First Avro RJX begins to takes shape

Nose section for the first RJX

Nose section for airframe 376, the first RJX, under construction at Woodford (BAE Systems)

The first Avro RJX is beginning to take shape on the Woodford assembly line. The nose section, flight deck floor, and forward fuselage drum are all being assembled at Woodford, while other components are being manufactured at other BAE Systems and subcontractor plants. The wing is scheduled to be delivered from BAE Systems’ Prestwick plant at the end of March. In the meantime, the test program for the new Honeywell (formerly AlliedSignal) AS900 engine, which has been selected for the RJX, is also proceeding. Honeywell carried out the first test flight of AS900 in late January, using a Boeing 720. The first RJX, the 376th airframe in the BAe 146/Avro RJ/Avro RJX family, will be an RJX-85 and is scheduled to be rolled out in a few months, and to make her first flight during the summer. The RJX-100 prototype, line number 378, will follow six later. Both aircraft will participate in the flight development program, with the aim of allowing airline service to begin in mid-2001, well before competitors from Bombardier, Embraer, and Fairchild Dornier will be ready.

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