PICTURES: Qinetiq introduces modified RJ100

This story is sourced from Flight International
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Qinetiq has formally commissioned a modified Avro RJ100 into its fleet, with the aircraft the first of two on order to replace its last outdated BAC One-Elevens and Hawker Siddeley HS 748s.

Manufactured in 2000 and acquired from asset management company Falko, RJ100 G-BZAY is now at the Ministry of Defence’s Qinetiq-run Boscombe Down flight test facility in Wiltshire, carrying the new registration QQ101.



It will be followed by a smaller RJ70 airframe, which the company says will be introduced in 2014 following extensive modifications. An aircraft built in 1994 is already on order, it adds. Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database identifies this as being serial number E1254/G-BVRJ, which was formerly operated by Air Malta and is currently being stored at Boscombe Down.



Aircraft QQ101 is shown parked alongside the to be-converted RJ70 (far left)

Purchased to support the MoD’s 25-year long-term partnering agreement with Qinetiq, the second-hand aircraft are replacing types "which were noisy, unrepresentative of modern aircraft and expensive to maintain", the latter says. The RJs will also allow it to meet European Aviation Safety Agency regulations.

The modified regional airliners will primarily be used to support the instruction of test pilots and flight test engineers for the UK’s Empire Test Pilots’ School.