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Was The Saab 2000 Too Ahead Of It's Time?  
User currently offlineATA1011Tristar From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 92 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 10 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8727 times:

Hello Everyone!

I have some questions regarding the Saab 2000. Why is it that just a few airlines fly them? Why were only 63 built? I did some searches and found out that they were big on maintenance, but is that enough to not fly an airplane that is so efficient. If it could cruise at about 400mph, it would not be much slower then a regional jet on a short route. I know that airlines wanted the regional jets because they were fast, but is the Saab 2000 that much slower?It sounds to me that it could offer the best of everything: high cruising speed, quite operation, high rate of climb, and doing all this while being easy on the fuel consumption. Is this not what an airline dreams about? Is the Saab 2000 to far ahead of it's time, sort of like the Concorde? Both are amazing aircraft that are very advanced and have no rivals that can match them. Is it just that airlines were afraid of an airplane that was not typical. Airlines always want better efficiency, that's why the Boeing 787 is going to be popular. Was the Saab 2000 just too good to be true, and airlines were afraid of that so they did not fly them. Why are they so rare? It seems like everyone should be flying them! I can't understand why Swissair is retiering them. Any insight is welcomed.

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4681 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8685 times:

To my knowledge, their fuel burn is not much lower compared to modern 50-seat RJs. And of course, there is the stupid jet preferrancy. The average flyer does not know that a modern turboprop is technically on the same level as jets, therefore they think TPs are old aircraft. The S20 came on the market in the same period the 50-seat RJs did. Oil and fuel was cheap back then.
I hope this helps.
Regards,
A342



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 2 days ago) and read 8631 times:

Actually the Saab 2000 was 'behind' the time. It was a great design, a great airplane, it was just 2 years too late. Problems with the powered rudder slowed the final design and entry into passenger service. By the time it was finalized, the RJ market was on the verge of its explosion and the 2000 was concidered a dinosaur with props. The sad part is, point to point in the 1 to 2 hours range it will give just about any current RJ out there a good run for its money and do it far cheeper. Why they are so rare is airlines cancelled their orders and started buying ERJ and CRJ's. Total production of the Saab 200 is only something like 50 airframes, and two have already been written off due to accidents. (non-fatal)

[Edited 2005-11-02 22:35:02]


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineATA1011Tristar From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8553 times:

Thanks guys! I did not know about the problem with the powered tail rudder. So your saying that the Saab 2000 came out at a bad time when too many types of airplanes were trying to fit into the same market. It's amazing that before the 1940's, people would laugh at any idea of a jet. The DC-3 was the king of the skies, and now people perfer jets just because they think props are "old".

I also wanted to ask why maintenance was so high. The Saab 2000 was just a lengthened 340, with bigger wings right? Would the two planes have similar parts and procedures? That leads me to another question. Why is the Saab 340 so popular. I know, to name a few, that Northwest Airlink and American Eagle fly them.

Thanks for the help. You guys sure know your aviation stuff!  Smile


User currently offlineNASBWI From Bahamas, joined Feb 2005, 1311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8518 times:

Quoting ATA1011Tristar (Reply 3):
That leads me to another question. Why is the Saab 340 so popular.

The Saab 340 came about around the same time as the so-called regional airliner explosion in the 1980s. Airlines were trying to expand their route networks extensively, and the 19-50seat market was hot in demand - not to mention they wanted aircraft with speed, operating efficiency, and modernity. Therefore, airlines like Mesaba and American Eagle bought aircraft like the Saab 340 to fill their demand for the commuter routes. That would also explain why the Brasilia, Dash 8, and ATR did so well - they were all introduced around the same time (early-to-mid 1980s).



Fierce, Fabulous, and Flawless ;)
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8504 times:

What makes you think the Saab 2000 is expensive to maintain...? The Saab 340 is so popular because it came out at the right time. In the mid '80's regional airlines were looking to step up from the Shorts 360, Beech 1900, EMB-110 market and offer a pressurized cabin class aircraft. The only real two contenders were the EMB-120 and the Saab 340. The SF340 continues to remain popular due to its low cost to maintain and fly, great fuel economy and good customer support.


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 8436 times:

Quoting A342 (Reply 1):
And of course, there is the stupid jet preferrancy.

Ding Ding Ding... Times were good, money was growing on trees and the RJ was just too damned good to pass up. Not a better aircraft, but too good to pass up. It's unfortunate the props are all but done, airlines would be making a killing off these today and we wouldn't be jammed in a sardine can for 2.5 hours. I'm hoping for a TP resurgence....


User currently offlineSWISSER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 8352 times:

Quoting ATA1011Tristar (Thread starter):
It seems like everyone should be flying them! I can't understand why Swissair is retiering them. Any insight is welcomed.

SWISS phased out the Saab's due to the ending of the BSL operations and
also a further synchronisation of the fleet,
When the summer TT starts LX will only operate ARJ's A32S and A330/A340.

The operation of a single Avro is certainly more expensive then the S2000,
but maintaining a large fleet of the same type is better then operating different types but small quantities of aircraft.

The main reason LX took the ARJ's as a replacement is due to the good leasing cost and synchronisation with the LH regional fleet.

Good for the profits, but off course less appealing...

Still the S2000 remains an exellent aircraft.

[Edited 2005-11-03 01:45:35]

User currently offlineNASBWI From Bahamas, joined Feb 2005, 1311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 8345 times:

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 6):
I'm hoping for a TP resurgence....

Me too. My vote goes to the Q400.



Fierce, Fabulous, and Flawless ;)
User currently offlineATA1011Tristar From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8234 times:

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 5):
What makes you think the Saab 2000 is expensive to maintain...?

I thought I had read that it was expensive to maintain on an old post, but I did a search and could not find it. Sorry about that one.  embarrassed  That only means one less reason not to fly it though. Big grin

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 5):
The SF340 continues to remain popular due to its low cost to maintain and fly, great fuel economy and good customer support.

So if the Saab 340 is good on fuel and has good customer support, why does the Saab 2000 not. It's just a stretched version of the 340, but more advanced. I understand that the Saab 340 had good initial succsess because it was launched at a good time, were the 2000 was not. I'm just trying to understand why the 340 remains popular, and the 2000 never caught on.

Quoting SWISSER (Reply 7):
SWISS phased out the Saab's due to the ending of the BSL operations and
also a further synchronisation of the fleet,
When the summer TT starts LX will only operate ARJ's A32S and A330/A340.

The operation of a single Avro is certainly more expensive then the S2000,
but maintaining a large fleet of the same type is better then operating different types but small quantities of aircraft.

I understand. It had to do with the routes that were being flown and wanting to have a fleet that had just a couple of kinds of aircraft.

I'm not trying to prove anyone wrong on anything. I really appreciate the responses. Its just that the Saab 2000 is one of my favorite airplanes, and I can't understand why airlines don't like it as well.  confused 


User currently offlineFlyHoss From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8228 times:

I attended a phenomenal Saab 2000 sales presentation in late 1990 or early 1991. The airplane was capable of remarkable performance; for example, it could very nearly climb with (equal to) a MD-80. I could also operate with full loads, a large, very heavy, baggage allowance AND round-trip fuel on nearly our entire route structure (the round-trip fuel would be a source of significant fuel savings)
But at the end of the presentation, came the price. WAY TOO MUCH. Far more (nearly twice, yes, nearly twice) what that regional was paying for ATR-42s and would (reportedly) later pay for ERJs.
By the way, the Saab 2000s commonality with the Saab 340 was not at all high, IIRC.
It was just a few years ago that I threw the "sales package" from that presentation away; right this minute, I wish I'd kept it (so I could quote from it).



A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1610 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8042 times:

The Saab 2000 is NOT NOT NOT just a Saab 340 lengthened. It is not even close. The diameter of the fuselage is about the only commonality. It is not a common type rating.

The Saab 2000 had very powerful FADEC controlled engines which are unrelated to those on the 340. There is no condition lever. Well, there is, but not in the traditional sense. There is an "idle" setting and a "run" setting. You fly it like a jet and only push a button as part of the climb check to bring the props back to their climb speed of 950 RPM. After that it is just push/pull for power settings.

The SB-20 also had active noise cancellation in the cabin, something it barely needed as the complex prop shape and slow rotation made it a very quiet cabin.

The flight controls (rudder, elevator) were "fly by wire", though this was something less of a blessing than other technologies. I have heard that this came about more as a fix to deal with some weight and balance/CG issues. This resulted in a greater cost and a delay into service. The aelerons were standard, non FBW controls and have a pretty heavy feel.

The avionics were also very modern, with 6 large CRT displays which are nicer than the CRJ I fly now. Part of our avionics package was a HUD system which allowed us at Crossair/SWISS to operate to Cat IIIa minima. This was cool and it was done regularly.

Yes, from a technology and performance standpoint it was ahead of its time. But from a cost standpoint it was an expensive airplane.

Had it come out problem free initially and 3 years earlier I think it would have been a huge success. But it came out at the same time as jets of the same size and everyone went nuts over the jets. I feel lucky to have had the chance to fly the Saab 2000.



smrtrthnu
User currently offlineSDLSimme From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 454 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7918 times:

I flew a Saab 2000 this week. I must say that I enjoy it much more than the CRJ i flew 2 years ago. Perhaps it's not as fast as the CRJ or ERJ, but it doesn't fly very long distances, which makes a small difference in speed less important. It also feels roomier I think and the windows are higher up  Smile

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v732/TuppElof/Motor.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v732/TuppElof/Saab2000.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v732/TuppElof/Midlandavinge.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v732/TuppElof/GoldenAir.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v732/TuppElof/Flygstol.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v732/TuppElof/Brommavinge.jpg



A319-A321, A332-A333, RJ85, B733-B738, B743-B744, B752, B762-B764, B772-B773, CRJ200-CRJ700, Dash 8 Q300-Q400, ERJ 145,
User currently offlineCandid76 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 734 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7886 times:

I can assure you the Saab 2000 is an excellent aircraft, being an operator of this type I can vouch for that! The only 50 seat aircraft to compare is the CRJ, which is more expensive to operate and only slightly faster. The Saab 2000 is just as fast as a 146 or Do328JET, and it is bigger and quieter than an Embraer 145. We operated ERJs for a couple of years (135s and 145s) but disposed of them in favour of the Saab 2000. The capabilities and comfort level of the aircraft makes it a big hit in the ad-hoc charter market, as well as on scheduled services.

It's a pity the type was developed with such unfortunate timing. Everyone wanted pure jets, that was the fashion. Only now, with high fuel prices, are they realising their mistakes!


User currently offlineSDLSimme From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 454 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7858 times:

Is there any chance that Saab will start producing the Saab 2000 if they have enough customers?


A319-A321, A332-A333, RJ85, B733-B738, B743-B744, B752, B762-B764, B772-B773, CRJ200-CRJ700, Dash 8 Q300-Q400, ERJ 145,
User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2013 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7802 times:

Embraer and Saab both had successful 30-35 seaters, the former stretched and upgraded their's and fitted RR(Allison)jet engines, the latter stretched and upgraded their's and fitted related RR(Allison) high speed turboprop engines.

Clearly, Embraer read the market better, airlines wanted jets, not props with jet like speed. I imagine Embraer have significantly lower labour cost as well (Sweden's not the cheapest place to make things)



it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlineAeroWeanie From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1608 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day ago) and read 7701 times:
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Quoting Saab2000 (Reply 11):
The flight controls (rudder, elevator) were "fly by wire", though this was something less of a blessing than other technologies. I have heard that this came about more as a fix to deal with some weight and balance/CG issues. This resulted in a greater cost and a delay into service. The aelerons were standard, non FBW controls and have a pretty heavy feel.

I don't think so.

To quote the 1995-1996 Jane's All The World Aircraft: "FLYING CONTROLS: Rod and cable linkages for ailerons and (initially) for elevators, with electrically actuated trim tabs in each aileron and each elevator, plus spring tab in each elevator. Initial production have MECS (Mechanical elevator control system); powered (electrically signalled hydraulic) elevator control system (PECS) standard on production aircraft from c/n 010 (HB-IZG), first flight 2 December 1994, and available for retrofit to earlier airframes. Electrically signaled, hydraulically powered rudder, with dual Dowty actuators; hydraulically actuated single-slotted flaps with offset hinges."

FBW means that pilot input are sensed by a computer that uses control laws to decide how to move the control surface. Electrically actuated means that the pilot input is used to command the control surface to move directly porportional to the input.

A Cessna 150 has electrically driven flaps, which move in direct porportion to the movement of the flap handle. They are not FBW.


User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 7510 times:

Quoting ATA1011Tristar (Reply 9):
So if the Saab 340 is good on fuel and has good customer support, why does the Saab 2000 not.

The support for the Saab 2000 is still outstanding, just like its little brother the Saab 340. Saab has long had great support and every time I have had dealings with them it's been a pleasure and they've bent over backwards to help me get the answers.

Quoting ATA1011Tristar (Reply 9):
I'm just trying to understand why the 340 remains popular, and the 2000 never caught on.

As it has been said above, it just came out at the wrong time. Two years earlier as was scheduled and it would have been a big hit. It just came out in the heart of the RJ market when the traveling public were being told by the press that props were old and unsafe. There are currently 4 Saab 2000's flying in the US, all with private operators.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
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