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Handley Page Jetstream

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Handley Page Jetstream & BAe Jetstream 31/32
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Jetstream31.jpg
Jetstream 31

Description
RoleRegional airliner/Feederliner
Crew2
First FlightH.P.137: 1967
Jetstream 31: 1980
Jetstream 32: 1985
Entered ServiceH.P.137: ?
Jetstream 31: 1982
Jetstream 32: 1988
ManufacturersH.P.137: Handley Page Scottish Aviation
Jetstream 31/32: British Aerospace
Dimensions
Length14.3 m47 ft
Wingspan15.8 m52 ft
Height5.3 m17 ft 6 in
Wing areaft²
Weights
Empty kg lb
Loaded kg lb
Maximum takeoff kg lb
Capacity kg lb
Powerplant
EnginesH.P.137Turbomeca Astazou
Power (each)kWhp
Power (total)kWhp
EnginesJetstream 31Garrett AiResearch TPE-331
Power (each)kWhp
Power (total)kWhp
Performance
Maximum speedkm/hmph
Combat range
(max payload)
kmmiles
Ferry rangekmmiles
Service ceilingmft
Rate of climbft/minm/min
Wing loadinglb/ft²kg/m²
Power/Masshp/lbkW/kg
Avionics
Avionics

The Handley Page HP.137 Jetstream was a small twin turboprop airliner, with a pressurised fuselage, designed to meet the requirements of the United States feederliner and regional airline market.

Handley Page was in an awkward position in the 1960s, wishing to remain independent of the "big two" British companies, but without the money needed to develop a large new airliner that would keep them in the market. After studying the problem, they decided that their next product would be a highly competitive small airliner instead. They identified an existing hole in the airliner market, and decided to fill it with a 12-18 seat high-speed design.

The original design dates from 1965 as a 12 seat (6 rows with a centre aisle) aircraft. The aircraft was a low wing, high tail monplane, with a circular fuselage cross section. This allowed the aircraft to be pressurised, allowing much higher altitude flights and consequent higher speed and comfort than competing non-presurised designs. Considerable attention was paid to streamlining in order to improve performance, which led to one of the design's more distinctive features, a long nose profile. One drawback of the design was that the main spar was a trip hazard in the cabin floor, which had a lowered aisle floor to allow standup passenger entry and egress through the rear door. The design garnered intense interest in the US when it was first introduced, and an order for 20 had been placed even before the drawings were complete.

Final assembly took place in a new factory at the Radlett aerodrome, but large portions of the structure are subcontracted, including complete wings being built by Scottish Aviation at Prestwick, and the tail section by Northwest Industries of Edmonton, Canada. The original design used Turboméca Astazou XIV engines of approximately 840 hp, and flew on August 18th, 1967 as the Handley Page Jetstream 1. Throughout the test program the engines proved to be a sore spot, being generally underpowered for the design, and surprisingly tempermental for what was then a mature and well-used design. Testing was eventually moved to the Turboméca factory airfield in the south of France, both to allow faster turnaround with engine work, and in order to improve the schedule by taking advantage of the better weather.

In order to improve sales prospects in the US, the fifth prototype was fitted with the US-built Garrett AiResearch TPE-331 in place of the French Astazou. The US-built engine was enough to allow the US Air Force to consider it, eventually placing an order for eleven, to be known as the C-10A, otherwise known as the Jetstream 3M. However by the time they were ready to even consider starting construction, the USAF had already cancelled their order in early 1969, citing late delivery.

The first production model Jetstream 1 flew on 6 December 1968, and over the next year 36 would be delivered. However by this point Handley Page had given up on the original engine, and the Jetstream 2 was launched with the larger 965hp Astazou XVI, starting deliveries in late 1969. By this point the late delivery and engine problems had driven development costs to over £13 million, far more than the original (and somewhat ridiculous) £3 million projections. Only three Jetstream 2's would be completed before Handley Page went bankrupt, and the production line eventually shut down in 1970.

There was enough interest in the design that it was first picked up by a collaboration of investors, Jetstream Aircraft, and Scottish Aviation. A further ten Jetstream 1's were produced by this team. Scottish Aviation continued production of the Jetstream 2 as well, although they referred to it as the Jetstream 200. Twenty-six Jetstream 200's were ordered by the Royal Air Force, who used them as multi-engine trainers known as the Jetstream T.1, T.2 and T.3. The Royal Navy later took over some of the T.2's.

British Aerospace Jetstream 31

After Scottish Aviation went bankrupt and was merged into British Aerospace in 1978, BAe decided the design was worth further development, and started work on a "Mark 3" Jetstream. As with the earlier 3M version for the USAF, the new version was re-engined with newer Garrett turboprops which offered significant advantages over the Turbomeca units. These were higher power (about 1000hp), offered longer life, and most significantly the engines were flat rated, such that the maximum power was available for hot and high conditions. This allowed the aircraft to be offered in an 18 seat option (6 rows(2+1)), with a centre aisle, and the ability to operate at maximum load from a much greater range of airfields, particularly in the continental United States and Australia.

The result was the Jetstream 31, which entered production 28 March 1980. The new version proved to be as popular as Handley Page had originally hoped for, and several hundred 31's were built during the 1980s. In 1985 a further engine upgrade was planned, which flew in 1988 as the Jetstream Super 31, also known as the Jetstream 32. Production continued until 1993, by which time over 300 31/32's had been produced.

British Aerospace have adopted the Jetstream name as their brand name for all twin turboprop aircraft. As well as the Jetstream 31 and Jetstream 32, there also build the related Jetstream 41 and the un-related, but co-branded Jetstream 61, formerly known as the BAe ATP.

See also:List of civil aircraft

Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

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