.

Earlier someone mentioned the fir tree rudder limiter. It was called the Q-pot limiter. Don't know why. Weird
Another engineering oddity was the use of screws around the whole aircraft.
Not Philips head but some sort of proprietary three pointed thing. Bit like an offset Mercedes emblem. Weird
The 300 series was prone to tail strike.
Mitigation? Put a four foot metal strap longitudinally where it would strike. Weird.
The 200 series we operated were all steam driven gauges.
The HSI/DBI was located behind the yoke. Weird

Could go on but wont. 🤣

halas

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Old 10th Dec 2019, 19:02
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halas,

Q pot. Q is the aero abbreviation for dynamic pressure which is used to adjust control feel. The rudder ‘fir tree’ wasn’t directly associated with feel, more rudder / fin strength, but still speed related. It was rumoured that the Q pot design (and build) was the same as used in the Comet.

‘Tri Wing’ screws; new at the time, cheaper, stronger than cross head, lighter than slotted head.

300 series tailstrike - flight test (ground test) of minimum unstick speed during take off it was ‘discovered’ that the tail bumper was in the wrong place. Something to do with centre of rotation on the ground and compressed oleos. Cheaper to add rubbing strip than reposition tail bumper, which was removed. Also taken off other series as a wt / drag reduction ?

Love or hate; it was fun.

Last edited by safetypee; 10th Dec 2019 at 22:18.
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Old 10th Dec 2019, 20:08
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
No, it didn't.
No, you're right.
I don't know where I got that from. Best selling jet airliner perhaps?

mea culpa.
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 06:35
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Everyone says how slow it was, we used to cruise at a pedestrian .70.
But over the typical sector length, an hour or so, it really didn't make much difference.
Other factors conspired to affect actual sector times much more than cruise speed.
The final version, the RJ-100, was quite an effective aeroplane although it could certainly take advantage of cheap oil....
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 06:59
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Originally Posted by safetypee View Post
halas,

Q pot. Q is the aero abbreviation for dynamic pressure which is used to adjust control feel. The rudder ‘fir tree’ wasn’t directly associated with feel, more rudder / fin strength, but still speed related. It was rumoured that the Q pot design (and build) was the same as used in the Comet.

‘Tri Wing’ screws; new at the time, cheaper, stronger than cross head, lighter than slotted head.
About Q pot, don't know how it looks on Comet but at least that big and fat pitot tube for Q pot is very similar with Comet unit. Also, if remember correctly, that OAT probe is very similar with Comet... you remember that odd curved thin metal pin on LH side of the nose. Very often this probe get loose and it just hangs downwards instead fwd. Lower doors handles, cargo/equipments bays, are at least very similar with older british designed aircraft. I am talking about these circularbody handles, which very often hangs because springs are dead. Ah, this brings that sound to my mind when you close the door... thumb(when door pulled closed, then mechanical klonk when handle turned and shoot bolts engages, finally "KLIK" when handle released and it retracts.. (if springs works)

Screws, tri-wing is not that bad at all. I would say that basic slotted head screws should be banned from use everywhere... doesn't matter is it tri- or four- wing or regular phillips / pozidriv they all are better than slotted heads. Only problems is, you need correct tooling, but why should anyone without proper equipment touch anywhere.

This thread brings loads of good, and not so good, memories from interesting years. Relatively small airline with fleet of totally 11 of these tempremental birds, good/quite enthuastic group of guys work with, flight/cabin department good, company did everything in house except C-check:s...
Nowadays working with EXTREMELY boring 737CL/NG and Airbuses, these scentless-bland-bulk aircrafts not ringing any of the bells in my head. Offcourse life is bit easier, but boring.
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 12:05
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Originally Posted by safetypee View Post
halas,

‘Tri Wing’ screws; new at the time, cheaper, stronger than cross head, lighter than slotted head.
Yup bloody awful things

https://phillips-screw.com/drive-system/tri-wing

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Old 11th Dec 2019, 13:07
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Originally Posted by VORDME2 View Post
I would say I have one good memory about the 146 : the speed brake!
smell terrible, underpowered, slow,heavy controls, over complicated systems, never ending checklist on the 1st flight...
Why to make it simple if you can make it complicated?
5 years and 3000hrs
I don't know many who would accuse it of having 'heavy' controls. It was the lightness of the controls, ailerons particularly, that made it so sweet to hand fly.
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 14:29
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I've noticed over the years that in the main pilots who like to rubbish the 146/RJ are almost without exception the ones who never flew it. I even heard one or two people express the opinion that it wasn't really a jet and that it shouldn't be counted as jet hours! Those that did fly it generally loved it. It wasn't really in competition with the 737 for legs over 90 minutes, it's forte was the shorter routes where the lower clinb & cruise performnce was not much of a handicap especially into shorter strips. As a local cityhopper it was pretty good but put it up against a 737 from London to Barcelona and it wasn't at its best. It was a delight to fly, once the engneers had got on top of it the reliability wasn't bad (lots had spent extended time laid up outdoors which does no aeroplane any good) and passengers loved them.
By contrast the 737 was a dog to fly but clearly in another class as a passenger-transporter which ultimately is what it is all about.
In it's niche the 146 was terrific, just a shame they didn't design the niche a bit (a whole lot) bigger.
Two VORs, one DME and an NDB developed your nav skills wonderfully, I found it the perfect intro to a career in airlines after a year on a single turbine and 3 months on the Do228.
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 15:19
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A challenge on IT routes like Palma AGP Faro and even down to Corfu....
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 15:58
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Originally Posted by Nomad2 View Post
Everyone says how slow it was, we used to cruise at a pedestrian .70.
Which is exactly what it was designed to do
Originally Posted by Nomad2 View Post
But over the typical sector length, an hour or so, it really didn't make much difference.
And that's why!
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 16:40
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Never had an issue with Tri-Wing fasteners. Use the right bit and they are fine.
I didn't know they went up to size 15, the biggest I recall is #7 for the tank panels and leading edges.
First aircraft I came accross them was the DC-10.
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Old 14th Dec 2019, 01:07
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I used them extensively from London City when they were the main jet type here. Never had a single tech issue I can recall in more than 25 years operation. And you can still see them here, Aer Lingus-liveried Avros still operate to Dublin, provided by Cityjet. I always look up to see one pass.

For those who go on about poor power performance, for a long time no other jet was able to make the takeoff from the short runway here at LCY, and their initial climb performance to the 3,000ft initial level off was and is no different to the more recent types. Spool up against the brakes, and when you let go they are off like a rocket. They are notably quieter than the comparably sized, next-generation Embraer 190. They were, of course, by quite a substantial margin, the best selling British jet airliner of all time.

The much-admired main gear I understand is based very much in design on what was done on the Comet 4, from the same drawing office a generation before.

The flap movement noise always seems to be a fascination (see above) though I never saw anyone distressed by it or even particularly comment on it. Apparently it was a considerable surprise on the first test flight, it had not been apparent in the wind tunnel. A modification was devised which however was the weight of two passengers, so no takers apart from, I understand, the two early aircraft supplied to the Royal Flight. I believe it's an airflow harmonic between the flap inside edge and the fuselage. For westerly departures from LCY, which all turn downwind passing Canary Wharf at the 3,000ft, the noise is quite audible from Stratford station platform down below as the aircraft completes the turn above you and cleans up.

Last edited by WHBM; 14th Dec 2019 at 01:20.
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Old 14th Dec 2019, 02:14
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Good to hear some applause for this most inpressive and capable liltle airliner.

Bear in mind it was deemed good enough for the Royal Flight too and though lacking in range when staging out for longer deployments was notably visible in all sorts of unlikely places once in theatre, both paved and unpaved.
I once took a Royal Flight crew for a recce of a potential landing strip in my aircraft to save them the risk and expense of doing it in their 146, having previously taken them for a ride at 70mph over the (dirt) home field in a land cruiser to prove it's freedom from ruts.They were a practical bunch.

Last edited by meleagertoo; 14th Dec 2019 at 02:45.
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Old 14th Dec 2019, 06:27
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I recall the BAC 1-11 also had the flap noise too...
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 16:34
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Well, I had eight years and some 5000 hours on the 146 and frankly I didn't recognise most of the sneering comments and general denigration of an aeroplane which was generally a delight to fly. Yes, it could run out of steam when heavily laden on a hot day and the APU really wasn't man enough for the job but the controls were well-harmonised and the trailing-link undercarriage permitted a soft landing almost every time. Everyone likes to criticise the Lycoming engine but in my eight years I never had any problems certainly no in-flight shutdowns and the only impact of the so-called roll-back problem was the restriction to FL260 and the need to memorise another page of check-list items for one's recurrent checks.

The APU did fail on a regular basis so we all became adept at operating without it. There was also a period where flap failures were common due, I think, to the incorrect lubrication being used at the time. Again most crews became familiar with the flapless landing procedure. Regarding the smelly cabin, I can only recall one instance when we were due to take over an aircraft in which the cabin stank to high heaven. Snagging it in the tech log resulted in an aircraft change and the engineers sorted out the problem.

I was very happy to spend a fairly large part of my flying career on what was essentially Britain's last airliner.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 20:45
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
and passengers loved them. .
Unless you were seated under the wing where the overhead locker could accommodate not much more than an ironed shirt.
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Old 21st Dec 2019, 12:29
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The TQF 100s had a little extra fuel in 2 'fillet tanks' - around 700kgs? and were seen in all sorts of unusual places - Walney, Plymouth, Gilgit, Santos Dumont, Islay!! to name but a few.
Capable machine.
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Old 19th Sep 2022, 00:02
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“Fighting to be Heard”.

Anyone else read this rather large book about the BAe/RJ 146?

Last edited by Nuasea; 19th Sep 2022 at 00:47.
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Old 19th Sep 2022, 19:39
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Poor quality photo I took of G-OBAF when I was a flying spanner on the Route Proving flights ....


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Old 20th Sep 2022, 10:03
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Originally Posted by Nuasea View Post
Anyone else read this rather large book about the BAe/RJ 146?
At £80 I'm not likely to buy it.
2nd best selling British airliner after the Viscount I think, but with a bit more development it could have sold a lot more.
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