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BAE Systems RJX: "If Customers Want Them, We'll Build Them"

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BAE Systems RJX: "If Customers Want Them, We'll Build Them"

Old 6th Dec 2001, 19:22
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That's right, two RJ85s and two RJ100s are either complete or almost so. NJI was going to take all four, just before September 11. But that doesn't change Druk's problem. The RJ will not let them do Bangkok non-stop out or Paro at acceptable loads. The RJX would have.
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Old 6th Dec 2001, 19:47
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Don't know the airfield details for Paro, but anyone know the capability of an A318 to operate at such an airfield.

On paper the RJX was a good aircraft, it's a real shame that BAe/Textron didn't have the guts to develop it sooner. Anyone else remember the original spec of the 146-300 in 1986 - it was going to have more powerful engines, higher weights, winglets etc, but instead BAe took the cheap option and kept the same engines as the -100 and -200 and stretched the fuselage to provide 100 seats 5-abreast or 112 6-abreast (without mid-cabin exits) or 128 (allegedly, with them).

A few years sooner and the RJX could have made a real difference, but now it's all gone sour. What a way to run an airframe manufacturer? Given the response of British European it looks like they were led down the Swanny by BAe.
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Old 6th Dec 2001, 20:59
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Further to the Druk Air issue, I don't know how many are aware of the wing corrosion problems experienced by Druk (I believe a similar problem was found with RJ100s being taken back from SAM in Colombia by BAe before being passed on to Malmo/Braathens).

The following is from a Bhutanese news web-site (http://www.kuenselonline.com/article.php?sid=429):

Druk Air's plane back
Posted on Monday, August 06 @ 07:52:21 EDT by webmaster

After 13 months Druk Air's second plane returned to Paro on August 3 from the BAe Systems.

Operations from the newly returned plane began the next morning, said the managing director, Sangay Khandu.
Meanwhile a detailed visual inspection of the first plane, which has been grounded pending inspection, is being carried out by Druk Air's engineers and engineers from the BAe Systems.

Working around the clock one wing has already been x-rayed and the other wing should be completed by tonight or tomorrow, explained the managing director.

"The x-ray will be sent back to the BAe Systems and after 10 days we should have a report on the results," the managing director said last Monday.

"So far with the visual inspection half way completed the news looks hopeful but we have to wait for the results to come back from the BAe Systems," he added.

Depending on the results Druk Air may have both planes operational for the impending tourist season in September. "The flight schedule that has been announced for the September season will not change with a second plane, rather additional flights will be operated," said the managing director.

Druk Air came under heavy criticism over the last 13 months with customers unable to confirm seats for the one operational plane.

The managing director explained, "Many people were under the misconception that because there was only one plane we were unable to keep up with the flight schedule. In fact we were able to keep the flight schedule of two planes with only one operational plane."

He added, "The real problem was not a minimal flight schedule but rather an increase in the number of people flying. At that point in time we sadly had a reverse trend, the fleet reduced while the number of passengers increased."

What we learned from this experience was that we need to increase the number of flights after both planes become operational to certain destinations with the number of passengers growing."

Druk Air's BAe 146 spent 13 months getting repaired after corrosion in the wings were detected during a routine structural check.

After detailed x-rays of both wings BAe Systems found major repairs necessary. Druk Air then requested that both wings be replaced with new ones, refusing BAe Systems said that both wings could be repaired.

Following much grinding and filing of the corrosion on the wings, nine months later, BAe Systems admitted that the wings were beyond repair and new ones would have to be placed on the aircraft.

After four months the aircraft finally touched down at Paro International Airport.

Today the BAe-Systems has acknowledged if they had initially listened to Druk Air's requests a great deal of money and time could of been saved on both sides.

The bill for the repairs totaled US $2.5 million with some financial assistance from the BAe Systems to a tune of US $1 million.

The managing director said, "Our saving grace was during the signing of the repair contract, a clause was put in ceiling repairs to a total of 1.025 million pounds. If this was not done the repair bill could of been US $4.5 million.

Corrosion of the wings in these type of aircraft's have been found to be prevalent with other airlines who are using this aircraft.

In Bhutan with Druk Air and the BAe Systems the main bone of contention that is ongoing lays in whether the corrosion was actually a design flaw or a maintenance fault.
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Old 6th Dec 2001, 21:18
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I remember there was a VIP 146 from one of the Gulf states that had very little time on it but was corroded BER - sold to ASI in BOH for part-out and delivered by AN124!
 
Old 6th Dec 2001, 21:42
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Cool

The wing corrosion is a well-known problem that is a result of bacteria (I think) in the fuel attacking the aluminium of the tanks (in other words, the inner wing structure).

There is a simple and effective biocide treatment that prevents the problem. Most cases of corrosion have apparently been in aircraft where the biocide treatment was not carried out for one reason or another (ie money).

I seem to recall that the ex-Coloumbian 146s that BM were going to buy/lease had very bad corrosion and had to be re-winged in the end!

Just as well BAe build 'em strong....
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Old 7th Dec 2001, 01:07
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Red face

A very sad announcement for U.K. manufacturing industry - apart from military hardware, do we still MAKE any thing in this country anymore? (answers on a postcard)

I seem to recall that when Fokker announced they were ceasing the FK100 production, there were all sorts of plans mooted/campaigns launched/venture capitalists interested in resurrecting the jet.

Are BAe at all interested in selling the RJX project on to anyone? Are there any venture capitalists/industrialists/millionaires who can see a future for U.K. airframe manufacturing and give us all some hope(ie:3i/Alchemy). Maybe even Rover could take over the project now for a peppercorn 1
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Old 7th Dec 2001, 03:31
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Thumbs down

Guv, the fuselage of the aircraft of which you speak (A6-SHK, I think it was) now lies rotting at the back of a garden centre, a few miles down the road (A339) from Lasham!

It's recently been joined by the fuselage of an ex-Uni Air example, which also had the wing corrosion, I believe.
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Old 7th Dec 2001, 03:47
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Is that the same garden centre that houses the shorts 330 airframe ?
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Old 7th Dec 2001, 04:03
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I WAS INVOLVED WITH REPAIRS ON THE SAM AIRCRAFT & TWO TNT FREIGHTERS THAT HAD TO HAVE MAJOR REPAIRS TO THE WINGS.THIS WAS CAUSED BY GLADIS AS CALL IT, IN THE WING TANKS.
ALL THESE AIRCRAFT WERE OPERATED IN HOT HUMID CLIMATES WHERE THIS STUFF FORMS DUE TO WATER IN THE FUEL TANKS.IF THEY FAILED TO DO A WATER DRAIN CHECK THEN IT GROWS VERY QUICKLY.IT ALSO CORRODED ALL THE FUEL PIPES & MANY OF THE COMPONENTS IN THE TANKS.
BAE USE L93IN WING CONSTUCTION, THE SAME MATERIAL THEY USED IN THE 125,THIS AIRCRAFT ALSO HAD SIMILAR PROBLEMS MANY YEARS AGO.
IF OPERATORS DON,T DO REGULAR WATER DRAIN CHECKS OR THOROUGH INTERNAL TANK INSPECTIONS DURING CHECKS THEY WILL END UP WITH THESE PROBLEMS.
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Old 7th Dec 2001, 12:43
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727:

Yes, it's called "Hillside Nurseries", just North of Alton on the A339 going towards Basingstoke.

The Co. specialises in spares recovery, I think, but I can't remember it's name.

Roller:

I think there are some ex-Ansett a/c that also have the problem, according to spagiola's site

Smiliner
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Old 7th Dec 2001, 13:05
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Will the BA/QF hunt for a common type RJ have any effect on the outcome?
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Old 7th Dec 2001, 14:37
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Soddit, that's very deep and meaningful for a Friday morning. So where does it leave the BA/QF RJ order?
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Old 7th Dec 2001, 16:57
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Trouble with the water drains on the 146 is that they suffer from chronic leakage, and once they're sealed, the engineers are loath to disturb them and make 'em leak again.

Also, it's just been revealed that the original Biocide possibly acted as a food for the bacteria, so if people had been using it, it could have made the problem worse!!! In the right (or should that be wrong!) climate, the damage can occur in as little as five or six weeks, and boy, is it expensive!!
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Old 7th Dec 2001, 17:25
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Yowie:

You would like to think so, wouldn't you!

An order of that size would have kept the line at WFD chugging along for Years at previous build rates (about 20 per Year)

According to this weeks "Flight", BE will not accept a shortened delivery timeline for their RJX's (which would mean a very small no. of aircraft manufactured over a very long time, or building them and then storing them I guess) and point out again that they haven't cancelled their Order.

Seems BAESys are in a bit of a contractual tight spot!!
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Old 7th Dec 2001, 18:27
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Wycombe, re BAE's contractual tight-spot, you would have thought that BAE would have foreseen this and had discussions with British European before telling the world that they were canning the RJX. Anyone in BE know how and when they heard the news? On the tv/radio by any chance?
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Old 9th Dec 2001, 03:43
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As for BAE and BE consultation pre- canning, when the Jetstream bit the dust the factory workers heard it on the local radio before the bosses told them.

Same goes for our move from PIK to Jerez - read it in Flight first.

Nothing changes!
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