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U.S. Market For Large Turboprops

Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:22 pm

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal on Monday that described the burgeoning market for turboprop aircraft worldwide. (I'd link to it here but this forum doesn't like articles from the WSJ because many of them are premium content open to subscribers only.) The article discussed increasing sales for larger ATR and Bombardier models in particular, and noted that SAAB may re-enter the market as well as the Chinese.

There were two specific questions that were raised by the article. First, the writers made the statement that "At elevated oil prices, a 70-seat turboprop costs about as much to operate as a 50-seat jet." I'm assuming such a statement only accounts for the expense side of the books, and that a 70-seat turboprop is therefore inherently more profitable to operate because of the enhanced revenue from 20 more pax.

The second question is this: With all of the talk of the increased interest in turboprops over the last few years, we've seen relatively few orders from the U.S. for turboprops (a market which, according to the WSJ, accounts for 85% of large turboprops--those with 70 or more seats). Is there really a sizable market for new large turboprops in the U.S., and if so, when will we see it emerge?
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RE: U.S. Market For Large Turboprops

Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:26 pm

The Q400 has sold relatively well though there's been some mx issues with the a/c. The future demand is in part dependent on the price of oil. This a/c are fast for props and operate sectors up to around 1,200 mi. They seat around 74-78 people and we could see a lot more of them if oil continues to go up.
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RE: U.S. Market For Large Turboprops

Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:28 pm

I think the first link at will pull up the article.

One good question: will any commercial vendor ever make use of the Europrop TP400, the "most powerful single-rotation turboprop"?

It is used on the A400M and produces 11,000 shp (8,203 kW). The PW150A used on the Q400 has a maximum continuous rating of 5071 SHP (3782kW). The ATR-72 uses the PW127M which puts out 2619eshp (1953kW). The RR AE2100D3 used on the C-130J puts out 4,150+ shp (~3,100 kW).

This engine puts out more than twice as much power as the engines on the most commonly available turboprops.

So here we have a very powerful and economical turboprop whose design and certification are being paid for by the EU taxpayers - will any commercial entity take advantage of it?
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RE: U.S. Market For Large Turboprops

Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:31 pm

Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Thread starter):
First, the writers made the statement that "At elevated oil prices, a 70-seat turboprop costs about as much to operate as a 50-seat jet."

I would have thought they would have been even more economical than that.

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