The ones I love to hate

Confession time: I am prone to irrational, unjustifiable dislikes when it comes to aeroplanes. More often than not it is an aircraft about which more fuss was made than the aircraft was worth – in my opinion, I hasten to add. Usually that fuss was being made in the pages of Flight and getting in the way of what I wanted to write (3,000-word features on ring laser gyros, that sort of thing).

Top of the list has to be the BAe 146, which must have appeared in the pages of Flight more frequently than any other aircraft over my 30 years. Why? Because it’s British and because a former Flight editor had an obsession with the 146 and the Royal Family….

Rule Britannia! (Crown Copyright)Actually, I quite like the chunky look of the 146, although with all those engines, flaps and gear hanging down it seems more suited to landing on a carrier deck than at a regional airport. Thankfully, my colleague Max Kingsley Jones has made sure my disdain has not prevented the 146 making many more appearances in Flight.


Other irrational dislikes? Concorde, because it was a momumental waste of money and because the Labour government chose to keep it and cancel the TSR2. But I did come to have a grudging respect for the beast when I realised the extent to which it kept British technology alive till the Tornado came along.


And, just to upset everyone – remember, I did say irrational and unjustifiable – the Airbus A380. What is all the fuss about? It’s just a big bus. Although I do rather like that wing…


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7 Responses to The ones I love to hate

  1. LowObservable 8 April, 2008 at 12:39 am #

    My first analysis job was to explain why the 146 had been cancelled. And then it came back, the Freddy Krueger of airliners. No, it’s not exactly elegant, with more excess drag than a Gay Pride rally and at least two more engines than it could possibly justify, Nos. 2 & 3 seemingly being located inside the cabin (or perhaps it just sounded that way). Also, due to a mix-up in preliminary design, the six-abreast option for the cabin was designed using anthropometric data derived from a survey of circus midgets.
    But at least it wasn’t the VFW 614.

  2. The Woracle 8 April, 2008 at 2:10 am #

    Thanks, LO. Now I can blame you for the thing not staying cancelled.

    The only aeroplane my flying-phobic father ever flew in was a 146. He rather liked it, which I can best explain by pointing out he usually drove a tractor…

  3. Thomas Bambrick 8 April, 2008 at 8:55 am #

    totally agree about the 146 horrible design, nothing overly fantastic about it. whats with the fuss.

    concorde i have to disagree because i think its a beauty and really had the chance to advance technology although i do agree that the TSR2 was a big loss. although the blame can’t all be left on concordes door either.

    And the A380 100% agree its just an extended 747 upper deck its not the game changing aircraft that th 747 was when it arrived. it was a logic step forward from the 747 and not that big a one either

  4. Doug Stephen 8 April, 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    Flew the 146 for 14 yrs or so and thoroughly enjoyed it latterly after the engines became moderately reliable. You could really fly it as opposed to just pushing buttons and as for London City, well that was the sport of kings in dodgy weather second only to doing AAR in the middle of a Cu-nim!

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