abletofly
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:55 pm

Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:09 pm

As I've lived in Greenland for most of my life and still go there on vacations, and as I've worked for Air Greenland as mechanic apprentice, I keep wondering which aircraft that could be the best possible replacement keeping in mind that the airfields in Greenland aren't much longer that 2800 feet (850 meters). Except of a few like Sondrestrom Fjord (Kangerlussuaq). I know there have been talks about the Dash 8 as the natural replacement, if you will. Also the ATR 42 have been in Greenland to show it's abilities to Air Greenland. The Dash 7 have flown for Air Greenland for more than 25 years since it entered service in 1979 and can carry 50 pax. The aircraft is expensive to operate yes, but it's the most versatile and has proven very reliable in the conditions it's flying in. I was told that if Air Greenland started operating the Dash 8, 40% of the mechanics would be obsolete. It just doesn't really match the Dash 7's performance on short fields. Does anyone have a replacement?
Me first thought as a child was the BAe 146, just because it has 4 engines like the Dash 7. Big grin
But that one ofcourse is no option. Considering that Greenland is almost entirely a rocky place with almost no flat spots on the terrain to find, I can't see any real replacement, other than constructing an aircraft just for that purpose. Hoping for a good discussion.  Smile

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Regards.
 
NASBWI
Posts: 923
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RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:08 pm

Yep, the natural replacement would be the -8. However, it would have to be the -100/200 series (second-hand these days) since the -300s have a longer accelerate-stop requirement than 2800 feet.
Fierce, Fabulous, and Flawless ;)
 
Vref5
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:55 pm

RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:24 pm

Difficult because many small prop plane manufacturers has either gone out of business or stopped making certain products.

I would suggest ATR-42 or ATR-72 depending on desired pax loads. Even the 60-seat ATR-42 has a range that is about twice of the Dash 7. But lower max takeoff weight by several thousand kg. That could be a negative depending on pax or cargo load factor and utilization.

ATR-42 requires about 1 to 1.2 km of runway for takeoff at MTOW assuming balanced field and standard or slightly above standard temperature. Landing requires about 1 km at MLW.

(Dash 7 had better STOL performance... about 700m max for takeoff and 600m for landing.)

ATR-42 max cruise speed is around 260 knots and max altitude is 25,000 ft. Dash 7 is about 250 knots but max alt is about 20,400 ft with pax onboard.

I don't remember the fuel burn rate of either aircraft.

There was also the Fokker F27 and Dornier 328 or 328JET but both companies have gone out of business a while ago. SAAB also stopped making the SAAB 2000 and even the 340. Raytheon stopped making the Beechcraft 1900D (19 seater turboprop) a few years ago.

You're right, it's not easy finding a good STOL replacement for the DHC-7 with similar characteristics unless you buy used aircraft or am willing to consider the ATR for new aircraft purchases.
 
HAJFlyer
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RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:25 pm

The DHC-7s STOL characteritics are definetly unmatached in the 50 pax category. IMHO there is not enough of a market for either Bomdardier, Embraer (or a Russian manufacturer) to be able to manufacture a sucessor profitably.
 
Vref5
Posts: 187
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RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:30 pm

The DHC-8 would also be an option, too. I didn't mention it because AbleToFly didn't seem to like that idea based on the rumor of mechanic reductions. And its worse STOL performance, too.

Still, the DHC-8 isn't bad, especially the Series 400... but of course, there's the 100/200/300.

[Edited 2006-12-04 12:33:09]

[Edited 2006-12-04 12:33:32]
 
connies4ever
Posts: 3393
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:54 pm

RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:30 pm

Viking Aviation of Victoria BC now owns the production rights to all of the DHC line up to and including the Dash 7. I believe their first attempt to restart a production lnie will be the DHC-6 (maybe DHC-6NG ?), but it's not out of the question that a newer-technology Dash-7 would appear.

There used to be an old saw when DC-3 replacements were being considered, that the best replacement for a DC-3 was a DC-3. Might be the same situation here. Perhaps newer PW engines, glass cockpit, lighter airframe.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
MCOflyer
Posts: 7071
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:51 am

RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:21 pm

I think a new dash 7 replacement is a rebuilt dash 7.

MCOflyer
Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
 
mauriceb
Posts: 2150
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 2:50 am

RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:52 pm

I don't see the need for restarting Dash-7 production...

the F-50 can also land on rough terrains, and while it may not match the Dash-7 capecity's , the ''air strips'' only need a litle bit of construction, as the F-50 doesn't require mutch...

[Edited 2006-12-04 14:09:46]
 
abletofly
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:55 pm

RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:56 pm

Yes, I really like your replies.
My own favourite for this role would be the Dash 8-200 maybe. Mainly because of the improved performance compared to the -100 series. The fact that Air Greenland could be forced to reduce the number of mechanic employees is scary, but may be a reality due to changing times. The ATR 42 has proven to be inefficient because it can't operate with maximum load and it could only operate from GOH, SFJ, UAK, KUL and JAV. That is a big issue for the company that does a lot of cargo operations with the Dash 7.
The Dash 8 was flying in Greenland this summer for Arctic Travel Group that leased a Dash 8-100 from Iceland. To me it was great, at first the fact the we saw it in Greenland thus we could see how it did. I haven't got any response from friends up north yet, but I know that it only could operate from GOH, SFJ, UAK, JAV. Most of the airfields i Greenland, also very new, are 850 meters, while GOH i 950 meters and may be lengthened in some years.
I really can't find anything else that can take-off using only 3-400 meters and land on 2-300 meters..
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Dash 7 can keep it self airborne with 2 engines and in some cases 1 engine with very little load, I would be surprised if any Dash 8 could keep it self airborne with 2 engines unserviceable.  Yeah sure  Silly  duck 

Regards.
 
cjpark
Posts: 1199
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RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:21 pm

CASA CN-235 Asian Spirit Airlines flies these aircraft to short strips all over the Philippines.
"Any airline that wants to serve the [region] can go to DFW today and fly anywhere they want," WN spokesman Ed Stewart
 
vfw614
Posts: 3194
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 12:34 am

RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:45 pm

I guess the same can be asked for the DHC6 Twin Otter. While there have been a few ventures that were designed to result in a Twotter replacement, none has really made it into a long-term programme.

Given how many old DC3s are still around, the Dash 7 probably has some 25 years of service life left...
 
AirbusA6
Posts: 1502
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RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:52 pm

Quoting Vfw614 (Reply 10):
I guess the same can be asked for the DHC6 Twin Otter. While there have been a few ventures that were designed to result in a Twotter replacement, none has really made it into a long-term programme.

A radical step, but the only real replacement may come from Russia or China, the Chinese Y12 is a similarly sized plane, designed for short, rough runways.
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
abletofly
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:55 pm

RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:56 pm

Quote:
the Dash 7 probably has some 25 years of service life left...

I totally agree with you.
I wouldn't be surprised if it would remain in service with Air Greenland for another 25 years. The company's S-61's have been in service for 40 years now just to mention..
 
vfw614
Posts: 3194
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 12:34 am

RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:59 pm

Quoting AbleToFly (Reply 12):
wouldn't be surprised if it would remain in service with Air Greenland for another 25 years. The company's S-61's have been in service for 40 years now just to mention..

Particularly as I am under the impression that most of them have comparatively low hours.
 
abletofly
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:55 pm

RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:55 am

Quoting Vfw614 (Reply 13):
Particularly as I am under the impression that most of them have comparatively low hours.

Good point! I'll send an e-mail to my old colleague and ask for the exact number of flying hours.  Smile

Regards.
 
FlyHoss
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:20 pm

RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:52 am

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 5):
Viking Aviation of Victoria BC now owns the production rights to all of the DHC line up to and including the Dash 7. I believe their first attempt to restart a production lnie will be the DHC-6 (maybe DHC-6NG ?), but it's not out of the question that a newer-technology Dash-7 would appear.

There used to be an old saw when DC-3 replacements were being considered, that the best replacement for a DC-3 was a DC-3. Might be the same situation here. Perhaps newer PW engines, glass cockpit, lighter airframe.

I've had that same thought, too. Better engines with a larger power turbine (i.e. multiple power turbines), EFIS, lighter seats and a modern hydraulic system. IIRC, the hydraulic pumps had become less than reliable and it was difficult to get parts for them, also.

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 6):
I think a new dash 7 replacement is a rebuilt dash 7

I agree, ultimately, no airplane can fully replace a DHC-7 except another DHC-7. It's a airplane with unique talents. It's unlikely, IMHO, that enough demand, and therefore funding, will materialize to support a modernized DHC-7 (as I suggested above). So rebuilding seems to be the only option. On the good news side, it's good for job security for the mechanics.

I'd suggest that current operators purchase unused DHC-7s to secure parts and airframes for possible future use.

[Edited 2006-12-15 18:01:04]
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
 
PavlovsDog
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:28 am

RE: Replacement Of The DHC-7 (Dash 7)

Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:25 am

Since somebody mentioned Russia. The Sukhoi SU-80 has very good short field characteristics. While it has a smaller capacity than the Dash 7 it would probably be suitable for a lot of the routes it currently serves. It also features GE powerplants. Considering the Chinese recently bought a lot of them they must have some positive attributes as strange as they look.

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