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Topic: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2009-05-25 08:13:43 and read 7944 times.

Specifically, what will happen to all the 40-50 seat RJ's in the future-- will there be another model to succeed the CRJs and ERJs, or will airlines gradually shift to just turboprops and 70+ seat RJ aircraft? This is where I'm coming from: from previous discussions, it seems that since the CRJ700 has much better economics than the -200s, for example, as leases on the 50 seaters come due that an airline would just go with 700s in the future even if just to get the updated tech and cabin (especially window height) vs. the 200. From my outsider's perspective on the industry, it doesn't seem too far of a stretch to see most go with 70+ seat fleets in the future given the economics of 50-seat aircraft, and the fact that no one seems to be buying many anymore from either company (though I could be wrong here). Note: while I do personally prefer the CRJ over an ERJ, this is not meant to disparage or ignore the Jungle Jets .  crossfingers 

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: ElmoTheHobo
Posted 2009-05-25 09:00:52 and read 7883 times.

Soda cans.

There is a niche market for RJs and they will continue to operate in the 700-1000 mile area in the future. IMO if someone could figure out how to add a couple of plugs into the ERJs and CRJs (which was done by Embraer or Bombardier with their original RJ during certification) as an aftermarket upgrade for a price that didn't break the bank, I'm sure you could see 60 seater ERJ-145 stretches (ERJ-160?).

I doubt that anyone would be able to do it cost effectively.

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: DL767captain
Posted 2009-05-25 11:27:44 and read 7735 times.

Unless they come up with a biofuel or some alternative fuel I think they will go away soon. If they can find a cheap fuel suitable for smaller jets I think regional jets would be a prime candidate. Otherwise we will probably see more turbo props

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: FlyASAGuy2005
Posted 2009-05-25 11:33:29 and read 7724 times.

The sub 50 seaters I think have seen it's time but the regular -200s, 145s, etc. are going to be here to stay I think.

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2009-05-25 15:50:24 and read 7527 times.

DL767Captain my thoughts were along those lines as well. I just can't see the market for them barring some new development such as large-scale adoption/availability of biofuels.

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: JoseKMLB
Posted 2009-05-25 16:41:21 and read 7457 times.

I think the 50s are gone soon and for EV I hope they are too many MTC problems on them. EV kills about every ones on time performance for each airport they fly into. And who wants to spend over an hour flight in a 50 seater?

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: RayChuang
Posted 2009-05-25 17:39:57 and read 7390 times.

Saab must be kicking themselves right now for ending Saab 2000 production. There would be major demand for the Saab 2000 right now to replace regional jets on many routes.

As such, ATR pretty much has the market to themselves with the ATR-42 and ATR-72 models, especially given the reliability issues with the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400.

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: Czbbflier
Posted 2009-05-25 18:11:39 and read 7335 times.



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 6):
especially given the reliability issues with the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400.

Huh?

DId I fall asleep somewhere and miss some major newsflash that the Q400s were unreliable? I know of the landing gear issues- and some will even say that the occurrences with SAS were a SAS issue but is there anything else that comes to mind?

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: RayChuang
Posted 2009-05-25 18:15:39 and read 7328 times.

The very fact the Q400's in SAS service suffered quite a few landing gear failures IS a major reliability issue. Hopefully SAS and Bombardier have finally figured out was improper maintenance causing these failures....

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2009-05-25 19:10:16 and read 7246 times.



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 8):
The very fact the Q400's in SAS service suffered quite a few landing gear failures IS a major reliability issue.

...and yet airlines keep buying them.

I'm not sure I can say that most carriers are satisfied with the Q400, but L4 and QX certainly are.

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: Saab2000
Posted 2009-05-25 20:03:53 and read 7193 times.



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 6):
Saab must be kicking themselves right now for ending Saab 2000 production. There would be major demand for the Saab 2000 right now to replace regional jets on many routes.

Yeah, probably.....

I have a couple thousand hours on the SB-20 and it would substitute very nicely on many of our east coast routes in the US, where we are often told to 'reduce to 250 knots' anyway even in the jet.

Even so, there are other times where it is speed limited and would get in the way of faster jets.

Fast turboprops are bizarre because ATC doesn't really know what to do with them.

They can't keep up with jets but are faster than the slower Dash 8s (not the Q series, which is equal to the SAAB2000). So in the mid to upper flight levels they are indeed as much as 100 knots slower than a jet. That does make a difference in spacing. The SAAB2000 would achieve about 360-365 KTAS. The CRJ 460KTAS. For ATC this is significant, even if for scheduled block it is not.

Also, they were maintainance intensive airplanes. Fuel burn was less, but not massively so. Especially at a reduced throttle setting in the CRJ, like .72 Mach instead of .74 which is normal economy cruise.

Ultimately, it was a niche airplane and well suited for special routes like LCY and LUG and BRN, which have short runways and steep approaches.

The SAAB2000 was a nicer airplane in many ways, but not perfect either. Anyway, passengers still thought it was an ancient piece of crap, despite the fact that it was more advanced in most ways than the CRJ-200 I currently operate.

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: Bravo1six
Posted 2009-05-25 20:09:16 and read 7169 times.



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 6):
As such, ATR pretty much has the market to themselves with the ATR-42 and ATR-72 models, especially given the reliability issues with the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400.

ATR has a backlog of roughly 140 ATR-72s. BBD has a backlog of roughly 120 Q400s.

Hardly having "the market to themselves".

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: FlyASAGuy2005
Posted 2009-05-25 21:13:09 and read 7087 times.



Quoting JoseKMLB (Reply 5):
I think the 50s are gone soon and for EV I hope they are too many MTC problems on them. EV kills about every ones on time performance for each airport they fly into. And who wants to spend over an hour flight in a 50 seater?

Doubt it. Turbo-props will not replace this a/c anytime soon. Too many flying around so yes, there is a market for them but don't count on them going away. And as far as the MTC issue, i'm not sure that's limited to ASA. The -200 itself was known to have many MTC problems couple that with some of the older ones coming up in age with VERY high cycles.

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: Rikkus67
Posted 2009-05-25 22:07:46 and read 6936 times.

Perhaps there could be a re-engining program done to them via a project that went down the tubes with the CBA123? (A little easier with the Embraers, cause EMB would have some "experience"...)


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Photo © Chris Muir

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: FlyingAY
Posted 2009-05-26 02:07:34 and read 6141 times.

Quoting Czbbflier (Reply 7):
DId I fall asleep somewhere and miss some major newsflash that the Q400s were unreliable? I know of the landing gear issues- and some will even say that the occurrences with SAS were a SAS issue but is there anything else that comes to mind?

Little bit of googling around revealed me the following Q400 incidents and events regarding the landing gear, which I think are a reliability issue:

2007-03-13 NH1603 nose gear did not deploy, landing without nose gear
2007-09-09 SK1209 landing gear collapsed
2007-09-12 SK2748 landing gear collapsed
2007-09-12 Bombardier recommends Q400s to be grounded
2007-09-21 LH4076 nose gear did not deploy, landing without nose gear
2007-10-27 SK2867 landing gear did not deploy (caused by misplaced O-ring)
2008-02-26 Austrian Q400 makes an emergency landing due to gear indicator
2008-11-15 PR272 emergency landing due to landing gear problems
2009-04-21 US and Canadian transportation authorities order new inspections of landing gear

Tyrolean was not so happy about the Q400 in the beginning, even if the reliability has improved after these problems:
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-amid-q400-reliability-claims.html

Then there was the Wideroe engine fire in 2004.

In 2006 the Japanese authorities were not satisfied with the reliability of the Q400:
"There have been far more problems that have occurred in Japan with the Q400 than with other newly developed aircraft. This is a big issue in Japan,"

"The survey, covering the period 28 June 2003 to 20 May 2006, found there were 52 cases where Q400s had made emergency landings or had to return to departure airports. Of these cases, 49 stemmed from problems with the aircraft, and included difficulties with: the flight control system; landing gear; engine oil pumps; and hydraulic pressure systems."
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...ity-issues-hamper-ana-jac-and.html

Of course the Colgan crash was a Q400 as well, but we will have to wait for the report before drawing any conclusions.

[Edited 2009-05-26 02:23:17]

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: ReuschAir
Posted 2009-05-26 02:29:48 and read 6073 times.

Can someone explain to me why these small regional jets (CRJ200 for example) are so inefficient, and yet why they are so revered in the regional market. Living in a city with a heavily populated regional airline presence (MSN), I have seen more and more that passengers are crammed into these small things and not just to fly to ORD and other nearby locales, but actually all the way to DCA, DEN, LGA, etc. The thought of sitting on one of these for more than 40 minutes is hardly appealing, let alone 2 hours, and if they are not economical, why are they still in use? And, what about the newer, larger CRJ900 and the ERJ175/195 etc? I hear that these are actually quite comfortable. Shouldn't that be the direction regionals should take if these larger regionals are presumably more economical? Why is NW/DL the only carrier in my market using DC9 and A320s to connect to MSP and DET, avoiding these smaller craft considerably? It has taken the joy out of flying and I now miss the once, lukewarm feeling I had for the BAE146...at least it felt spacious. Amateur minds want to know!

Thanks,
Reusch

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: NZ8800
Posted 2009-05-26 03:22:47 and read 5907 times.

I'm interested too in the RJ's future - coming from a country where regional areas are serviced exclusively by turboprop aircraft. (Mostly based on economics as many routes are around 250km or less - therefore the Q300 was chosen in preference to Regional Jets by Air New Zealand).
And after flying in the CRJ during trips to the U.S. - I would MUCH rather be in a Q300 for two hours than a CRJ for over one hour - the turboprop one is far more comfortable.

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: Paulcaz
Posted 2009-05-26 03:40:03 and read 5852 times.

No one ever remarks about Flybe, take away there Q400s there would not be a Flybe!!.
Its got to be how you look after them?

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: Legacy135
Posted 2009-05-26 04:16:32 and read 5695 times.



Quoting FlyingAY (Reply 14):
Of course the Colgan crash was a Q400 as well, but we will have to wait for the report before drawing any conclusions

This does not really look like a Q400 specific problem:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxywEE1kK6I

I guess the most common factor.......aircrew.....

Cheers

Legacy135  Wink

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: Saab2000
Posted 2009-05-26 05:03:03 and read 5508 times.

Legacy 135 is correct. The data is all pointing towards pilot error on the Colgan crash.

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2009-05-26 07:20:24 and read 4914 times.



Quoting ReuschAir (Reply 15):



Quoting ReuschAir (Reply 15):
Can someone explain to me why these small regional jets (CRJ200 for example) are so inefficient, and yet why they are so revered in the regional market. Living in a city with a heavily populated regional airline presence (MSN), I have seen more and more that passengers are crammed into these small things and not just to fly to ORD and other nearby locales, but actually all the way to DCA, DEN, LGA, etc. The thought of sitting on one of these for more than 40 minutes is hardly appealing, let alone 2 hours, and if they are not economical, why are they still in use?

Well for one thing, the airlines seem obsessed with offering P2P connections (e.g., smaller mkt/outstation to large mkt/hub), which may not be able to support a route otherwise. That is, even if RJs are relatively expensive to operate, airlines still see it as "service" (they can say "hey, we serve xyz to abc n/s daily!") nonetheless. Their route planners would probably say something along the lines of, "be happy with what you have", bc they likely couldn't fill a mainline a/c from the city in question.

Alternatively, they do indeed offer frequency vs capacity. Similar to what I mentioned in the above paragraph, the route may only support x pax per day, and the airline figures they would rather offer say 4x 50-seat RJs vs 1x 200-seat 757 service.

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: FlyASAGuy2005
Posted 2009-05-26 10:55:59 and read 4566 times.



Quoting ReuschAir (Reply 15):
Can someone explain to me why these small regional jets (CRJ200 for example) are so inefficient, and yet why they are so revered in the regional market.

You have an a/c that has a max of 50 seats available for sale (take into consideration weight restrictions too) vice the operating costs, i.e. the 3 flight crew, ground, and most notable, fuel. Sometimes these a/c will carry 10-15 people on them. They aren't making money. Little abb. called CASM.

Quoting ReuschAir (Reply 15):
and if they are not economical, why are they still in use?

They aren't but not in ALL instances. Contrary to popular believe, the CR2/ -145 can and does make money. They serve a purpose and will continue to fly.

Quoting ReuschAir (Reply 15):
Shouldn't that be the direction regionals should take if these larger regionals are presumably more economical?

Not all markets can support a CR9/ 170/175. Yes, it may be more economically seat capacity wise but now you just added a second F/A and a higher fuel burn (not sure Big grin ). On a route that seldom sees more can 40 passengers a day for that particular airline. Couple that with the market itself. Are they even going to sell F tickets?

Quoting ReuschAir (Reply 15):
Why is NW/DL the only carrier in my market using DC9 and A320s to connect to MSP and DET, avoiding these smaller craft considerably?

Because NW can fill the a/c so why not. Another airline that is not as entrenched in the market as NW will have a MUCH tougher time to do some. Not to mention their HUGE FF base up there. Loyalty does count in many, many cases.

Topic: RE: What Is The Future Of The 50 Seater?
Username: R2rho
Posted 2009-05-26 11:22:47 and read 4533 times.

Well, if you look around, only ATR is manufacturing new a/c in this category (well, actually 42 seaters). And the backlog of ATR-42s is rather small - orders continue to trickle but the vast majority of sales are for ATR-72s. BBD has given up all production, jet or prop, in the 50 seat segment. And EMB will eventually cease once the remaining ERJ-145s in the backlog are delivered.

In the near future I think these jets will continue to operate for some time until oil hits 100$ again. I think they may also have a future as business jet conversions, and in a limited way as government / military conversions.

But the truth is, without a significant advance in engine technology (open rotors?), a 50-seat jet is becoming increasingly uneconomical to operate except on certain routes. And it seems that the next generation of turboprops will cover the 70-90 seat segment, so in some years we could end up with no 50-seat aircraft in production at all...unless somebody (a new player) decides to resurrect that segment with a new development...


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