A pair of transport aircraft used by the RAF since 1986 are to be preserved at aviation museums for future generations to enjoy. The two BAe146 Mk2 aircraft will become the latest exhibits at the British Airliner Collection at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, and the South Wales Aviation Museum at St Athan in South Glamorgan.
Operating from RAF Northolt by 32 (The Royal) Squadron, the BAe146 aircraft became a familiar sight in their role transporting senior government ministers, MOD personnel and occasionally members of the Royal Family. The 146's defensive aids suite enabled it to safely transport military commanders, personnel and smaller freight items in high-risk environments overseas.
"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
The disposal of the BAe146 fleet has been managed by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).
"DE&S has proudly supported the BAe146s over the years and, through our Defence Equipment Sales Authority, we have assured the heritage of these highly regarded aircraft."
Director Air Support for DE&S
In addition, the RAF's two BAe146 Mk3 aircraft which entered service in 2013 are also being taken out of service and have been bought by a civilian operator. Each of the four aircraft will be delivered to their respective owners over the coming weeks.
A decision regarding a replacement aircraft is under consideration and an announcement will be made soon.