william
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ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:16 pm

This is the most fair comparison of the two competing aircraft I have seen. Two things sticks out in mind. The ATR is 7 mill cheaper than a Q400. Thats alot of dollars to make up in an airliner's executive mind. And 2nd, the ATR has a takeoff speed of only 110 kts. No wander when DFW was a AE ATR hub, ATC would dispatch the ATRs from the seldom used NW runway on the west side AWAY from jet traffic. I imagine it could really bottle neck things.

http://theflyingengineer.com/aircraf...-to-fly-a-turboprop-q400-vs-atr72/
 
william
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:20 pm

One more thing, the "hotel" feature on the ATR is pretty innovative, using the right engine as an APU. Do not think American Eagle used it much.
 
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JBo
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:07 pm

Which aircraft you go for depends largely on your mission profile. I wish this article used the numbers for the ATR -600 series, since that supposedly has better performance than the -500 to better compete with the Q400.

The ATR may be cheaper to acquire and cheaper to operate, but it also has slower performance numbers.

What I would like to see is the performance numbers of the Q400 against the ATR with all other factors of flight being equal (altitude, climb rate, crusiing speed, distance, etc) ... that's the only true way to get a soid comparison as it's always going to be different if one aircraft is flying higher and faster than the other.

The Q400 is more expensive overall, but it performs better. In theory, it'll pay for itself in the long run over the ATR, but that depends a lot on where you're flying it and what your pax demand actually is.
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JoeCanuck
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:45 pm

Quoting william (Reply 1):
One more thing, the "hotel" feature on the ATR is pretty innovative, using the right engine as an APU. Do not think American Eagle used it much.

That feature has actually been around for decades in the north...used on Twin Otters. When temps got seriously cold and the plane would be on the ground for a while, pilots would occasionally tie down the right prop and start the engine to keep it warm so the whole plane wouldn't freeze up.
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:13 pm

Quoting JBo (Reply 2):
The Q400 is more expensive overall, but it performs better. In theory, it'll pay for itself in the long run over the ATR, but that depends a lot on where you're flying it and what your pax demand actually is

I've looked at this situation in some detail. My conclusion is that the ATR has a significant advantage on shorter routes whilst the ERJ-175 and then ERJ-170 is much more economical on longer routes. The Q400 is essentially the squeezed middle with a decreasing sweet spot, which will be fine for some carriers where that specific niche is needed. But, as the much anticipated ERJ NG draws closer to EIS and more current ERJ models become available for resale, I can see the market for new Q400s drying up. It will be out priced and outperformed from both sides. In my opinion a Q500 is not the answer, nor for that matter is an ATR 92 as both would, at the earliest, be entering service just a few years before Embraer anticipate wheeling out a clean sheet design to replace the ERJ NG range, which is currently viewed as a mid-term stop-gap.


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william
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:08 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 4):
I've looked at this situation in some detail. My conclusion is that the ATR has a significant advantage on shorter routes whilst the ERJ-175 and then ERJ-170 is much more economical on longer routes. The Q400 is essentially the squeezed middle with a decreasing sweet spot, which will be fine for some carriers where that specific niche is needed. But, as the much anticipated ERJ NG draws closer to EIS and more current ERJ models become available for resale, I can see the market for new Q400s drying up. It will be out priced and outperformed from both sides. In my opinion a Q500 is not the answer, nor for that matter is an ATR 92 as both would, at the earliest, be entering service just a few years before Embraer anticipate wheeling out a clean sheet design to replace the ERJ NG range, which is currently viewed as a mid-term stop-gap.


Again, why would Embraer update the ERJ? Unless the the NG are going to get close to prop numbers, its a waste of resources. The 50 pax RJ market is dismal, in the US anyway.
 
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:23 pm

Quoting william (Reply 5):
Again, why would Embraer update the ERJ? Unless the the NG are going to get close to prop numbers, its a waste of resources. The 50 pax RJ market is dismal, in the US anyway.

I think he meant the E-Jets?
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:35 am

I think in the long run, the Q400 will loose out world wide to the ATR which still offers a lower pax count model which many nations in the world require. The Q400 with its speed and technology was designed to compete with the regional jets especially in the USA, unfortunately, the economics of the regional jet useage in the USA is driven by scope more than pure economics, so the cost benefit of the prop are lost. Fares are the same whether prop or RJ, so.....

The increased capacity of the Q400 and the discontinued production of smaller models like the Dash8 means that routes either upsize or operate at bare minimums, the eastern Caribbean is one region where this is an issue, I'm sure there are others. The speed and technology has also affected the a/c with a lower despatch rate over the ATR which is another minus, both are good a/c. Personally, I don't think the capacity is needed, 60 pax is probably the max. Yes, the operating cost may be similar to the Dash 8 but there are some routes where all you end up doing is flying around empty seats, which creates a negative impression.
 
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:38 am

What plymspotter states makes a lot of sense in regards the Q400. The Q is kinda like a tweener. The ATR 's lower acquisition costs makes a strong argument in favor of it
 
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:09 am

The Q is a long way from the junkheap. There is not just need for one type of plane for every job. While cheaper to by than the Q, the ATR isn't as versatile. The Q has significantly better high/hot/single engine performance and it's flight economics are similar at similar speeds...and it can keep the extra speed in reserve to make up for delays.

As the article points out, the extra speed might not mean much for one flight, but it could mean at least one more flight per day. One reason WS went for the Q is that it can slot right into 737 routes to serve at off peak times. It can make money on long and short routes.

Flybe is one carrier that has gotten rid of some Q's but will continue to fly them quite profitably while expanding with Ejets. They got a very good purchase agreement with Emb that their overall economics are closer to the Q's than with most carriers, even though their fuel burn is about twice that of the Q's on most flights.

As with most competing planes with many similar characteristics, (as the MAX/NEO), there is no reason why one has to eliminate the other...there is enough room for both. The NEO is handily out selling the MAX 3/2. That doesn't mean Boeing should just give up.

The T-prop will be around, probably forever. If it kills any product, it will be the sub 100 seat jets. While some think of it as old tech, in reality it is simply an open rotor, GTF...and both of those technologies are thought to be quite cutting edge.
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:22 am

Quoting william (Thread starter):
This is the most fair comparison of the two competing aircraft I have seen.

That article was previously discussed in the Tech/Ops forum last February.
Interesting Article Comparing Q400 To ATR-72 (by JoeCanuck Feb 2 2012 in Tech Ops)
 
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:38 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 7):
The increased capacity of the Q400 and the discontinued production of smaller models like the Dash8 means that routes either upsize or operate at bare minimums

The Q400 would be more attractive as a "family" of aircraft with a shorter version and a longer version. Presumably the Q200/Q300 were discontinued due to an absence of orders, so that nixes the smaller version. Bombardier has been talking about a stretched Q400 for some time but it remains an apparent low priority.
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baw716
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:27 am

I have a rather unique perspective on the Q400 and the E-jet as I happen to dispatch both of them for a regional airline that has both types in its operation.

The Q400 v. the ATR, I agree, is predicated on mission profile. That said, the Q400 is a power hog. Over 10K horsepower in the turboprops (combined with a 13ft prop) and that bird gets up fast. I wouldn't be so concerned about short field performance either. While I agree the ATR has a lower takeoff and landing speed, the Q400s props are so big and the reverse so powerful that if you really wanted to stop the thing short on comparable runways, I would imagine the Q400 would perform pretty close to the larger ATRs.

As for the comparison to the E-jets, the difference is where you use the birds. For example, the Q400s we use are primarily out of Denver into the Rockies, although we are expanding some of them into east coast flying. In high terrain, the bird climbs really well for its relatively slow IAS and performs exceptionally well when you have high crosswinds (the dry/wet crosswind limit on that bird is 32kts for us..the top end for the e-jets is 28kts.

Finally, the economics of the Q400 in the 76 seat class for secondary markets is hard to beat. It's relatively fast for a prop (TAS in cruise is about 300-325kts at FL250) and the fuel consumption flown on the same leg vs. the E-jet (aka a short hop, say COS-DEN) is substantially less on the Q400 than on the E190s.

I've not flown in the ATR, so I can't compare it on comfort to the Q400. I can say that the Q400 is comparable in cabin comfort to the CRJ-900, with maybe a tad bit more overhead space. The anti-vibration mechanism built into the Q (when it isn't deferred) makes the cabin pretty quiet for a prop...again, comparable to the CR9. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I flew with our pilots over the Rockies how well it performed in crappy conditions.

As for the E-jet, they are ramping up to go against the Bombardier CS series when it is released. Right now, the E-jet is bar none the best long range RJ in the world (it can fly over 2000 miles and the cabin seating comfort is superior to some of the larger narrow body jets. How Embraer is going to go forward in the evolving market is something I have not studied at length; I've been busy learning about the airplane so I can do my part to support the pilots that operate the jets.

Interesting to see how this discussion moves forward.
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:13 pm

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 11):
The Q400 would be more attractive as a "family" of aircraft with a shorter version and a longer version. Presumably the Q200/Q300 were discontinued due to an absence of orders, so that nixes the smaller version. Bombardier has been talking about a stretched Q400 for some time but it remains an apparent low priority

BBD claimed that they could restart production of the Q200 and Q300 within 120 days if sufficient interest appeared. They kept all the jigs, so it would just be a question of restarting production of non-Q400 common parts?
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:22 pm

Quoting william (Reply 5):
Again, why would Embraer update the ERJ? Unless the the NG are going to get close to prop numbers, its a waste of resources. The 50 pax RJ market is dismal, in the US anyway.

I was indeed referring to the E-Jets

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 9):
Flybe is one carrier that has gotten rid of some Q's but will continue to fly them quite profitably while expanding with Ejets. They got a very good purchase agreement with Emb that their overall economics are closer to the Q's than with most carriers, even though their fuel burn is about twice that of the Q's on most flights.

BE intend to shrink their Q400 fleet to 20 frames because the overall economics are equivalent to the 175. Fuelburn is nowhere near twice that of the Q400, even when it gets thrown onto short routes.

Quoting baw716 (Reply 12):
the fuel consumption flown on the same leg vs. the E-jet (aka a short hop, say COS-DEN) is substantially less on the Q400 than on the E190s.

Really the ERJ190 is not comparable to the Q400, so that's not unexpected. the ERJ is 11 tonnes heavier than the Q and around 8 tonnes heavier than the ERJ170/175, which are more comparable. When it comes to STOL the Q400 is good, but the ATR is in a league of its own.


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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:23 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 9):
The Q has significantly better high/hot/single engine performance and it's flight economics are similar at similar speeds

I wouldn't say that I'm not buying that statement, but let's call me highly sceptical . . .

I just dont see how the Q400 with an empty weight of 16580 kg (according to http://www.airliners.net/aircraft-data/stats.main?id=122 can have similar flight economics at similar speeds as the ATR72 with an emty weight of 12950 kg (according to http://www.airliners.net/aircraft-data/stats.main?id=42. The Q400 empty weight is almost 30% higher than the ATR. One starts to wonder why aircraft manufactures spend fortunes to reduce empty weight as far as posisble, using all kind of exotic materials, construction methods, FEM analysis etc. . . . ?

Not to mention that the much bigger and heavier PW150 consumes more fuel than the optimized PW127F/PW127M at similar, PW127-optimized power settings.

While the Q400 will have many equals or advantages over the ATR72, I'm not so sure that it can match the ATR72 in flight economics at similar speeds.
Maybe I need to read more on this subject to be convinced.

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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:25 am

Q400 is 8-10 seats larger than the ATR72, can take full pax out of airports up to 10,000 ft., typically cruises 10,000 ft. higher and 90 knots faster.

You're better off comparing the Q400 to a jet than to the ATR.

And anyone comparing aircraft prices based on list price should be thrown out of the discussion.
 
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:41 am

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 4):
My conclusion is that the ATR has a significant advantage on shorter routes whilst the ERJ-175 and then ERJ-170 is much more economical on longer routes

Yes, but one thing that has to be considered, at least here in the US, is scope clause. Some airlines don't have restrictions of the number of seats in a turboprop or number of planes in the regional fleet. So, an airline may not be able to add a ERJ-170/175/CRJ7/9 to the regional side without adding mainline aircraft, but they may be able to add a turboprop.

My feeling is the Q400 will be relegated to the US market, with the Q500 aimed at the same market.

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nycdave
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:44 am

They're not really directly comparable -- they've got very different mission profiles and strengths.

For what it CAN fly, the ATR is undeniably the most cost-efficient solution.

But the Q400 is, except in extreme short-hop situations, nearly as cost-effective, since its speed gives it a shot at at least one more scheduled run per day. On top of that, it offers far greater flexibility -- not just in terms of unforeseen flight events (where its performance edge gives it better options), but also in terms of unforeseen market changes. It can be re-assigned to a wider variety of routes and markets than the ATR, to adjust to changing demand and economics.

I'd really be surprised if the Q400 doesn't start picking up even more orders when the 50 seat RJ contracts start to come to an end.... Though the huge glut may result in such low acquisition costs for the RJs that carriers may find the savings to outweigh the fuel costs for a good while (cf Delta and the MDs). That's really the market that the Q400 is perfect for.

The ATR, by contrast, really isn't in competition with any jets.

If Bombardier could get the acquisition cost down, and keep the economics ahead of the E-Jets in the key 400-1000mi range, then they'd be in excellent shape.
 
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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:20 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 17):
Yes, but one thing that has to be considered, at least here in the US, is scope clause.

That (fortunately) wasn't something I had to consider.

Quoting nycdave (Reply 18):
The ATR, by contrast, really isn't in competition with any jets.

And it doesn't try to, which is equally important.

Quoting nycdave (Reply 18):
If Bombardier could get the acquisition cost down, and keep the economics ahead of the E-Jets in the key 400-1000mi range, then they'd be in excellent shape.

Not a chance - its economics are not ahead in the first place. All signs currently point to the E-Jet NG variants blowing the Q400 out of the water. Once they have all C Series variants comfortably in production I think Bombardier need to turn their attention to a clean sheet turboprop - perhaps they could even go five abreast and utilise C Series components.


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RE: ATR72 Vs Q400......a Fair Comparison

Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:00 pm

From what I've found ATR has more than 220 planes on order, 90% of which are 72s, and Bombardier about 100 Q400. Don't know if that's fair or not, you decide.
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