RAF retires BAe 146 to IWM Duxford

The RAF has retired the first of its four British Aerospace BAe-146s, with the aircraft, ZE701 (c/n E1029), arriving at Imperial War Museum (IWM) Duxford shortly after noon today to join the British Airliner Collection.

A second example, ZE700 (c/n E1021), has also been saved and is set to arrive at South Wales Aviation Museum – located close to Bro Tathan Airfield, once part of MOD St Athan – in the coming weeks.

Royal Air Force British Aerospace BAe 146
Both BAe 146 CC.2s are to be saved, with examples going to South Wales Aviation Museum as the Imperial War Museum Duxford-based British Airliner Collection Martin Needham

The two VIP-configured Statesman jets were first delivered to the RAF in 1986 and have served as transportation for the Royal family, government ministers and high-ranking military personnel. However, the pair of BAe 146 C3s are a much more recent acquisition. They were pressed into service in 2013 following a £15.5m urgent operational requirement to enable safe troop and freight transportation in the Afghan theatre while reducing strain on the RAF’s C-130J/K fleet. The two jets were originally built for the commercial sector as ‘quick change’ BAe 146-200QCs with a freight door in the rear fuselage and the ability to carry palletised freight or passengers.

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