The Avro RJ has had an exciting life. In the Seventies his career started as HS.146 at Hawker Siddeley. But the development had to be turned down for lack of subventions by the government. In 1978 the project was started again as BAe 146 at British Aerospace.
The model was somehow daring, a short-haul aircraft with four engines and wings on top of the fuselage. The ALF502 engines were one of the most silent of this time. Another characteristic feature are the air brakes at the tail. BAe 146 and Avro RJ are short-takeoff airliners what makes possible service even from airpots with short runways like London City Airport. The first flight of the BAe 146 was in 1981, in 1983 Launching Customer DAN-Air got its first aircraft. The BAe 146 was seated very narrowly to transport up to 90 passengers in a six-seated row.
There are three versions of the BAe 146: BAe 146-100, -200 and -300 with room for 80-120 passengers. Version -300 is about 5 metres longer than the -100.
In 1992 the BAe 146 was widely modified and named Avro RJ as a sign of the renovation. The production was completely taken over by Avro International. The Avro RJ got a digital flight deck, equipment and range were improved and new engines type Allied Signal LF507 were used.
Again there are three versions of the Avro RJ, the RJ70, the RJ85 and the RJ100. For comfort reasons a two+three seating was used instead of a three+three one. Launching customer was Crossair in 1993.
As a reason of a growing competition of Fairchild, Embraer, Bombardier & co, Avro presented the Avro RJX with new engines to be able to compete. The first flight of the new Avro was on April 28th 2001. However, no plane was ever delivered. The crisis after September 11th caused BAe, the current owner company of Avro, to end the production line.