mffoda
Topic Author
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Saab Back In The Turboprop Game?

Wed May 23, 2012 12:54 pm

There a piece in FG that speculates that Saab maybe interested in entering the 90 seat turboprop market.

I hope so!  http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/fl...aa-2012-guess-whos-thinking-a.html

It's a small article so I'll just post it...

Quote:

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota -- Engine makers General Electric and Pratt & Whitney have been signaling for months that ATR and Bombardier aren't the only airframers pondering the market potential of a 90-seat turboprop, but it was never clear to whom they referred.

Our first thought was Embraer. The Brazilian manufacturer once dominated the 35-seat turboprop sector, so they have the technical know-how. But Embraer chief executive Frederico Curado blew up that theory on 12 April, telling us in no uncertain terms that his company has no intention whatsoever of jumping back into the turboprop sector.

So who else could it be?

Today at the Regional Airline Association's annual convention, GE finally let slip the identity of the mystery airframer. In a briefing about GE's next-generation CPX38 turboprop, general manager Allen Paxson reminded the press that Saab was once in the turboprop game, and "Saab is going to want to play in that [90-seat market sector] as well".

Oh, really? In the question-and-answer, we quickly asked Paxson what he meant by invoking Saab. "Certainly Saab has been at the top of the market for decades," said Paxson, obviously alluding to the Saab 340 and Saab 2000 that ceased production in 1997. "It's fair to say they have been studying that as well."

Michael Magnussen, chief executive of Saab Aircraft Leasing, is also here, and he confirmed Saab's advanced design team is studying possible civil aircraft concepts. They have invited suppliers, such as GE, to brief them on current technologies, so that they can understand what's available. Magnussen also noted that Saab at the moment is a cash-rich company, and is looking for new business opportunities.
harder than woodpecker lips...
 
LH452
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RE: Saab Back In The Turboprop Game?

Wed May 23, 2012 1:09 pm

Even though I believe in a 90 pax turboprop market, I have major doubts about Saabs financial ability. Swedish government to some extent financed the development of the 340 & 2000 with negative return and the current conservative government will not be easy to convince a third time.
 
Web
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RE: Saab Back In The Turboprop Game?

Wed May 23, 2012 3:05 pm

I would think that even if Saab developed a 90-seat turboprop, it would bear little resemblance to the 340 or the 2000 from any standpoint. Systems, avionics, aerodynamic design, etc have all changed so much since the last frames rolled off the line that this would almost definitely be a clean-sheet design, meaning that basically Saab would be starting over as an airframe manufacturer. Whereas ATR has a consistent product line and could stretch the -72 for a 90-seater, Saab could not, making for an uphill battle should they make the attempt.
 
columba
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RE: Saab Back In The Turboprop Game?

Wed May 23, 2012 3:17 pm

I hope they do and that it will have a wing design similar to the Saab 340 and 2000.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
cmf
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RE: Saab Back In The Turboprop Game?

Wed May 23, 2012 3:34 pm

Quoting mffoda (Thread starter):
There a piece in FG that speculates that Saab maybe interested in entering the 90 seat turboprop market.

I'm sure they are looking for another project as the military side with JAS is slowing down and they want to keep the knowledge. That said it would surprise me a lot if SAAB will do this in their own name. Not because they can't find the financing, I'm sure they can, but because they do not like to take those kind of risks.

From my knowledge of SAAB they will happily take a part, possibly large part, in a new plane but I doubt they will take full responsibility.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
Wisdom
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RE: Saab Back In The Turboprop Game?

Wed May 23, 2012 4:00 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 4):
I'm sure they are looking for another project as the military side with JAS is slowing down and they want to keep the knowledge. That said it would surprise me a lot if SAAB will do this in their own name. Not because they can't find the financing, I'm sure they can, but because they do not like to take those kind of risks.

From my knowledge of SAAB they will happily take a part, possibly large part, in a new plane but I doubt they will take full responsibility.

Then they should ask EADS to sell their stake in ATR to them.
EADS has a disagreement with Alenia on the development of the ATR-92. Perhaps they're afraid that the ATR-92 becomes an ATR-142 someday?
 
Max Q
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RE: Saab Back In The Turboprop Game?

Thu May 24, 2012 3:53 am

Not going to happen. The SF340 was ahead of it's time and I enjoyed flying it (except for the terrible Pilot seats) I would love to have flown the incredible 2000 and would be very interested to hear from anyone who has. It's performance was quite something.


But SAAB is out of the Turboprop game.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
flightsimer
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RE: Saab Back In The Turboprop Game?

Thu May 24, 2012 5:10 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 6):
Hot going to happen...
But SAAB is out of the Turboprop game.


That reasoning makes absolutely no sense... You even said yourself that both previous designs were great. The fact that they are no longer making turboprops has no effect on them producing another design. They are still in the aerospace field making the Gripens.

If they do it right, they might be able to come up with a design that covers the 50, 75, 100 and 125 seat sectors all with one family.
Commercial Pilot- SEL, MEL, Instrument
 
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MillwallSean
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RE: Saab Back In The Turboprop Game?

Thu May 24, 2012 5:20 am

SAAB and financing wouldn't be the big problem. They are owned by one of Europe's richest dynasties. If they have a great business case and need financing it would be made available from within the Wallenberg sphere or from its network. With Wallenbergs being one of Europe's most powerful families all they do is call and set up a meeting when they want to meet the Swedish government.

However I also doubt that SAAB would be ready to undertake a project with such high risk. Re-entering the business under their own name is a major undertaking. Cooperation with someone yes, major risk partner, maybe even a JV with a lowcost supplier, taking between 10-40% ownership sure. But more than that would surprise me.
Perhaps our resident SAAB employee want to comment?
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r2rho
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RE: Saab Back In The Turboprop Game?

Thu May 24, 2012 7:42 am

While some of us here would love to see that happen, I find it highly unlikely... at least as an independent stand-alone project. A partnership however, is far more likely, and could make good sense both for Saab (risk reduction) as well as the partner (additional know-how & financing).

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 5):
Then they should ask EADS to sell their stake in ATR to them.
EADS has a disagreement with Alenia on the development of the ATR-92. Perhaps they're afraid that the ATR-92 becomes an ATR-142 someday?

   Definitely. An Alenia-Saab partnership to develop an all-new 90(+?) prop through ATR would be fantastic IMO. EADS has no interest in developing ATR, their shareholding is only there to milk the cow, they don't want to further invest a single euro in it. However, now that ATR is being very succesful, I don't imagine EADS willing to sell its stake (unless they want to cash in)... it's a difficult situation from a business politics point of view   
 
BlueSky1976
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RE: Saab Back In The Turboprop Game?

Thu May 24, 2012 11:24 am

Quoting Web (Reply 2):
Whereas ATR has a consistent product line and could stretch the -72 for a 90-seater, Saab could not, making for an uphill battle should they make the attempt.

Actually, it would be an uphill battle for both ATR and Saab. ATR management stated numerous times that their 90-seater would be a clean-sheet design, not a stretch of the -72.
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