This family of regional aircraft made by BAe (British Aerospace) includes two similar series of planes: the BAe 146-100/200/300 and the modernized Avro RJ-70/85/100.
Initial development of the airplane, known at the time as the HS.146, was started under Hawker Siddeley in the early 1970s. After the company's merger with British Aerospace the project was renamed to the BAe 146. From the very beginning, three versions of the aircraft were designed, featuring varied fuselage lengths. Each model was in turn made in two versions with different seating arrangements of 5 and 6 seats per row in the passenger area, resulting in different passenger capacities.
The baseline model of the series, the BAe 146-100, can accomodate 70 to 80 people (depending on the seating arrangement). It made its maiden flight in 1981 and was adopted for service two years later. The BAe 146-200, an elongated variant of the base model that could seat from 85 to 100 passengers, was introduced a year after the -100 series in 1982, and began to be sold along with its counterpart in 1983. The final and largest model, the BAe 146-300, had a capacity of 100 to 112 passengers and was first flown in 1988, entering service later the same year.
In 1992, the BAe 146 design was revised and updated. Changes included newer, more effective engines, and the latest in onboard devices and equipment, resulting in a much more efficient aircraft with a farther flight range. This new series was named the Avro RJ.
The Avro RJ was also released in three variants with two versions each, with sizes and passenger capacities identical to their corresponding BAe 146 predecessors. The three models of the Avro RJ are the Avro RJ70 (based on the BAe 146-100), the Avro RJ85 (based on the BAe 146-200) and the Avro RJ100 (a modernized BAe 146-300).
The BAe 146 and Avro RJ series were manufactured between 1978 and 2003, during which time 221 BAe 146s and 166 Avro RJs were produced. Besides passenger airliners, the BAe 146 were also produced in cargo variants, called the BAe 146QT (Quiet Trader), and as private jets under the name of BAe 146 Statesman.