- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Britten-Norman BN-2A Mk III Trislander

The Britten-Norman Trislander (more formally designated the BN-2A Mk III Trislander) is an 18-seat three-engined piston-powered civilian utility aircraft produced in the 1970s and early 1980s by Britten-Norman of Britain. The aircraft were produced on the Isle of Wight. They were also produced in Romania, and delivered via Belgium to Britain for their certification.

The aircraft are known locally in the Channel Islands as "Joeys", and one Aurigny Air Services craft carries the registration G-JOEY.

Design and development

Designed by John Britten and Desmond Norman, the Trislander is a further development of Britten-Norman's better-known Islander aircraft in order to give it a larger carrying capacity. In comparison with the Islander, the Trislander has a stretched fuselage, strengthened, fixed tricycle landing gear and a third engine on the fuselage centre line atop the fin.

The prototype of the Trislander, which was constructed from the original second Islander prototype, first flew on 11 September 1970. Initial production ceased in 1982 after 73 were ordered. As of January 2008, Britten-Norman is preparing a second production run of the Trislander.

The Trislander has exceptional low speed handling characteristics, extended endurance, increased payload, low noise signature and economical operating costs. Capable of taking off from a 450 meter long landing strip, the Trislander can readily operate from unprepared surfaces.


Britten-Norman BN-2A Mk III-1
First production version, with short nose.

Britten-Norman BN-2A Mk III-2
Lengthened nose and higher operating weight.

Britten-Norman BN-2A Mk III-3
Variant certified for operation in the United States, and with front two engines fitted with 3 blade propellers, to stop the outer edge going at supersonic speeds, therefore reducing noise.

Britten-Norman BN-2A Mk III-4
III-2 fitted with rocket-assisted takeoff equipment.

Britten-Norman Trislander M
Proposed military version, not built.

Operators/Former Operators

Antigua & Barbuda
- Montserrat Air Services

- Air Queensland

- Aero Services

Cayman Islands
- Cayman Airways

- Trans Jamaican Airlines

New Zealand
- Great Barrier Airlines

- Aero Taxi Intl
- Chitreana de Aviacion

United States
- Vieques Air Link
- Wings Airways

- Tavina

- Vanair

Puerto Rico

United Kingdom
- Aurigny Air Services (Channel Islands)
- Blue Islands (Channel Islands)
- Loganair
- Lydd Air
- Emerald Airways

- Sol America
- Bluestar Airlines

Turks and Caicos Islands
- TCNA (Turks and Caicos National Airline)


The most recent crash was 15 December 2008 by LAP in Puerto Rico. The aircraft crashed somewhere near the Turks and Caicos. This was the first crash since 2005. The aircraft probably crashed into the sea shortly after the distress call. A spokesman for the Asociación Nacional de Pilotos reported that the pilot had his licence suspended in October 2006.

On 5 July 2009, a Trislander belonging to Great Barrier Airlines lost its starboard side prop six minutes into flight. The prop sheared off and impacted the cockpit, prompting an emergency landing. While there were injuries, no deaths were reported.

Specifications (III-2)

General characteristics
Crew: 1 (2 with co-pilot)
Capacity: 15 passengers
Length: 49 ft 3 in (15.01 m)
Wingspan: 53 ft 0 in (16.15 m)
Height: 14 ft 2 in (4.32 m)
Wing area: 337 ft² (31.31 m²)
Empty weight: 5,843 lb (2,650 kg)
Gross weight: 10,000 lb (4,536 kg)
Powerplant: 3 × Avco Lycoming O-540-E4C5 horizontally-opposed piston engine, 260 hp (194 kW) each

Maximum speed: 167 mph (267 km/h)
Range: 1,000 miles (1,609 km)
Service ceiling: 13,150 ft (4,010 m)

Last updated October 31, 2009
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Britten-Norman Trislander".
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