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BAe 748 ATP

The BAe 748 ATP twin turboprop regional airliner and freighter is a low wing, twin-engine, pressurized transport category airplane having a maximum takeoff weight of 49,500 pounds. The airplane is equipped with two Pratt and Whitney PW-124 turbopropeller engines, each producing 2,400 shaft horsepower. The airplane has a maximum seating capacity for 72 persons, plus the crew, and a maximum permissible altitude of 25,000 feet.

This 44-48-seat airliner, powered by Rolls-Royce Dart engines has been a mainstay of regional airline and freighter operations since the 1960s. It is also popular for military transport use. More than 200 aircraft remain in service today. The HS748/BAe 748 was designed to satisfy the requirements to replace the ageing Douglas DC-3. The aircraft maintains its ability to fulfil the original requirement which was for an economical aircraft capable of generating profits from short-haul flights, that could land and take-off from a variety of surfaces and that was simple and easy to maintain.

The prototype first flew in 1960 and from then on a steady stream of HS748s left the factory to go to both civilian and military operators. There have been special cargo models, variants for heads of state and a special fire-fighting variant.

Several marques of the aircraft have been produced. First was the Series 1 but this was soon superceded by the Series 2 with uprated Dart 7 engines, giving greater payload and longer range which became the standard production model. In 1967 a new model - the Series 2A - was introduced, powered by Dart 532 engines. Again this was succeeded in 1979 by the Series 2B.

Over the years the aircraft sold well into export markets as a passenger airliner with particular sales success recorded in Latin America and the Caribbean, South East Asia and Africa. A number were also sold to UK and European airlines.

The VIP version of the aircraft was the mainstay of The Queen's Flight for many years and this led to sales success for this variant in countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Ecuador, India, Korea, Nepal, Philippines, Tanzania, Thailand, Venezuela and Zambia.

Military versions of the aircraft featured a strengthened floor and a large sliding cargo door, and this design option has proven popular today with the aircraft operated by a number of all-freight airlines, notably in Europe and Australia. A specialised military transport version designated the HS780 and subsequently the Andover C Mk.1 was also built and served with the RAF for many years, commencing in 1966. The main feature of this variant was the 'kneeling' undercarriage, rear clamshell doors and a loading ramp.

In total nearly 400 BAe 748s were built during the period 1960 -1988, including licence production in India.

Indian licence build program

In the early days of the program the Indian Government expressed in the aircraft and an agreement was signed with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd to allow the aircraft to be produced under licence in Kanpur. A total of 89 aircraft were built at Kanpur, the majority destined for the Indian armed forces in a variety of roles, although 17 aircraft were delivered to Indian Airlines for domestic passenger use.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:51:53 ZULU