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ATR Also Looking At Larger Turboprop  
User currently offlineOvercast From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 154 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 6 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5250 times:

It looks like the Q400X stretch may have more serious competition.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...s-new-larger-turboprop-family.html

My thoughts for what this may end up as would be to match the cruise speed of the Q400, go 5 abreast( this makes further stretches possible(120 seats?), and ramp up the range to 1000-1500nm.

This would make this attractive for a large slice of the short to mid range market. Jets are great but the fuel efficiency of a turboprop could really eat up some of the market for the 737NNG and 320NSR.

What are your thoughts?

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRJNUT From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1193 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5208 times:

to me, speed will be critical...Just having a bigger, lumbering giant wont do it!

i dont know that much about the technology required, but would it be possible to get a turboprop up to the old Electra speeds of 405mph? was that because of 4 engines.? Who knows, but i think there will be a need as 50 jets wind down their active life, but still the need to connect some of the same markets!


User currently offlinePavlovsDog From Norway, joined Sep 2005, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5150 times:

Quoting RJNUT (Reply 1):
to me, speed will be critical...Just having a bigger, lumbering giant wont do it!

i dont know that much about the technology required, but would it be possible to get a turboprop up to the old Electra speeds of 405mph? was that because of 4 engines.? Who knows, but i think there will be a need as 50 jets wind down their active life, but still the need to connect some of the same markets!

The Saab 2000 has pretty much the same top speed as the Electra. I agree that speed should be a design issue since it would make the aircraft competitive on even more routes. The Saab 2000 upscaled to a five abreast fuselage would be a great aircraft IMHO. I think that ATR's target size of 80-90 seats is a bit small and narrow though. How about 85 and 105 instead?


User currently offlineTWA902fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 3100 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5141 times:

Quoting Overcast (Thread starter):
and ramp up the range to 1000-1500nm.

my personal opinion is that this isnt as big of a concern. How many airlines do you know that would need a turboprop to be able to fly much farther than the Q400 or ATR-72 can already fly, i can't think of too many. Possibly if Horizon wanted to serve smaller alaskan airports or whitehorse or something from SEA... Otherwise a prop is still slower than a jet, and when getting into distances that far, the time difference could become large enough that the competition which is flying jets will be winning your passengers. I see this long of a range possibly useful in Africa maybe, where there might be routes with no competition, so a brand new turboprop would be amazing.

just my thoughts.

'902



life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
User currently offlineR2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2497 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5003 times:

There is much potential still left in turboprops! They have been neglected for decades during the jet era but rising fuel prices will eventually spur their comeback, and they'll end up pushing the 50-seat regional jets out of the market (and possibly eating into the 75-100 market too). That's my predition at least...

Keep in mind that turboprop technology has not been significantly developed over the past decades due to the emphasis on jets. The ATRs are a great design, but it is still an original design from the 70s! Nevertheless, the ATR and Q400 order books keep growing, because there's nothing else better out there.

Today it is possible to manufacture composite propellers with very complex shapes and multiple blades, allowing for very high speeds (see the A400M), that would suppose a negligible difference with respect to RJs on the typical short flight, while consuming much less fuel. Add to that the newest avionics (some already to be introduced for the ATR-600) and more composite materials and you could make a fine turboprop.


User currently offlineAS739X From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6006 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4659 times:

Quoting TWA902fly (Reply 3):

Horizon will not fly in Alaska. Not in the near future. They'd need a different operating certificate. Horizon is very happy with the Q400. Also, if you get into larger prop with a lot of airlines, you run into capacity clauses with pilot contracts.

ASSFO



"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlineHUbsnotDubs From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4539 times:

What about a smaller turboprop? Does anyone have anything on the books for a replacement for the Beech 1900 or the larger Brasilia? Both are getting dated and there is nothing in this category to replace them.

User currently offlineOvercast From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4487 times:

Quoting AS739X (Reply 5):
Also, if you get into larger prop with a lot of airlines, you run into capacity clauses with pilot contracts.

It is also true that most of these are being relaxed over time. Costs are only going to be under more pressure, cost of Oil etc.
So I see a definite market for a Turboprop, cruise 360-400Kts, operating up to 2 hour legs(700Nm). Jets won't have much speed benefit over that distance, and the costs will be so much better. If there were 3 models with a nominal 80,100 or 120 seats capacity, then this could cover a large segment of the DC-9, MD80, and smaller 737 and A32X series.


User currently offlineAmtrakGuy From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4461 times:

Hypothesize Question: Would these larger Turboprop be a good a/c to fly between Dallas and Houston, or Houston to Austin? I recalled a discussion years ago, the airlines fly on a short-hop usually flies 350 to 400 mph at lower attitude.

User currently offlineN353SK From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 794 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4415 times:

Quoting PavlovsDog (Reply 2):
How about 85 and 105 instead?

Sizes like that would require the planes to be flown by mainline pilots with mainline salaries and would probably do more harm than good to the marketability of the plane

Quoting AmtrakGuy (Reply 8):
Would these larger Turboprop be a good a/c to fly between Dallas and Houston, or Houston to Austin?

Absolutely. The problem would be convincing the general public that they're good for these types of routes and to shed the "podunk puddle jumper" image.


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7073 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4281 times:

Quoting HUbsnotDubs (Reply 6):

A very good point. Nothing worth mentioning in the 20ish seat market. Sooner or later 1900s will have to go, and what then?


User currently offlineFlyby519 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1084 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4075 times:

Large turboprops would be great in the northeast US market where the segments are short BOS-LGA-DCA and the airspace is so congested that ATC usually restricts all traffic to 250kts!


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User currently offlineDavidByrne From New Zealand, joined Sep 2007, 1610 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3986 times:

What is the practical limit to turboprop technology, aircraft size-wise? Presumably you oculd go to four or six large turboprop engines and lift really decent loads over short-medium ranges - consider the military Short Belfast, the A400M, and the Herc for inspiration. Or even Tupolev's TU-114, which must have been an amazing aircraft to fly in. Would a wide-body turboprop capable of seriving distances of up to (say) 1,000 miles on highly trafficked routes be a practical proposition? Say (as mentioned above) the US Eastern Seaboard, Japanese domestic routes, some key European city pairs, the Australian east coast, or even Chinese and Indian domestic routes? Over short distances a turboprop's speed is not an issue, especially if they can push up over the 400kts mark. And with fuel consumption being an increasingly critical issue, might not the airlines seek such an aircraft in resposne to the challenge?


This is not my beautiful house . . . This is not my beautiful wife
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21129 posts, RR: 56
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3942 times:

Quoting HUbsnotDubs (Reply 6):
What about a smaller turboprop? Does anyone have anything on the books for a replacement for the Beech 1900 or the larger Brasilia? Both are getting dated and there is nothing in this category to replace them.

There is a great need for a fast turboprop to replace 50 seat RJs on routes of 600-700nm or less.

Quoting N353SK (Reply 9):
Absolutely. The problem would be convincing the general public that they're good for these types of routes and to shed the "podunk puddle jumper" image.

The cheaper tickets should take care of that just fine.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineR2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2497 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3777 times:

Quoting DavidByrne (Reply 12):
Over short distances a turboprop's speed is not an issue, especially if they can push up over the 400kts mark. And with fuel consumption being an increasingly critical issue, might not the airlines seek such an aircraft in resposne to the challenge?

 checkmark  A quick look at ATR's order book and production ramp up plans shows that turboprops are back and will definitely increasingly become an option for airlines. But with Boeing and Airbus neglecting this market segment, and Embraer only doing jets, turboprops are clearly lacking supporters right now. I think economics will eventually force that to change though.


User currently offlineJoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3154 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3736 times:

Quoting N353SK (Reply 9):
The problem would be convincing the general public that they're good for these types of routes and to shed the "podunk puddle jumper" image.

From the average reactions on this forum, my impression is that this is a more important aspect in the USA than in Europe. I actually don't hear too much complains on turboprop usage on short hops. VLM for example (with their F50-network from LCY) is a very popular carrier and my impression is that people prefer a turboprop to LCY over a 737/320 to LHR.

Even if it is, it's sitll a problem considering the size of the market in the USA  Smile

I believe these aircraft can become very popular in Europe, especially as the average sector length in Europe is considerably smaller than in the USA, so the block time won't get affected too much. It can be a serious contender for the E70/E90.

I wonder how much the current SAS Q400 issues affect the demand for turboprops. I had the impression that in the USA, the 1994 American Eagle crash greatly affected the public opinion about turboprops - is that true?


User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5322 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3723 times:

Ultimately, the ticket price will probably be the deciding factor in most casual flyers decisions and schedule will decide who flies in the business world.

Generally, the people who grumble about modern T-props, probably haven't flown on one. They'll fly on them if they have to, the same that people grumble about the RJs but fly on them anyway.



What the...?
User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2004 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3692 times:

If turboprops are much more fuel efficient than jets, then the Green halo effect could be very important, especially in Europe. I know FlyBE mention the fuel efficient nature of their Q400s in their advertising.

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
There is a great need for a fast turboprop to replace 50 seat RJs on routes of 600-700nm or less.

Who owns the right to the Dornier 328? Maybe the original turboprop version could be put back into production, and stretched to 50 seats to provide an RJ replacement? It's still a very modern design, and quite funky looking too (for a prop!)



it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21129 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3603 times:

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 17):
Who owns the right to the Dornier 328? Maybe the original turboprop version could be put back into production, and stretched to 50 seats to provide an RJ replacement? It's still a very modern design, and quite funky looking too (for a prop!)

IIRC, The 328 wasn't too economical. It obviously didn't sell well enough to keep the company afloat.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineMasseyBrown From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 5222 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3482 times:

Quoting R2rho (Reply 4):
Today it is possible to manufacture composite propellers with very complex shapes and multiple blades, allowing for very high speeds (see the A400M),

A new turboprop with two of the A400M's engines could make a great plane. TGV = turboprop de grande vitesse.

Are the noise levels of the TP-400-D6 known yet?



Consilivm: Cave ne nothi te vexant
User currently offlineDHHornet From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 252 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3344 times:

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 17):
Who owns the right to the Dornier 328? Maybe the original turboprop version could be put back into production, and stretched to 50 seats to provide an RJ replacement? It's still a very modern design, and quite funky looking too (for a prop!)

Good point.

The Saab 2000 is the one that would do very well now!

How about the AN-140 with PW engines and a fuse plug ! ?

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User currently offlineAccess-Air From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1939 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3277 times:

Right after deregulation, the typical turboprops in service were Beech 99s, Twin Otters, Metroliners, HP 137 Jestreams mostly carrying between 15-19 pasengers. The US manufacturers of aircraft back in the early 80s didnt see the Commuter airlines as viable segment that they should pursue. There was a severe lacking of a 20-35 seat commuter airliner...So non-US buliders had to come in ot the rescue....Of course the French actually built a 25-27 seat Commuterlienr called the Nord 262 that was meant as a "DC3 replacement" that also entered into commuter service... Shorts out of Belfats came up with their 330 ( which stood for 3 abreast 30 passenger capacity) an updated version of their SC7 Skyvan....Older Fairchild FH-227s and F-27s and even Fokker F.27s and Convair 580s or 600/640s were shed by US Local service carriers and they became the next step for some commuters.
Getting back to the topic. I think that this craze for regional jets will soon bite these commuter airlines (Regionals as they are called now) in the arse....Sit a CRJ next to a Convair 580 and I am sorry the Convair would be much roomier...Turboprops may not be able to attain the altitudes that a regional jet can but they are only about 10-15 minutes slower than the regional jets are....all this for a piddly 10-15 minute time advantage?
Regional Jets were created to bypass major hubs and serve smaller communities with a more linear level of a route system...Instead they are being piled up into shuttle services into and out of mega hubs contributing to all kinds of congestion. What XJet is doing with their own XJet brand is EXACTLY what the Regional Jets were created for....Not what is being currently being applied...

I would love to see an American aircraft manufacturer turboprops again....What is needed is a rugged, dependable, easy to maintain aircraft that will be easy to maintain and economical to operate and easy to utilize in many different markets.
I also would love to see an commuter aircraft with out a T-Tail.... Yes the stabilizer is out of the propeller slip stream but the logistics of having to use a cherry picker to de-ice such a tail is a great disadvantage.....OMGoodness I think I just quoted something Bill Britt said in an interview a long time ago...regarding the cherry picker.

With Twin Otter is going back into production, now Raytheon needs to start producing the Beech 99 again!!! Yeah its unpressurized but who the heck needs the added cost and weight of a pressurization system especially if its being used on a short haul basis?
The problem is that passengers have been duped into thinking that they NEED pressurization, they NEED to fly on a JET, and that Prop planes are UNSAFE....No matter how new or big.
The downside is that turboprops operate on shorter runs and in more unstable air so climbing to 15 thousand feet to fly from say Milwaukee to OHare is a big waste of money.....and time!!! 6-7 thousand is plenty high enuff.....and a big expensive regional jets is not needed for such a short hop....A Shorts 330 or 360 could take care of that no porblem!!!!

As for large turboprops, I would love to see something akin to the L-188 Electra again....Imagine the Electra with updated Allison turbnoprop engines with the 6 blade props like are on the newer Hercules aircraft....
That plane could really haul ass!!! The thing is that the very airliners that came along to stymie and make the Electra fall by the way side were the BAC 111 and the DC9.....well those planes are now byebye.... That would make a plane like a "New Electra" a very good alternative....However airlines have an aversion of anything that has more than two engines....So, we are stuck with the likes of Dash Q400s or ATR 72 planes....The Vickers Vangaurd was another aircraft that was prematurely put out to pasture, because of the rush to buy jets.....Kind of history repeating itself if you think about it....The Regional Jets of today have woooed commuters away from prop planes....Which in turn forces them to pull out of cities that myseriously can no longer be served economically by their new jets.....
Maybe the regional airlines will discover that their rush to re-equip with these RJS is just like what all the US major airlines did when they all ordered the 747 in the early 70s.....It was the Biggest and Best thing to have but most of the airlines discovered that it was too big for their routes...
I think I may have lost my point guys....but anyway, bigger props would be nice......

Access-AIr



Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
User currently offlineBlrsea From India, joined May 2005, 1393 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3212 times:

Turbo-props are used a lot in India too for flights which doesn't yet have enough traffic to support larger jets. ATR has a big share of turbo-prop market in India. If turbos can scale well upto 100 passengers with around 20-30% savings in fuel, I see it as a big advantage. A difference of 15-30 mins in reaching your destination doesn't make too much difference in countries like India if the fare difference is significant.

User currently offlineNcelhr From Vatican City, joined Jul 2006, 357 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3158 times:

Expect some technology transfer regarding composites (Alenia) & Higher capacity (both Alenia + A400M Airbus) leading to higher power engines ( P&W ). When you've got it, why not use it?

User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4696 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3139 times:

Quoting DHHornet (Reply 20):
How about the AN-140 with PW engines and a fuse plug ! ?

The Il-114-100 seats more at 64 but is a bit short-legged and slow, cruising at 254kt up to 540nm.....

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But it could be the ticket for those not in too much of a hurry and have only a short distance to go. And for western operators, PW127s could be an option. It might have a tough fight though with ATR's -600 series and Bombardier's planned Q400 shrink (if it pushes through.)

Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 10):
A very good point. Nothing worth mentioning in the 20ish seat market.

Well, apart from the Twotter already mentioned and the Cessna Caravan, the Let 420 could benefit from GE's buy-in into its engine manufacturer, and also has a P&WC option.....

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And it remains to be seen if Sikorsky's acquisition of PZL Mielec could lead to a new passenger type other than its ubiquitous Bryza (Skytruck). Aero Vodochody is probably not in a position to come up with something, though.



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
25 Orion737 : I think an airline like Binter Canarias could support a larger ATR for busy inter island flights. These are short in duration and ideal for turboprops
26 Tonforty : I'd like to see Saab start up again with new generations of the 340 and 2000. Pity it ain't gonna happen! On another note, you would think Airbus coul
27 Post contains images Bond007 : Nah! Most pax have absolutely no clue what aircraft type they are flying on, and most of 'em no idea whether it's prop or a jet. 90% have no clue wha
28 Tonforty : Spot on IMO. The vast majority of passengers will make their decision based cost and whether the flight times suit their needs or not.
29 AirbusA6 : Lack of potential return has stalled innovation in this sector a bit. If you bear in mind the Dash8 and ATR date back to them 80s (and there is a fair
30 DavidByrne : Nobody game to offer an opinion on my question as to whether a short-range high-capacity wide-body turboprop might be technically and economically fe
31 Overcast : Ok, if your going widebody, then you are talking 200 pax plus. Even if you use the A400M as a basis you would be hard pressed a reasonable range and
32 DavidByrne : Don't forget that the Tupolev TU-114 could carry 220 pax "long"-range, and that was 1950s technology. Which aspects of technology might need to be en
33 NZ107 : They still exist as Tu-95 Bombers.. And watching the news over the last few weeks they are still flying.. Maybe someone could buy it for commercial p
34 Post contains images R2rho : Well, leisure PAX may only look at price, but business PAX may feel that they are flying something inferior. And remember, it was the airlines themse
35 HUbsnotDubs : I agree with the people above, and although moving away from the thread, I do agree that larger props will be looked at but I still believe that the s
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