|West Air Sweden ATP|
|First flight||6 August 1986|
|Hawker Siddeley HS 748|
The British Aerospace ATP (Advanced Turbo-Prop) is an airliner produced by British Aerospace, introduced in the 1980s as an evolution of the Hawker Siddeley HS 748. The fuel crisis and increasing worries about aircraft noise led business planners at British Aerospace to believe that there was a market for a short-range, low-noise, fuel-efficient turboprop aircraft. By the time it entered the market, the segment was already well represented by designs such as the de Havilland Canada Dash 8, ATR 42 and ATR 72 and production was ended after only 65 examples.
The airframe of the HS 748 was redesigned with a lengthened 26.01 metres (85.3 ft) fuselage and a 30.62 metres (100.5 ft) wing span. Minor modifications were made to the nose and tail shapes; and smaller windows on a shorter pitch than the 748's were used. The 748's twin Rolls-Royce Dart engines were replaced with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW126 fuel efficient engines. A custom-designed, slow-turning, six-blade propeller was developed by Hamilton Standard.
The aircraft first flew in August 1986 and entered service with British Midland in 1988. The type has an advanced electronic flight instrument system flight deck, and has a good short-field performance. In addition to these virtues, it is also very quiet upon take off. The only U.S. operator of the ATP in scheduled passenger service was Air Wisconsin flying as United Express on behalf of United Airlines via a code sharing agreement.
In total 65 aircraft were assembled and flown at BAe's Woodford and Prestwick facilities with the manufacture of the airframe and wings undertaken at Chadderton. Production ended at Prestwick in 1996. The ATP can accommodate between 64 and 72 passengers depending on the seat configuration.
In 2001 the ATP Freighter project allowed six ATPs to be converted into cargo aircraft for West Air Sweden. Using a modification of the HS 748 freight door, the ATPF can carry 30% more cargo than its predecessor with a 10% increase in running costs. The ATPF made its first flight from West Air Sweden's facility in Lidköping on 10 July 2002.
Several ATP variants were proposed and produced for civil and military use:
The British Aerospace Jetstream 61 was an improved derivative of the ATP. It featured an interior based on the Jetstream 41 with innovative cabin wall armrests and an increase in capacity from 64 to 70 seats. In addition the airframe incorporated more powerful PW127 engines and increased weights and range.
For Farnborough, the original prototype ATP (serial number 2001) was re-painted in a J61 scheme and re-registered G-PLXI (LXI being the Roman numeral for 61. The first flight of a proper J61 aircraft was by 2064 G-JLXI on 10 May 1994 from Prestwick. Four airframes were produced as Jetstream 61s, 2065 being the only other to have flown before British Aerospace's regional airliner manufacturing operations were merged with ATR as Aero International (Regional) on 26 January 1995. With the already highly successful ATR 72 now part of the same product range the Jetstream 61 was immediately cancelled with all four airframes being scrapped at Prestwick.
This was a variant for use in military naval operations, with a surveillance radar under the forward fuselage, nose-mounted FLIR and internal sonar buoys. A suite of special crew stations also featured, as did a choice of up to six weapon pylons under the wings and fuselage. The Maritime ATP was later known as the BAe P.132. None were built.
The AEW was a 1986 proposal for an Airborne Early Warning aircraft for Australia, with two EMI Skymaster radars in nose and tail radomes, similar in appearance to the Nimrod AEW.3. None were built.
Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1988-1989
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