Updated: Aug 6
Today in 1986, 35 years ago, the British Aerospace ATP (Advanced Turbo-Prop) made its first flight. Based on the Hawker Siddeley HS 748. When it entered the market there were some strong competitors, like the de Havilland Canada Dash 8 series and the ATR 42/72 series. Only 65 Bae ATP’s will be built.
The BAe prototype at the Farnborough Air Show
Compared to the HS 748 the fuselage length and wingspan were increased and the RR Dart engines were replaced by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW126 engines, driving a six-bladed Hamilton Standard propeller. After completion of the test program, the aircraft entered service in 1988 with the English carrier British Midland. Only a few operators outside Europe operated the BAe ATP, one of them was Air Wisconsin flying a feeder service for United Airlines as United Express in the USA
Production of the BAe ATP and development of the Jetstream 61 (as an improved BAe ATP) seized in 1996 after BAe’s Regional Aircraft division merged with ATR and formed Aero International on the 26th of January 1995. Besides the (standard) the BAe ATP different varients were considered and built, an small overview;
The Jetstream 61 With an increased seating capacity (from 64 to 70 seats) and several cabin improvements, it would be an improved BAe ATP. Powered by a more powerful engine, the P&W PW127, it had increased weight limitations and a better range than the ATP. Four Jetstream 61’s were built for testing and development purposes. The program came to an abrupt end when BAe and ATR merged. With the Jetstream 61 being a direct competitor to the successful ATR 72 the program was cancelled and the four airframes built so far were scrapped.
Jetstream 61 prototype
Maritime ATP (BAe P.132) Intended for use in naval operations it would have a belly-mounted surveillance radar, FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) and the capability to lance sonar buoys. Armament would be carried on up to six underwing pylons. None were built.
ATP-AEW Proposed as an Airborn Early Warning aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force with radars in the nose and tail of the aircraft. None were built.
ATP Freighter Initially, 6 aircraft were modified to freighter using a modified HS748 cargo door for West Air Sweden.
Compared to the HS748 it carried 30% more cargo than its predecessor. In the years following more aircraft were modified to freighter (about 20 airframes) and continue to operate as such. Some specifications of the British Aerospace Advanced Turbo-Prop
Capacity: 64 passengers + 2 flight attendants
Length: 26.00 m (85 ft 4 in)
Wingspan: 30.63 m (100 ft 6 in)
Height: 7.14 m (23 ft 5 in)
Wing area: 78.3 m2 (843 sq ft) 
Empty weight: 13,595 kg (29,972 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 22,930 kg (50,552 lb)
Fuel capacity: 6,364 L (1,400 imp gal; 1,681 US gal)
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW126 turboprops, 1,978 kW (2,653 shp) each
Propellers: 6-bladed BAe/Hamilton Standard, 4.19 m (13 ft 9 in) diameter
Cruise speed: 496 km/h (308 mph, 268 kn) at 4,575 m (15,010 ft)
Range: 1,825 km (1,134 mi, 985 nmi) with 64 passengers
Ferry range: 4,070 km (2,530 mi, 2,200 nmi)
Service ceiling: 7,600 m (25,000 ft) (max operating altitude)