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G-BEJD BAe HS.748-105 c/n 1543 - DAN-AIR LONDON - Groningen Airport Eelde in Holland - 9 October 1985 Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ)

The Manchester-based company A V Roe & Company Ltd., devoted itself to re-enter the aero-commercial scene, beginning in 1957 when its future as a military aircraft producer looked doomed after the infamous Duncan Sandys 1957 "Defence White Paper", which axed its ongoing projects. The original 748 design development started in 1957 as a smaller 20-seat feederliner and was marketed as a potential replacement for the now-aged DC-3's then in widespread service as feederliners. The project attracted very little interest from the airlines, until an enlarged, twin Rolls-Royce Dart development of the aeroplane was proposed. Avro was not the only company to see the potential for a DC-3 replacement, and by this point the Fokker F-27 Friendship was well advanced. Avro decided to compete by producing a design with better short-field performance, allowing it to operate from smaller airports. In January 1959, Avro announced its intention to go ahead with the project and build an initial batch of twelve aircraft, and work started a month later on the construction of two flying prototypes and two other aircraft for static tests. The Indian Government showed an interest in the aircraft later in the year and even before the first test flight had taken place a manufacturing agreement had been signed for the aircraft to be built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. in Kanpur, India. On 24 June 1960, the maiden flight of the first prototype of the Avro 748, G-APZV took place from Avro's Woodford plant airfield and was piloted by Jimmy Harrison, the Avro Chief Test Pilot. The original 748 - the Series 1 - was powered by two Rolls Royce Dart 6 Mk.514 turboprops rated at 1600 hp. The second prototype, G-ARAY, was flown on 10 April 1961, and the two prototypes quickly proved the type's short field performance. Eighteen 748 Series 1 aircraft were produced, The first to operate this model was the British transport company Skyway Coach Air (later known as Dan-Air Skyways), while the first foreign order came from Aerolineas Argentinas. The series 2 entered production in 1961. This version was powered by the Rolls-Royce Dart 7 Mk.531 rated at 1910 hp giving the Series 2 the capability of carrying a greater load over a longer range. In 1962, the Royal Air Force ordered 31 Andover C.Mk.1s, a modified military version of the 748, originally known as the 748 MF, with a completely new rear fuselage, with a rear-loading door and an unique "kneeling" landing gear, which permits the main landing gear units to be partally retracted with the aircraft on the ground, giving a range of movement at the rear door sill. With the reorganisation of the British aircraft industry, Avro was absorbed into Hawker Siddeley in July 1963. The Hawker Siddeley Group decided to combine the names of the companies within the group into one and well known names like Gloster and A V Roe became known as Hawker Siddeley Aviation Ltd. The Avro 748 became the Hawker Siddeley 748 (HS748) overnight. 198 HS748 Series 2 were built before the type 2A took over on the line. The Series 2A was introduced in 1967. This had more powerful engines fitted - the Rolls Royce Dart7 Mk. 532 which again improved the performance of the aircraft. Many operators subsequently upgraded their Series 2 aircraft to 2A standard by fitting replacement engines. The next version of the 748 to be built was the Series 2B with even more powerful engines, the Dart7 Mk.536-2. In 1977, Hawker Siddeley and the British Aircraft Corporation merged into British Aerospace. The designation of the aircraft now became the British Aerospace 748 (BAe748), with the Series 2B becoming the main production model. Seventy-one were built, along with 25 Series 2Cs. Production ended in 1988 by which time 382 aircraft of the 748 had been built, including 160 assembled in India, comprising mostly Series 2s. A larger development, the BAe ATP, failed to attract significant orders and saw a limited production run.

On 9 October 1985, the 1961-built DAN-AIR London HS-748 (AVRO 748 Series 1) G-BEJD was photographed at Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands when in on a passengers charter. The BAe HS.748 Sr1/105 c/n 1543 flew first on 19 May 1962 as LV-PUF and was delivered to Aerolíneas Argentinas on 05 June 1962. The airframe was re-registered LV-HHE on 13 June 1962 The LV-HHE, baptised "Ciudad de Resistencia", entered service on 14 July 1962. The LV-HHE was transferred to Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales on 18 April 1975. The aircraft was sold to DAN-AIR and registered G-BEJD in the UK on 17 December 1976. The aircraft arrived in Manchester on 24 December 1976, and entered service with DAN-AIR on 08 March 1977. Early 1987, the G-BEJD was converted into a cargo version and re-entered service on 31 March 1987. On 15 July 1992, the entire Dan Air fleet of six BAe 748s together with a large spares inventory was acquired by Janes Aviation748 Ltd., since renamed EAL (Emerald Airways Ltd.) On 3 August 1992, HS-748 G-BEJD was registered with Emerald Airways Ltd.

page last updated: 06-08-2005
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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