Air Transport World

BAe ATP first flight date set.

Manchester, England--On the assembly track at the Avro (now British Aerospace) factory here which, during World War II, churned out Lancaster bombers for the Royal Air Force, the BAe ATP (advanced turboprop) airliner is coming together, ready for first flight on August 6, 1986 at 10 a.m.

This confident precision has been a feature so far of the project, on which BAe has spent [pounds sterling] 15 million at this writing of the [pounds sterling] 100 million of its own funds earmarked. The first fuselage arrived from another BAe factory nearby two minutes before the appointed time of midday on December 23, 1984. "We will get it right next time," said Charles Masefield, BAe divisional director and general manager, only half jokingly.

ATP will be a 64-seat follow-on to the 48-seat 748 turboprop airliner which has done yeoman service with airlines around the world for the past 25 years. But although based on the 748 structure, the ATP incorporates a great deal of the latest technological thinking, including an EFIS flight deck, carbon fiber brakes and Pratt & Whitney 124 engines (as opposed to the Rolls-Royce Dart) driving six-bladed propellers of new design, a combination which BAe claims will give a noise footprint on takeoff of one fifth that of a twinjet. …

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