The 146 prototype, G-SSSH, at Hatfield in July 1982. The first three aircraft were painted in a rather stylish promotional four-tone colour scheme, the first and third in warm yellow and orange bands thickening aftwards over a white fuselage and a dark belly; the second, G-SSHH, in the same scheme but in a cooler blue palette.
In a revised promotional colour scheme, the first 146-200, G-BMYE (originally G-WISC for its maiden flight on August 1, 1982), comes in to land after displaying at the SBAC show at Farnborough in September 1986. Note the distinctive open airbrake at the tail. The 146-200 was “stretched” by 7ft 11in (2-4m), allowing a maximum of 112 passengers in rows of six abreast.
Production of the 146 finally got moving at Hatfield after the formation of BAe in 1977, this press photo showing the first examples well progressed in mid-1980. Bob Grigg’s design had simplicity of operation and economy at its heart, the airframe and systems incorporating as many “off the shelf” components as possible.
The wooden mock-up of the Hawker Siddeley 146 at Hatfield in 1974, comprising a complete fuselage, wing with engine nacelles and fully instrumented cockpit. The fuselage was designed to accommodate five Boeing 747 seats abreast, with two variants, the Series 100 (up to 88 passengers) and Series 200 (up to 112), to be developed.
After much deliberation and inter-governmental wrangling, the HS 146 was suspended in late 1974 in the wake of a global economic depression brought on by a crisis in oil prices. Little more work was undertaken on the project until it became a flagship development programme for the newly nationalised BAe, which issued this artist’s impression in 1980.