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The Saab 340

Country of origin  
Sweden

Photos  

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Photo © Frank Schaefer

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Photo © Jakub Golebiowski
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Photo © Thomas Andre Hjelmen
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Powerplants  
340A - Two 1295kW (1735shp) General Electric CT75A2 turboprops driving four blade constant speed Dowty or Hamilton Standard props. 340B - Two 1305kW (1750shp) CT79Bs.

Performance  
340A - Max cruising speed 515km/h (278kt), economical cruising speed 484km/h (260kt). Range with max payload 1455km (785nm), range with max fuel 3975km (2145nm). 340B - Max cruising speed 523km/h (282kt), long range cruising speed 467km/h (252kt). Range with 35 pax and reserves at max cruising speed 1490km (805nm), at long range cruising speed 1735km (935nm).

Weights  
340A - Operating empty 7810kg (17,215lb), max takeoff 12,370kg (27,275lb). 340B - Operating empty 8140kg (17,945lb), max takeoff 13,155kg (29,000lb).

Dimensions  
Wing span 21.44m (70ft 4in), length 19.73m (64ft 9in), height 6.97m (22ft 11in). Wing area 41.8m2 (450.0sq ft).

Capacity  
Flightcrew of two. Main cabin seats up to 37, or typically 33 to 35 with a galley at three abreast and 76cm (30in) pitch. Combi seats 19 passengers and 1500kg (3310lb) of cargo. A small number of 340s are outfitted in corporate configurations.

Production  
430 Saab 340s ordered with production winding up in 1998. 340A production ended in September 1989 with 159 built.

Type  
Twin turboprop regional airliner

History  

The Saab 340 proved to be a highly popular regional airliner that helped to pioneer the 30 seat turboprop class but slow sales in the late 1990s has forced Saab to cease production.

In 1979 SaabScania of Sweden and Fairchild in the USA reached an agreement to conduct joint feasibility and development studies on a 30 to 40 seat commuter airliner. The resulting SF340 design was launched in September 1980 with the aim of capturing 25 to 30% of its market. Within the 65/35 SaabFairchild partnership split Saab was responsible for the fuselage, fin and final assembly, while Fairchild was responsible for the wings, engine nacelles and empennage. The two companies selected the General Electric CT7 (a commercial development of the T700 which powers Sikorsky's S70 series of military helicopters) to power the new airliner.

The first of three SF340 prototypes first flew on January 25 1983, while the first production aircraft flew in early March 1984. US and European certification was awarded that June. From November 1 1985 Saab assumed overall responsibility for the SF340 following Fairchild's decision to divest itself of its aircraft divisions. Saab initially retained the SF340 designation but later changed it to 340A.

The first improved development of the Saab 340 was the 340B. More powerful engines improved hot and high performance, while other changes included a greater span tailplane, a higher max takeoff weight and better range. Deliveries began in September 1989.

The last development of the 340 was the 340B Plus, which introduced changes developed for the larger Saab 2000, including an improved cabin interior. The first 340B Plus was delivered in March 1994. Lack of sales and profitibility however forced Saab to cease 340 and 2000 production, with the lines winding up in 1998.

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The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.