British Aerospace (Handley Page/Scottish Aviation) Jetstream

Wishing to remain an independent aircraft manufac­turer in the UK Handley Page saw a market in the 1960s for a turboprop powered commuter aircraft somewhat larger than the Beechcraft King Air, Turbo Commander and Swearingen Merlin II. This became the HP137 Jetstream. After Handley Page went bankrupt, Scottish Aviation took over produc­tion, which then ended in 1975. The deregulation of the airlines in the USA at the end of the 1970s brought a new demand, which British Aerospace was willing to satisfy with a revived version of the Jetstream. This was easy as Scot­tish Aviation had been absorbed into the company. 

The Jetstream has a relatively wide, circular fuselage, with quite a long, pointed nose. Together with the seven flat cockpit windows it gives the aircraft a charac­te­ristic front appearance. The fuselage has large oval cabin windows, in portrait mode. The tail is of a cruci­form design. The main gear has single wheels and retracts sideways in the wings. The nose gear has two wheels and retracts forward in the nose.

The long pointed nose and the seven flat cockpit windows give the Jetstream a typical look.

The cruciform tail has the horizontal stabilisers attached to the vertical stabiliser at about two thirds from the top

Different versions

The different versions of the Jetstream can be identified by looking at:

  • the shape of the engine nacelles
  • the shape of the nose

Details will follow later.

Confusion possible with

Swearingen/Fairchild Merlin III


The Merlin III was a short body devel­opment of the Metroliner. This makes that the Merlin is proportio­nally more similar in appearance to the Jetstream than the Metro described below. The Merlin has larger, landscape oriented rectangular cabin windows though and two wheels on the main gear, that retracts in the nacelles.

Swearingen/Fairchild Metroliner


Falls in the same category as the Jet­stream and as similar fea­tures, like a cruci­form tail (but much bigger dorsal fin) and the engine nacelles. The Metro­liner has a narrower, longer fuselage though, with rectan­gular cabin windows and fewer cock­pit win­dows. The main gear has double wheels and retracts forward in the nacelles.

British Aerospace Jetstream 41

jetstream 41

This is the bigger brother of the Jet­stream 31, and both have significant similarities. The Jetstream 41 has six cockpit windows though, a cabin door at the front, a less tall vertical stabiliser and a much larger wing-fuselage fairing (not to be confused with a baggage pod).

Embraer EMB110 Bandei­rante


The size is about the same as the Jet­stream, as is the general configuration, but the Bandei­rante has a regular tail, an all single wheel gear, a shorter nose and rectangular cabin win­dows in land­scape mode.

Beech 99

beech 99a

The Beech 99 is contemporary to the first generation Jetstream. It however has square, non roun­ded cabin win­dows, a rear­ward retracting single wheel nose gear, double wheels on the main gear and a regular tail. The na­celles are also diffe­rent.