BAe considers Avro RJ improvements

Jeff Marsh, the Avro RJ program’s marketing director, indicated in an interview at the Asian Aerospace show in Singapore that BAe was considering several options to keep the Avro RJ family competitive against Boeing’s planned 717 regional jet (formerly the McDonnell Douglas MD-95), deliveries of which are scheduled to begin in 1999. BAe is assessing new engines from AlliedSignal and Pratt & Whitney and is looking for ways to reduce production costs, although earlier cost-cutting has already brought them down substantially. Boeing is reported to have reduced the list price of the 717 to about US$19 million, from the US$32 million that McDonnell Douglas was asking for the MD-95, substantially undercutting the RJ100’s list price of about US$28 million. A decision on any improvement program will be made later this year.

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