Home Classic Airliners RAF BAe 146 Retired to Duxford

RAF BAe 146 Retired to Duxford

by Matt Falcus

A former Queen’s Flight British Aerospace 146 aircraft has been retired to the British Airliner Collection at Duxford, near Cambridge, UK.

The Royal Air Force BAe 146 Mk 2 aircraft is being retired from active duty with 32 Squadron based at RAF Northolt, and is now being preserved as an example of the most successful British jet airliner ever built.

This particular aircraft, ZE701, started life in 1986 as a ‘Statesman’ model, which had duties involving flying the Queen and Royal Family. It has a VIP interior.

It has since been involved in many government and military roles, and has now come to the end of its life with the RAF.

Photo (c) Keith Bradshaw

The British Airliner Collection comprises a variety of important commercial airliners which have been preserved at the Imperial War Museum’s Duxford site, and includes aircraft such as Concorde, BAC One-Eleven, Hawker Siddeley Trident, Vickers Viscount, VC10, and Airspeed Ambassador among others.

ZE701 flew in to Duxford on 23 January 2022 to join the collection.

“The BAe146 aircraft have served the UK proudly over many decades, including during numerous operations including Iraq and Afghanistan. After four decades of service, the aircraft have now reached the end of their service lives and I am delighted that the 146s are going to good homes and joining the collections of two fantastic aviation museums.”

Air Vice-Marshal Suraya Marshall, Commanding Officer No 2 Group

Its arrival has meant that Handley Page Herald G-APWJ is being dismantled and loaned to another museum to make space for the jet.

The British Airliner Collection at Duxford

Another RAF BAe 146 is also to be preserved at the South Wales Aviation Museum at St Athan soon, and two remaining BAe 146 Mk 3 aircraft flown as part of 32 Squadron will also be retired from service, and sold on to a commercial operator.




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Steve January 27, 2022 - 12:46 am

I loved the 146, it was quiet, it was smooth and comfortable. I enjoyed many a trip from Southampton (SOU) to Alicante (ALC) with Flybe. The black leatherette seats looked smart too.

MERV CROWE January 27, 2022 - 3:38 am

Great to see the RAF 146 finding a new home at Duxford, sad to see Herald PWJ being moved on. Was at Duxford Aug 2018 and spent a while on the Herald ( I used to do loadsheets for PWJ at Belfast), so hope who ever receives it, will care for it, as only only of 3 fully intact ones left.
Look forward to seeing over ZE 701 next time we are back in the UK…..whenever that will be !


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