Pe@rson
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Which Is The More Efficient: F50, DH3 Or AT4?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:02 am

The Fokker 50, Dash 8-300 and the ATR-42 can carry largely the same number of people. But of these three props, which would be generally the more efficient and cost-effective on flights up to 1.25 hours? Which offers a lower per-mile cost? I have read in an article that the AT4 is more efficient than the DH3, but I'm unsure about the F50.

[Edited 2004-02-19 16:04:19]
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Pe@rson
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RE: Which Is The More Efficient: F50, DH3 Or AT4?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 8:50 pm

Any thoughts on this?
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Which Is The More Efficient: F50, DH3 Or AT4?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 9:51 pm

ATR-42 = 46 seats; max. cruise speed 265kts, economical cruise speed 243kts.

Dash 8-300 = 50 seats; max. cruise speed 285kts.

Fokker 50 = 50 seats; typical cruise speed (for series 300) 284kts.

Of the above, the speeds are roughly the same for the DH3 and F50, whereas somewhat less for the AT4. I am not sure whether the differences would make be noticeable on relatively short flights (1.25 hours and less), and whether they'd be small inefficiencies between the three.

In addition to the above, the ATR-72, with typical seating for 64-70, has a max. cruise speed of 284kts and an economical cruise speed of 248kts. Still, its speed is somewhat less than both the F50 and DH3, but I'm unsure whether it'd be noticeable (i.e. by taking longer to complete a sector) and whether it'd be offset by the increase in seats.

In contrast, the Dash 8-400 cruises much faster (350kts) while seating more people (70). I wonder whether this aircraft would be a suitable replacement for the F50, if an airline wanted to operate a larger capacity fleet and try to increase efficiency (speed is one element which can be tweaked, i.e. by reducing the time to complete each leg, thereby enabling an increase in utilisation by executing more rotations per day). But would it enable an additional rotation per day, in view of the relatively short duration of the flights operated? I'm not sure.

I'm hesitant to suggest a regional jet because of the short duration of the flights and the fact that props can probably do the job just as well - but cheaper.

[Edited 2004-02-20 14:02:46]
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Olympus69
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RE: Which Is The More Efficient: F50, DH3 Or AT4?

Sat Feb 21, 2004 4:05 am

That's a tough question to answer. All 3 planes have PWC 120 series engines, the ATR is a bit lighter than the other 2, and both the ATR and the Fokker are available with the more efficient 6-bladed props. The Fokker is based on a much older design and therefore may have a less efficient wing than the other two. I would take a guess that the ATR 500 series might be the most efficient, followed by the Dash 8-300B. That ATR model is also the fastest with a 305 knot max cruise.
 
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PW100
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RE: Which Is The More Efficient: F50, DH3 Or AT4?

Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:17 am

The Fokker F50 employs two PW125B engines rated @ 2500 shp, while the ATR uses PW120/121A [2000-2180 shp?], and the Dash-8-300 uses PW123 engines [2300 shp].

I'm sure the F50 is less efficient, it is [much] heavier than the ATR and Dash-8. However is does win the battle in comfort, as the F50 easily is the most comfortable plane of the three. In fact, it is widely regarded as the most comfortable and most quiet cabin of all turboprops, which could not be matched by the competition even using active sound supression systems. However this did not win it any customers in North America, but is the reason why the F50 was succesfull in European theater and to a lesser extent in Asia.

I think the DH3 and AT4 are pretty closely matched, maybe the ATR slightly over the Dash but only slightly.

PW100
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blueairbureau
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RE: Which Is The More Efficient: F50, DH3 Or AT4?

Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:51 am

Hi Y'all,
I love this question! Let's assume all three aircraft leave Ord for SGF at the same time. The most efficient aircraft would be the one who climbed to cruise altitude the quickest. Assuming they all cruise around 25,000 ft the sooner they arrived at cruise the sooner they would achieve there respected best fuel burn. Since they all must fly the same distance I would award the aircraft which arrived first, burned the least, and who's passengers weren't holding there ears in pain as they left the aircraft. I have talked to guys who have flown all three aircraft (F-50 Estonian, Dash300 Bahamasair, Atr4-500 American Eagle) They all agree the F-50 would win. It really is a hard charger. Comfy too, like fuzzy slippers!

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