The BAe 146 is a medium-sized commercial aircraft which was manufactured in the United Kingdom by British Aerospace (which later became part of BAE Systems). Production ran from 1983
until 2002. Manufacture of the improved version known as the Avro RJ began in 1992. prototypes and one production aircraft were built before production ceased in late 2001. With 387 aircraft produced, the Avro RJ/BAe 146 programme is the most successful British civil jet programme.
The aircraft have proven to be useful on "high density" regional and short-haul routes. In economy class, the aircraft can either be configured in a standard five-abreast layout or a high-density 6-abreast layout, making it one of very few regional jets that can use a 6-abreast layout in economy class. The plane is also renowned for its relatively quiet operation, a positive feature which won the hearts of many operators who wanted to fly in and out of noise stringent airports within cities. The aircraft is one of only a few jet aircraft that can be used on flights to London City Airport, which has a unique steep approach and a short runway
The 146 is the first jet aircraft operated by the British Queen's Flight (later 32 [The Royal] Squadron), and entered service in 1986 after two aircraft were leased by the Royal Air Force for evaluation. The Queen's Flight acquired a total of three 146s, known in the RAF as the CC2, all fitted out with a luxurious
bespoke interior. A complete spare interior was also ordered and held in storage. The aircraft are operated in a VIP configuration with a capacity of 19 passengers and 6 crew. The CC2 is fitted with various external and internal missile defence systems.
The 146-200 features a 2.41 m (7 ft 11 in) fuselage extension and reduced cost per seat mile. The -200 first flew in August 1982 and entered service six months later.