The BAE-146 was originally modified by our team for National Centre for Atmospheric Science to house tailored scientific instruments to measure the atmosphere and has continued to support the aircraft availability and upgrades. The aircraft will now undergo modification and upgrade so it can continue making world-class measurements of the atmosphere for the next twenty years.
BAE Systems will design and develop these modifications to the Aircraft to enhance baseline performance and lead the modernisation of its science infrastructure to deliver optimal services, inherent research flexibility and the necessary on board facilities to its users to be able to continue its critical atmospheric research that benefits the global community.
The aircraft facility enables scientists to make in situ and remote sensing measurements of the atmosphere, spanning scales from detecting the smallest cloud droplets and quantifying chemical reactions, to monitoring weather systems and tracking pollution sources. The data collected builds understanding that informs clean air strategies, resilience to climate change, and early-warning systems for severe weather. The BAE-146 enables this to be delivered anywhere in the world, due to its low flying capabilities and short runway take off capabilities. The aircraft supports global research initiatives and has been crucial in helping scientists, governments and industry partners to tackle environmental challenges, including climate change, air pollution and severe weather.
We are really proud to see the BAE-146 used for such important scientific work, and our team are incredibly proud to continue to support the FAAM team at Cranfield where they ensure the availability of the aircraft each week. This investment in the aircraft will enable our team to improve the capabilities on-board that enable critical scientific research into our atmosphere. As we face increasing challenges from climate change around the world, the importance of the work the Atmospheric Research Aircraft delivers becomes even more potent.
Andrew James, Engineering Director - COO, BAE Systems Air Sector
The FAAM Airborne Laboratory’s research aircraft is owned by UK Research and Innovation and the Natural Environmental Research Council, managed through the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, leased through the University of Leeds, and fully supported by BAE Systems. The aircraft is hangared in Bedfordshire, with Cranfield Airport at Cranfield University.