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Any News About "Puddle Jumpers"?  
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5147 times:

A number of years ago, I flew United Express (or similar) from a local airport to Fresno, and the aircraft they used was a very loud, somewhat uncomfortable turboprop seating, oh, maybe 20 passengers. It was the smallest aircraft I'd ever been on, but I can't remember what it was. It could have been a Fokker or a Dornier, although I sort of doubt it.

Does anyone know if some of these ancillary airlines are updating these "puddle jumper" (i.e., around 20 to 30 passenger, turboprop) aircraft, and if so, what the latest models are? I hope that they've improved in terms of passenger comfort.

I obviously don't mean single-engines like Cessnas or Pipers, or corporate aircraft like LearJets or Falcons.

Any comments would be appreciated.

[Edited 2005-12-22 05:25:31]

38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5129 times:

If it was long enough ago it was a Metroliner seating 19 passengers with no flight attendent. More likely it was a more recent Brasilia seating 30 passengers with 1 flight attendent.

"Very loud" is relative, obviously you've never been in a single engine Cessna. The Brasilia is church quiet in comparison.

Updating options are limited. The only turboprop in production is the Dash 8, the smaller models being known as "Sky Plows" for their slow speed, and as far as I know are not even being considered. The 400, while being very fast, has many maintenence issues (teething problems), though there are rumours that it is being considered as a replacement for the Brasilias. Don't believe it until (if) it happens. Jets are not economical for the routes these turboprops are operated on.



09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineMarkabcan From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5125 times:

Was probably an Embraer 120, and yes they are not the most comfortable aircraft in the world. I know at least in southern California the Embraers are still going strong with United Express (Skywest). I'm not aware of any replacement plans but they will be required eventually. Eventually those route will probably be replaced by smaller regional jets like the Embraer 135.

User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5103 times:

^^Great answers, everyone.  Smile

Years before the United Express (or similar) experience, I remember thinking how nice it would be to be a passenger in a smaller aircraft, just for the tactile thrill of it. But I guess I never counted on the effects of the decibel level, and when the time actually came to take a trip aboard a turboprop, I found that the sound level was just way too uncomfortable. Didn't anyone think to make earplugs available?

And yes, it's true -- I've never been in a single-engine Piper or Cessna. Not that I would resist the experience, though -- as a pilot.  Smile


User currently offlineHZ747300 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2004, 1665 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5099 times:
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Beech 1900D is another no f/a aircraft. Also, the Saab 340 is a thirty seater in use, mostly on the east coast. Most likely it was a Embraer 120 as already mentioned.


Keep on truckin'...
User currently offlineDLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5086 times:

Speaking from my experience the Embraer 120 isn't bad, just very, very loud. The Dash-8-200 that Mesa flies is actually quite nice.

User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5066 times:
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Quoting Ralgha (Reply 1):
The only turboprop in production is the Dash 8



Aren't the ATRs still in production? And maybe the CN-235?




2H4





Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5063 times:

Earplugs would go a long way to helping with passenger comfort. They sell them at drugstores to help equalize pressure in the ears; it would be nice if airlines would offer them to help preserve the eardrums themselves.

That, or Bose noise-canceling headphones.  

[Edited 2005-12-22 05:58:56]

User currently offlineMarkabcan From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5052 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 6):
Aren't the ATRs still in production? And maybe the CN-235?

Yes the ATR series is still in production and actually doing pretty well!


User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5801 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5021 times:

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 1):
If it was long enough ago it was a Metroliner seating 19 passengers with no flight attendent.

UAX into Fresno? No UAX/WestAir operated the EMB-110 Bandit as a 19 seater. Interesting aircraft with bench seats.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.



They were all replaced with 30 seat Brasilias.

[Edited 2005-12-22 06:24:18]


"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineAJRfromSYR From United States of America, joined May 2005, 454 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4987 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 6):
Aren't the ATRs still in production? And maybe the CN-235?

Saab 2000's still going?



-AJR-
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4987 times:

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 9):
UAX into Fresno? No UAX/WestAir operated the EMB-110 Bandit as a 19 seater. Interesting aircraft with bench seats.

Depends on time period... Before Skywest introduced the EMB-120s, my first FAT-SAN flight (actually, first flight...ever...) was a WestAir Shorts 330, which I'm told had a flight attendent.

After that flight and before the EMB-120s (through the mid 90's?) Skywest (operating alternatively as Delta Connection or United Express) flew the Fairchild Metroliner III (19 seats, no FA...looked like a flying pencil), at least between ONT and FAT and SAN and FAT... I spent many a flight between those two city pairs in my youth, and looking at pictures of a Metro III's interior now I feel claustrophobic (I'm now about 6'2").

Thank goodness Skywest retired those in favor of the wonderfully spacious (by comparison) 120s...

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5801 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4968 times:

One key then is the year. Skywest took over UAX service in 1997.

Prior to Skywest taking over UAX at Fresno and the rest of California it would be WestAir flying Bandits, Brasilias or the 330 you remember.

If there was no flight attendant it was probably a Bandit because that was the dominant aircraft in the fleet for a number of years.

I believe WestAir only operated 1 or 2 of the Shorts, they experimented with several types. They also operated several -146s for a while.

[Edited 2005-12-22 06:52:38]


"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineMarkabcan From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4960 times:

Quoting AJRfromSYR (Reply 10):
Saab 2000's still going?

I don't think so. That program never really gained any momentum back when it was introduced. They are certainly still in operation though throughout the world!


User currently offlineAJRfromSYR From United States of America, joined May 2005, 454 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4951 times:

Quoting Markabcan (Reply 13):
I don't think so. That program never really gained any momentum back when it was introduced. They are certainly still in operation though throughout the world!

Too bad, always thought it was a beautiful bird



-AJR-
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4937 times:

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 12):
One key then is the year. Skywest took over in 1997.

Was it really that late? I could have sworn that it was well before that...It seems to me (and please let me know that I'm wrong-- I was young and not paying much attention at the time), at least as far as FAT-ONT and FAT-SAN were concerned, I'm pretty sure it was Skywest as UAX for a while (operated out of Ontario's /old/ Terminal 1), then Skywest as Delta Express/Connection/whatever for a while (operated out of Ontario's /old/ Terminal 2 (Delta was the only airline down there, basically a huge room with two gates and a very interesting configuration), then finally Skywest as UAX again (operated out of a waiting room that was kind of duct taped on to Ontario's old terminal 1)...

Unfourtinately, that's about as clear as my memory from the period gets on the subject... I started flying these routes semi-regularly about 1990 and stopped about 1998-1999



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5801 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4922 times:

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 15):
Was it really that late?

Yep, you can read the Skywest history here.
http://www.skywest.com/about/history.php

Skywest was not with UAX in California until 1997, so anything UAX before that was on WestAir.

I'd have to check some old info but UAX/WestAir operated a lot of secondary markets, I believe FAT-ONT was one.

Personally I remember the DLConn flights. Sat on the ground a few times in the Metros when I was rerouted. Instead of FAT-LAX, a couple of times I ended up FAT-ONT-LAX.



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4906 times:

Quoting Markabcan (Reply 13):
are certainly still in operation though throughout the world!

I think there are only two in the US. Both in corporate work.

GreatChecko



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineAJRfromSYR From United States of America, joined May 2005, 454 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4901 times:

Just checked the Saab website, looks like its still in production.


-AJR-
User currently offlineMarkabcan From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4879 times:

Quoting AJRfromSYR (Reply 18):
Just checked the Saab website, looks like its still in production.

Production actually ended in 1999 with the last delivery to Crossair in April 1999. See bottom of history blog.

http://www.airliners.net/info/stats.main?id=348

Saab still supports and actively leases some of their aircraft including the 2000. That is most likely what the website is geared towards


User currently offlineAJRfromSYR From United States of America, joined May 2005, 454 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4869 times:

Quoting Markabcan (Reply 19):
Saab still supports and actively leases some of their aircraft including the 2000. That is most likely what the website is geared towards

Thanks



-AJR-
User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1610 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4826 times:

The Saab 2000 is out of production. There were only about 60 airframes produced. I flew them at Crossair and it was a terrific airplane, superior to the CRJ-200 I now fly in every respect except speed and vibration level and even there it was not far behind. For most of the shorter routes we fly a turboprop would almost certainly be more economical to fly.

Three things conspired to kill the Saab 2000.

1. It was expensive to purchase.
2. There was a delay into service to deal with the fly-by-wire system.
3. There is a big marketing advantage in advertising that a flight is "jet service". Most passengers think anything with propellors is old. The recent accident in Florida does nothing to help that image unfortunately.



smrtrthnu
User currently offlineIRelayer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1073 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4816 times:

Only turboprops in production right now (excluding Russian models) are the Dash-8 series and the ATR series. That's it. I wonder when and if Embraer will build a newer/faster version of the 120? Anyone have any info on this? It seems to be a segment of the market which has little compeitition and it can't be that capital intensive to develop a new 30-40 seat turboprop.

-IR


User currently offlineAcidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1874 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4751 times:
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FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 3):
But I guess I never counted on the effects of the decibel level, and when the time actually came to take a trip aboard a turboprop, I found that the sound level was just way too uncomfortable. Didn't anyone think to make earplugs available?

Ironic story: While I was flying on a SkyWest EMB120 ACV-SFO, a small child would not stop crying and screaming, before we even finished boarding! "I don't wanna fly on this little plane!" was the battle cry. It's amazing - children must be born now already fearful of flying props, as some kind of natural instinct. The F/A went down the aisle offering earplugs to passengers, not necessarily to shield from the prop noise but to shield from the screaming child.

The child screamed and screamed all through taxi, takeoff and up to about 4000'. Suddenly the child stopped screaming and crying, after realizing how cool it was to ride on this plane, with such a neat view of the Northern California coast and how fun it actually was.



Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3997 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4738 times:

Quoting Markabcan (Reply 8):
Yes the ATR series is still in production and actually doing pretty well!

Indeed, 90 or so orders in 2005 which makes it easily the best year for ATR in more than a decade.

There is talk about a renaissance of the turboprop as more and more airlines seem to realize that there is no point in operating CRJs or ERJs on short hops.


25 EMBQA : I had my chance to see my first Saab 2000 up close here in the US this past week and all I can say is WoW...!! It's a real shame the RJ market explos
26 Oznznut : Back in July 0f 1997 I flew a Saab of Business Air from Edinburgh to Aberdeen. sweet aircraft. This flight even carried a LH flight number. Wierd. Thi
27 Saab2000 : Yes, it was difficult to make a smooth landing on the Saab 2000. There is not much gear travel. The best landings occur with a crosswind and the reall
28 IFly4UAL : God I hate that term "puddle jumpers." Why do people find it necessary to call planes that are powered by turboprop engines "puddle jumpers?" Why can
29 Tornado82 : Very doubtful... unless they want to lose a whole bunch of money running a plane not built for the route. I thought the EMB-120 was still in producti
30 AerospaceFan : Eek! Sorry about calling them "puddle jumpers". No offense is meant. I have a fondness for all kinds of aircraft, so the term is meant in a good-natur
31 Post contains images IFly4UAL : Oh no offense taken whatsoever...just a personal opinion. And obviously you have a fondness for aircraft since you're a member of the site (and a new
32 Saab2000 : Even the word "Regional" has negative connotations. I recently heard a woman get on our CRJ and she kept shouting gleefully, "this is my first trip on
33 A319XFW : This week I flew on a SAAB 2000 and last week on the same route (and airline), I flew a SAAB 340. To me it was almost like a difference between night
34 Post contains images AerospaceFan : Thanks! This is a cool site and I really enjoy posting here. I've learned more about regional aircraft just in this thread than I'd ever believed pos
35 Goldenshield : As far as I know, SkyWest still has options with Embraer to order a few of them and restart the line, with options to convert those to EMB jets.
36 Post contains images ManuCH : The Saab 2000 is actually my favorite airplane still... too bad they're not producing it anymore. The fun part was getting a friend of mine on a Saab
37 Ca2ohHP : I would rather fly a Beech 1900 then A Bae-ATP any day. Even though a 1900 is a "puddle jumper," it's a very reliable aircraft unlike the ATP's I've w
38 Tornado82 : I'd rather fly the B1900 than the Saab 340 as well.
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