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HS 748
West Air Sweden HS 748 Srs2/244
Role Airliner
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Avro
Hawker Siddeley
Hindustan Aeronautics
First flight 24 June 1960
Status Active service
Primary users Indian Air Force
Bismillah Airlines
Indian Airlines Corporation
Air North
Produced 1961–1988
Number built 380
Unit cost
US$1.6M (1972)[1]
Variants Hawker Siddeley Andover

The Hawker Siddeley HS 748 is a medium-sized turboprop airliner originally designed by the British firm Avro in the late 1950s as a replacement for the aging DC-3s then in widespread service as feederliners. Avro concentrated on performance, notably for STOL operations, and found a dedicated market. 380 aircraft were built by Hawker Siddeley. A larger, stretched development of the HS 748, the BAe ATP, attempted to compete with the de Havilland Canada Dash 8 but saw a limited production run.


BKS Air Transport Avro 748 Series 1 at Manchester in 1964

Aerolineas Argentinas Avro 748 Series 1 at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, Buenos Aires, in 1972

The original 748 design was started in 1958, after the Duncan Sandys 1957 Defence White Paper ended most military manned-aircraft development in the UK, and Avro decided to re-enter the civilian market.

The Vickers Viscount had the larger end of the short-haul market, and Avro therefore decided to design a smaller regional airliner powered by two Rolls-Royce Dart turboprop engines, intended to replace the many DC-3 Dakotas that were by then reaching the end of their economic lifespan. Original plans were for a 20–30 seat aircraft with a similar configuration to the Fokker F27, but talks with potential customers soon led to a low-wing 40-seat design being chosen for the 748 project.

Avro was not the only company to see the potential for a DC-3 replacement, and by this point work on the 748's direct competitor, the Fokker F27 Friendship turboprop, was well advanced. Avro therefore decided to compete by producing a more rugged design with better short-field performance, allowing it to operate from smaller airports and those with rough surfaces. This was accomplished with a long, high lift wing and a unique single slot flap with a hinged flap tab at the trailing edge. The wing was mounted low on the fuselage with dihedral from the root, allowing good overall ground clearance and easy mounting of strong landing gear. Other features of the 748 included an internal engine starting system, and systems and structures that were designed to be easy to inspect and repair in the field with limited equipment. The 748 was one of the first medium-sized aircraft to use fail-safe design principles in the structure, instead of the then common safe-life principles. Because of these features, the 748 quickly became popular (and still is today) with a variety of airlines operating in remote areas thanks to its ability to operate from short rough fields with no ground service equipment, hauling over 10,000 lb payloads.

The first Avro 748 flew from the company's Woodford, Cheshire aircraft factory on 24 June 1960, and testing of the two prototypes quickly proved the type's short-field performance. Eighteen Avro 748 Series 1 aircraft were produced, the first for Skyways Coach-Air Limited being delivered in April 1962. However, the majority of the series 1 were delivered to Aerolíneas Argentinas. By this point, Avro's individual identity within the Hawker Siddeley Group had ended and the design became known as the HS 748.

After the initial batch of series 1 aircraft, production switched to the series 2, similar to the series 1 but with more powerful RR Dart RDa 7 Mk 531 engines and increased gross weight. In 1967 the series 2A was introduced, the same basic aircraft but with Mk. 532 engines and a further increase in gross weight. From 1971 on, a large freight door in the rear cabin and strengthened cabin floor were offered as options on the 2A. In 1979 the Series 2B was introduced, with a 4-foot increase in wingspan, Mk 536-2 engines, a modernized passenger cabin, and improvements to the fuel, water methanol injection system, and engine fire protection systems.

In 1972, a Hawker Siddeley 748 was one of the last planes to be flown by noted aviator Howard Hughes. He made several flights, accompanied by Hawker Siddeley test pilot Tony Blackman, using the company's Hatfield airport.[2]

The 748 Series 1 and Series 2 were also licence-produced in India by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) as the HAL-748. HAL built 89 aircraft in India, 72 for the Indian Air Force and 17 for the Indian Airlines Corporation.

Hawker Siddeley used the HS 748 as the basis for their HS 780 Andover, a transport aircraft built for the Royal Air Force. The HS 780 was essentially a 748 but with a redesigned rear fuselage and empennage which included a large rear loading ramp and a squatting main landing gear to facilitate loading large freight items.

Production of the HS 748 ended in 1988, by which time 380 were produced (including the Andover and HAL-748).

Typical passenger seating in the HS 748 is for 40–48 economy class seats (4 abreast), however most passenger HS 748s still in service are operated as quick change combis, with a movable bulkhead dividing the main cabin, with 4 to 40 seats in the rear section and cargo in the forward section. The 748 is also widely used as a pure freighter with a typical max payload of about 12,000 lbs. Several carriers use the 748 as a bulk fuel hauler, with either seven or eight fixed tanks in the cabin with a total capacity of about 7500 litres (2000 US Gallons).

The ICAO designator as used in flight plans is A748.

The basic price for a new Avro 748 Series 1 in 1960 was £176,000, with the corresponding Avro 748 Series 2 being £196,000.[3]


  • 748 Series 1 – The original Avro 748 twin-engined short / medium-range airliner, powered by two Rolls-Royce Dart RDa 7 Mk 514 turboprop engines. 24 built.
  • 748 Series 2 – The Series 2 entered production in 1961 with a higher take-off weight and Mk 531 engines. 111 built.
  • 748 Series 2A – Introduced in 1967, with a further increase in take-off weight and Mk 532 or 534 engines. 157 built, making the 748 one of the more successful British airliners and the 2A the most popular variant.
  • 748 Series 2B – The main production model after Hawker-Siddeley was absorbed by British Aerospace, the 2B featured a 4-foot increase in wingspan, increased gross weight, Mk 536 engines, a modernized cabin, and systems improvements. 28 built.
  • Super 748 – Basically the same as the 2B but fitted with engine hush kits. 8 Built.
  • Hawker Siddeley HS780 Andover – Modified version of the 748 design for the Royal Air Force. Fitted with kneeling undercarriage, raised tail unit and rear loading ramp.
External images
Hi-res cutaway of BAe Coastguarder
Hi-res cutaway of BAe Coastguarder by Flight Global
  • Coastguarder – A maritime patrol version.
  • 748 Andover – Military passenger transport versions of the 748.
  • HAL 748 – Licence production by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited at Bangalore India. Indian aircraft were later modified for a variety of roles including a trials aircraft for an Airborne Early Warning version fitted with a large radome, known as the Airborne Surveillance Platform (ASP). 89 built.
  • HAL 748 Series 2M – Production for the Indian Air Force (the last 20 built) were Series 2M aircraft with a large freight door.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 10 July 1965, Avro 748-101 Series 1 G-ARMV of Skyways Coach-Air was written off in a landing accident at Lympne Airport. The 51 people on board survived. This was the first accident that resulted in a write-off on an Avro 748 / HS748.
  • On 15 August 1967, two accidents involving HS-748-222 Series 2 aircraft of Channel Airways Limited, occurred roughly 90 minutes apart at Portsmouth Airport. In the first incident, G-ATEK, operating a scheduled service from Southend to Paris, via Portsmouth, landed in rainy conditions and was unable to stop in the available distance on the grass runway. The aircraft slid sideways, left the runway and stopped on an embankment. Some 90 minutes later, aircraft G-ATEH, operating a scheduled service from Jersey, via Guernsey to Portsmouth, landed and slid on the runway, crashed through a perimeter fence and came to rest on the main Eastern Road. There were no injuries in either accident, but both aircraft sustained serious damage. An AIB investigation[4] reported that "both accidents were caused by inadequate braking which had resulted from the extremely low coefficient of friction provided by the very wet grass surface over the hard, dry and almost impermeable sub-soil".
  • On 4 February 1970, Aerolíneas Argentinas Flight 707, an Avro 748-105, crashed into the ground after the pilots lost control of the aircraft. The aircraft crashed at Loma Alta, Argentina and killed all 37 on board.
  • On 9 December 1971, Indian Airlines, an HS 748, near Chinnamanur was descending into Madurai when it flew into high terrain about 50 mi (80 km) from the airport, killing the four crew members and 17 passengers. There were ten survivors among the passengers. The accident occurred in reduced visibility during daylight hours.[5][6][7]
  • 20 January 1976 – a TAME HS 748-246 Series 2A registration HC-AUE crashed while flying over mountainous terrain at 10,000 feet. The aircraft struck trees with its right wing, lost control and crashed into the side of the mountain. The plane was en route from Loja to Simón Bolívar International Airport in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Six crewmembers and 28 passengers were killed; 8 passengers survived.
  • 3 March 1978 – Línea Aeropostal Venezolana Hawker Siddeley HS 748 crashed on departure from Simón Bolívar International Airport, Venezuela, all 46 on board are killed.
  • 7 September 1978 – Air Ceylon HS 748 4R-ACJ destroyed by fire while parked at Colombo-Ratmalana, resulting from detonation of bomb placed on board by terrorists. There were no fatalities.
  • 31 July 1979 at Sumburgh Airport in the Shetland Islands, Scotland; Dan-Air Flight 0034, an HS 748 series 1 (registration G-BEKF) operating an oil industry support flight crashed. The aircraft failed to become airborne and crashed into the sea. The accident was due to the elevator gust-lock having become re-engaged, preventing the aircraft from rotating into a flying attitude. The aircraft was destroyed and 17 persons died from drowning.
  • 22 August 1979 – An aircraft mechanic (a former non-commissioned officer of the Colombian Air Force), stole a military HS 748 (FAC-1101) from a military hangar at the Eldorado International Airport in Bogotá, Colombia. According to the news, this person stole the aircraft with the intention of crashing it against his parents' house. After some minutes in the air, it ran out of fuel and crashed, killing the impromptu pilot and three people on the ground.[8]
  • On 26 June 1981, Dan-Air Flight 240, an HS 748 2A mail flight from Gatwick Airport to East Midlands Airport crashed at Nailstone killing the 3 crew members. While descending, the right-hand rear door detached, struck the horizontal tail plane and became lodged on its leading edge. Control was lost, and the aircraft entered a steep dive. During the dive, the wings and tail plane failed due to overstressing.
  • On 19 August 1981, Indian Airlines Flight 557, an HAL 748 (VT-DXF) overshot the runway at Mangalore-Bajpe Airport in wet weather. The aircraft came to a halt just beyond the runway edge. There were no fatalities but the damaged aircraft was written off. One of the passengers on board was Veerappa Moily ex-Cabinet Minister for Law, Justice and Company Affairs in the Government of India.[9][10]
  • 11 October 1983 – Air Illinois Flight 710 carrying 10 people crashed at night in a thunderstorm between Pinckneyville and Tamaroa, IL. The flight originated at Chicago's Meigs Field and had stopped at Springfield, IL. The left generator had failed after takeoff and the first officer had mistakenly isolated the right generator. Attempts to restore the right generator were unsuccessful. The captain elected to continue to the destination rather than return to the nearby airport. The cloud base was at 2000 feet MSL, but ATC could not provide an IFR below 3,000 feet just before the crash. The crew indicated a total loss of electrical power. The left generator drive shaft had sheared.[11] All ten passengers and crew were killed.[12]
  • 27 June 1987 – Philippine Airlines Flight 206 crashed onto a mountain after poor visibility hampered the pilot's attempt to land at Loakan Airport in Baguio City, Philippines. All 50 passengers and crew were killed.
  • 29 April 1995 – Sri Lanka Air Force Avro 748 CR835 an HS 748 serial CR835 (4R-HVB) was hit by an SA-7 missile fired by the LTTE while on approach to Palaly/KKS/Jaffna. All 52 occupants on board were killed.[13]
  • On 11 January 1999, ASTE HAL-748 ASP/H-2175, an HAL 748 crashed into the ground after the pilots lost control of the aircraft. The aircraft crashed at Attur, Tamil Nadu, India and killed the 2 crew and 6 passengers.
  • 5 September 1999 – Necon Air Flight 128 from Pokhara to Kathmandu, a BAe 748-501 Super 2B (9N-AEG), collided with a communication tower of Nepal Telecommunication Corporation and crashed in a wooded area 25 km west of Kathmandu, while approaching Tribhuvan International Airport. All 10 passengers and 5 crew were killed.
  • 1 June 2002[14] – Former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje's scheduled flight home from Bloemfontein to George had been grounded, so he hitched a ride as the only passenger on a cargo flight in an HS 748. Near George airport, the pilots lost visibility in cloud, and were unable to land, partly due to unserviceable navigational equipment. While circling, the plane crashed into the Outeniqua mountains northeast of the airport. Cronje, aged 32, and the two pilots died. South Africa's High Court reached the conclusion that "the death of the deceased Wessel Johannes (Hansie) Cronje was brought about by an act or omission prima facie amounting to an offence on the part of pilots."[15][16] However, with Cronje's involvement in match-fixing, theories that Cronje was murdered on the orders of a cricket betting syndicate flourished after his death.[17]
  • 12 June 2012[18] – A Wasaya Airways Hawker-Siddley 748 caught fire during ground operations at Sandy Lake First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. No injuries were reported. The aircraft burned completely; only the left wing and nacelle survived.
  • 17 February 2014 – an HS 748-371 Srs 2B crash landed at Rubkona airport in South Sudan killing one crew member and injuring the other three. The cargo plane was carrying humanitarian Aid to South Sudan.[19]
  • 14 November 2014[20] – A BAe HS-748 crashed on approach to Panyagor airstrip in South Sudan, killing two crew members and seriously injuring a third crew member. The cargo plane was on a charter flight for the Lutheran World Federation and carrying relief supplies from Juba, South Sudan.


Civil operators

As of July 2018 a total of 12 HS 748 aircraft (all variants) remained in airline service. As of September 2018 Transport Canada (TC) list 13 HS 748 in Canada with a current Certificate of Registration and 1 with a cancelled certificate.[21] Current operators are:[22]

  • Air Creebec (2)
  • Air Inuit (1 as per reference above, 4 as per TC)
  • Air North (1 as per reference above, 2 as per Air North,[23] 4 as per TC)
  • Avro Express (1)
  • Bismillah Airlines (2)
  • Planes For Africa (2)
  • Safe Air Company (1)
  • Wasaya Airways (2 as per reference above, 3 as per TC)

Former civil operators

Belgian air force Hawker Siddeley HS-748

  • East Horizon Airlines
  • Air Botswana
 Antigua & Barbuda
  • LIAT Airlines
  • Aerolineas Argentinas
  • Austrian Airlines (2)[24]
  • Bahamasair
  • Varig (11) [one Avro 748 Series 2 prototype and 10 production aircraft]

British Virgin Islands

  • Air BVI
  • Air Gaspé
  • Air Manitoba
  • Austin Airways
  • Calm Air
  • First Air (9)
  • Quebecair
  • West Wind Aviation
 Cape Verde
  • TACV
  • Avianca
  • Satena
  • Fiji Airways
  • Deutsche Flugsicherung
  • DLT Deutsche Luftverkehrsgesellschaft
  • Guyana Airways (now defunct)
  • Bouraq Indonesia Airlines (now defunct)
  • Bali Air (now defunct) (4)
  • Vayudoot (now defunct)
  • Indian Airlines (now Air India)
  • Ryan Air (2) 1986–1989 Inaugurating the Dublin-London (Luton) Service
  • 748 Air Services
  • Air Malawi
 Marshall Islands
  • Air Marshall Islands
  • Aeromexico
  • Aerocaribe (1) (Bought From Atlantic Airlines de Honduras)
  • Nepal Airlines
  • Necon Air
 New Zealand
  • Mount Cook Airline
  • Philippine Airlines
  • SATA Air Açores
  • Polynesian Airlines (2)
 South Africa
  • Stars Away Aviation
 Sri Lanka
  • Aero Lanka (1)
  • Air Ceylon (2)
  • Lionair (1)
  • Bangkok Airways
  • Thai Airways Company
 Trinidad and Tobago
  • Trinidad and Tobago Air Service (TTAS)
 United Kingdom
  • British Airways
  • Dan Air
  • Janes Aviation (2)
  • Skyways Coach-Air Limited (5)
 United States
  • Air Illinois
  • Air Virginia (AVAir)
  • Cascade Airways
  • Aeropostal
  • Zambia Airways

Current military operators

HS 748 Royal Thai Air Force, Children day 2016, Bangkok, Thailand, 2016


Former military operators

Royal Australian Air Force HS.748 at RAAF Laverton in 1971

An HS 748 of 723 Squadron Royal Australian Navy

  • Belgian Air Force (Three operated from 1976, sold in 2001–2002 to Benin and replaced by four Embraer Regional Jets)
    • 21 Squadron
 Burkina Faso ( Upper Volta)
 South Korea
 Sri Lanka
 United Kingdom

Specifications (Super 748)

Data from Jane's Civil and Military Aircraft Upgrades, 1994–95[28]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two pilots (plus one passenger attendant if required)
  • Capacity: 40–58 passengers
  • Payload: 11,323 lb (5,136 kg)
  • Length: 67 ft 0 in (20.42 m)
  • Wingspan: 102 ft 5½ in (31.23 m)
  • Height: 24 ft 10 in (7.57 m)
  • Wing area: 829 ft² (77 m²)
  • Empty weight: 27,126 lb (12,327 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 46,500 lb (21,092 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Dart RDa.7 Mk 536-2 turboprop, 2,280 ehp (1,700 kW) each


  • Cruise speed: 281 mph (244 kn, 452 km/h)
  • Range: 1,066 mi (926 nmi, 1,715 km)(with max payload)
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,620 m)
  • Wing loading: 56.1 lb/ft² (274 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.0981 hp/lb (0.161 kW/kg)

Preserved aircraft


A10-601 covered in a protective spray coating at the RAAF Museum

  • HS 748 Srs2/228, c/n 1601 ex-Royal Australian Air Force A10-601, at the RAAF Museum, Point Cook, Victoria.
  • HS 748 Srs2/228, c/n 1604 ex-Royal Australian Air Force A10-604, cockpit section at the Australian Aviation Museum, Bankstown Airport, New South Wales.
  • HS 748 Srs2/229, c/n 1607 ex-Royal Australian Air Force A10-607, tail section at No. 32 Squadron HQ, RAAF Base East Sale, Victoria.
  • HS 748 Srs2/268, c/n 1709 ex-Royal Australian Navy N15-709, at the Australian Aviation Museum, Bankstown Airport, New South Wales.



  • HS 748 Srs2a/285, c/n 1738 ex-Ecuadorian Air Force FAE738, at Museo Aeronáutico de la FAE, Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Quito.

South Africa

  • BAe-748-400 Srs2b, c/n 1796 ex-AirQuarius Aviation ZS-OLE, fuselage at Chartwell, Gauteng.

Sri Lanka

SCM-3101 at SLAF Koggala


HS-THI at the Siam Country Club. The undercarriage, propellers and nose are not original.

  • HS 748 Srs2/243, c/n 1707 ex-Thai Airways HS-THH, at Jomtien Beach. Fuselage preserved where it crash landed in 1987. Painted in fictional camouflage.
  • HS 748 Srs2a/243, c/n 1708 ex-Thai Airways HS-THI, at the Siam Country Club, Pattaya.

United Kingdom

Cockpit of G-OPFW on display at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Nose section of G-ORAL at the Avro Heritage Museum

  • Avro 748 Srs 1, c/n 1543 ex-Emerald Airways G-BEJD, at Speke Aerodrome Heritage Group, Liverpool John Lennon Airport.[29]
  • HS 748 Srs2/225, c/n 1592 ex-Emerald Airways G-ATMI, nose and front fuselage at the RAF Millom Museum, Cumbria.
  • HS 748 Srs2/229, c/n 1603 ex-Royal Australian Air Force A10-603, at London Southend Airport.
  • HS 748 Srs2/228, c/n 1606 ex-Royal Australian Air Force A10-606, at London Southend Airport.
  • HS 748 Srs2a/266, c/n 1714 ex-Emerald Airways G-OPFW, cockpit at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum, Doncaster.
  • HS 748 Srs2a/334, c/n 1756 ex-Emerald Airways G-ORAL, nose section at the Avro Heritage Museum, Woodford, Greater Manchester.
  • HS 748 Srs2a/372, c/n 1777 ex-Emerald Airways G-BVOV, fuselage underwater at the Capernwray Diving Centre near Carnforth.[30]

See also


  1. "Airliner price index". 10 August 1972. p. 183. 
  2. :*Blackman, Tony. Flight Testing to Win., 2005, p. 265.
  3. "Flight Global 1960". 
  4. AIB – UK Government report
  5. "Manorama Online Latest Malayalam News. Breaking News Events. News Updates from Kerala India". 
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  7. [1]Archived 29 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. "FAC-1101 Newspaper report". News Website. 23 August 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  9. "Moily's close shave in Mangalore 30 years ago". The Hindu. 22 May 2010. 
  10. "description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  11. "The Crash of Flight 710". Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  12. Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Hawker Siddeley HS-748-FAA Srs. 2A N748LL Pickneyville, IL". 
  13. "Sri Lanka, since 1971". ACIG Journal. 29 October 2003. Retrieved 30 October 2008. 
  14. "Report of SZ-OJU crash on 1 June 2002". South African Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 8 August 2008. 
  15. "Cronje inquest opens – Cricket – Sport –". 
  16. "Pilot error caused Cronje crash". BBC. 14 August 2006. 
  17. Drake, Matt (25 March 2007). "Did a cricketer kill Woolmer?". 
  18. "Plane destroyed in Northwestern Ont. fire". CBC News. 
  19. "ASN Aircraft accident Hawker Siddeley HS-748-371 Srs 2B 5Y-HAJ Rubkona Airport". 17 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  20. Achiek, Jacob. "Two Killed as Relief Supply Plane Crashes in South Sudan". 
  21. "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Air Creebec".". Transport Canada.. 
  22. "World Airline Census 2018". 
  23. "Air North Fleet". 
  24. British Pathé (13 April 2014). "Austrian Airline Gets Two British Planes (1966)". 
  25. Hoyle Flight International 5–11 December 2017, p. 33.
  26. Hoyle Flight International 5–11 December 2017, p. 41.
  27. Hoyle Flight International 5–11 December 2017, p. 46.
  28. Michell, Simon (editor) (1994). Jane's Civil and Military Aircraft Upgrades, 1994–95. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-1208-7. 
  29. "Avro 748 moves to Liverpool". Cudham: Kelsey Publishing. p. 11. ISSN 0143-7240. 
  30. "New underwater attraction for divers at Capernwray". BBC News. 30 March 2010. 
  • Hoyle, Craig (5–11 December 2017). "World Air Forces Directory". pp. 26–57. ISSN 0015-3710. 
  • "World Airliner Census". Flight International, Volume 184, Number 5403, 13–19 August 2013, pp. 40–58.

External links

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