BAE places first Aerostar converted 146-300QT freighter

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BAE Systems has placed the first British Aerospace 146-300QT freighter converted at the Aerostar facility in Romania.

Cobham Aviation Services Australia, which services Australia's mining sector, has taken the aircraft along with an Avro RJ100.

Cobham already operates 13 BAe 146 types, including the -300, but its most recent lease represents the first success for BAE's resurrected freighter conversion programme.

The Aerostar facility had previously converted a BAe 146-200, but that still lacks a customer following a cancelled order.

Although the Romanian -200 and -300 conversions were performed without pre-existing orders in place, a BAE Systems spokesman says, "We're not going to do any more speculative conversions until the market picks up".