There have been only 124 Dash 7's built. One of which was a high-gross-weight version DH7-150-Ice Reconaissance model which was certified to a 47,000 lb GTOW (approximately).
One of the biggest drawbacks to the DH7's acceptance into the commercial market was its speed. At 220 KTAS it was slow. Very, very slow. In the meantime the DH8 and its PW100 engine was in the fast-track development stages. A lot of prospective buyers told DHC that if it could produce the DH7 airplane with the equivalent of a -65 engine (~1300 shp) they would consider its purchase. Enough hesitation existed to halt the DH7's production as PWC would not do the R&D necessary without sufficient up-front orders for its engines. A few years later, Shorts Brothers was able to make the necessary guarantees with the S-360 version. And so the engine was finally developed that would have made (or Could have made) the DH7 a commercial success.
I was lucky enough to have flown the type as well as the -150 IR
. The short field capabilities of the type just aren't required anymore. At least on a regular basis.
The frontiers of aviation continue to fade into the past....