British Aerospace ATP|
The British Aerospace Advanced Turboprop (ATP) is a twin-turboprop regional airliner seating up to around 70 passengers. Only 64 aircraft were built.
British Aerospace developed the ATP as a stretched and highly improved version of the earlier Hawker Siddeley HS748. Its first flight was on 6 August 1986, followed by certification in March 1988. British Midland introduced the aircraft type into service in May 1988. The ATP, however, met a lot of competition on the market by the Fokker 50, the De Havilland Canada Dash 8 and the ATR 42 and 72.
The ATP does not only have a longer fuselage than the HS748, it also has a larger wing and features more but smaller windows, closer near each other than on the 748. The ATP was fitted with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW126 turboprops replacing the Rolls-Royce Dart engines of the 748. The 748's four-blade propeller was replaced by a six-bladed, slow-turning one to decrease noise. BAe fitted the cockpit with an electronic flight instrument system (EFIS).
In 1993, British Aerospace renamed the aircraft 'Jetstream 61', in a move to give all its twin turboprop aircraft the 'Jetstream' brand. BAe already produced the smaller Jetstream 31, 32 and 41. The Jetstream 61 was actually an improved version of the ATP with increased capacity up to 72 seats. The cabin interior was based on that of the smaller Jetstream 41. The renewed aircraft was fitted with more powerful PW127D engines and offered higher weights and more range. It first flew on 10 May 1994, but British Aerospace cancelled production after building only four Jetstream 61s, because of the merger of its regional business with ATR's in January 1995. BAe and ATR formed the AI(R) consortium (Aero International Regional), which also had the more successful ATR 72 in its porfolio. The Jetstream 61 was therefore cancelled. AI(R) existed only until 1998, but BAe didn't resume Jetstream 61 production.
BAe proposed some variants for military use, like the Maritime ATP for military surveillance with a radar under the fuselage and weapon pylons under the wing and fuselage. It was never built as was a proposed AEW-version (airborne early warning).
64 ATPs were assembled when production ended in 1996. In early 2015, less than 40 aircraft are still in airline service. Many ATPs are converted into freighters, the first ATP-F made its maiden flight on 10 July 2002.
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