‘Another Technical Problem’ – The Turbulent Story of the BAe ATP

‘Another Technical Problem’ – The Turbulent Story of the BAe ATP

DALLAS – Today, the American and European giants, Boeing and Airbus, dominate the commercial aircraft industry. But for many years, the United Kingdom produced many iconic, world-leading airliners such as the de Havilland Comet, Vickers Viscount, and Hawker Siddeley Trident.

However, by the late 1980s, its share of the civil aviation market was falling. British Aerospace (BAe) decided to have one last throw of the passenger plane dice, and the ‘Advanced Turbo-Prop’ or ATP for short, was born on March 1, 1984. 

The second HS748 prototype (G-ARAY) carrying out rough field trials. Photo: BAe Systems.


The ATP was developed from the Hawker Siddeley 748, a medium-sized turboprop airliner produced in the late 1950s to replace the Douglas DC-3. The new aircraft would be a significant redesign of its predecessor rather than a clean-sheet design, reducing production time and costs. 

While the ATP was billed as an updated 748, the only things in common with its predecessor were an identical fuselage cross-section and a wing design based on the military freighter version.

The ATP had an 18-foot fuselage stretch, taking maximum seating up to 72 passengers, although the standard capacity was 64 with a 31-inch seat pitch. The cabin was thoroughly modernized, with a single lavatory at the front and a galley at the rear. Integrative forward air-stairs were fitted as standard to allow faster turnarounds on multi-sector flights. 

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Featured Image: British Midland was the launch customer of the ATP but only three were ever used by the airline. Photo: Felix Goetting (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons

European Deputy Editor
Writer and aviation fanatic, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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