Britain’s Most Successful Commercial Jetliner

The last bastions of British-made jetliners are long gone except for one example that continues to live on. Key.Aero discovers that while arguably the country’s lesser-known offering, the British Aerospace 146 is the UK’s most successful civil jet airliner programme.  

Exactly 39 years ago today, the British Aerospace 146 took to the skies for the first time. At that moment, those gazing skyward were not to know it would become the most successful British jetliner of all-time but also the last one to be designed and manufactured in the country. 

Aviation Image Network/Bailey
Irish airline Cityjet has operated a total of 53 BAe 146s over the year. Aviation Image Network/Bailey

The type is unique in several ways: first, it is a high-wing cantilever aircraft with a T-tail. Secondly, it has four turbofan engines mounted to pylons underneath the wings – the number of powerplants is something usually reserved for larger, long-haul aircraft. 

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