The Saab 2000 was a stretched 50 seat, faster development of the successful 340.
The Saab 2000, with a cruise speed of over 665km/h (360kt), is one of the fastest turboprop airliners developed. It combines near jet speeds, including near jet climb and descent rates, with turboprop economy. Saab launched development of the 2000 in mid December 1988 with a launch order from Crossair for 25 (plus a further 25 on option) following definition and design studies that revealed a market for a high speed regional turboprop.
The initial Saab 2000 development plan would have seen the 2000 in service in the second half of 1993, but delays pushed this back until the second half of 1994. The Saab 2000's first flight took place on March 26 1992, and certification from Europe's Joint Airworthiness Authorities and the USA's FAA was granted in March and April 1994 respectively. Service entry with Crossair occurred a few months later.
While retaining the same cross section as the Saab 340, the 2000 is 7.55m (24ft 9in) longer (seating 15 more passengers), while the same wing section was retained but the 2000's wing span is 15% greater than the 340's, and the engines are positioned further outboard.
The 2000 was the first civil application of the advanced Allison (now Rolls-Royce) AE-2100 turboshaft (derived from the military T406 developed for the revolutionary V-22 Osprey tiltrotor), driving slow turning six blade props. The flightdeck features a Collins Pro Line 4 EFIS avionics suite with six colour CRT displays. Cabin noise is reduced by an active noise control system comprising 72 microphones and 36 speakers which generate anti phase noise.
Several European aerospace firms participated in the Saab 2000 manufacturing program including CASA which designed and built the wing, Westland, which manufactured the rear fuselage, and Valmet of Finland which built the tail.
Lack of sales and profitability forced Saab to cease 340 and 2000 production, with the lines winding up in 1998. The last 2000 was delivered to Crossair in April 1999.
In 2000, 54 were in airline service with three used as corporate transports.
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