berari
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Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:27 pm

In recent years we have seen the Q400 becoming known from a basic turboprop to a "quiet," efficient, speedy aircraft that keeps on improving. If memory and recent reads serve me right, it is known to have:
- a quiet cabin compared to other turboprops including its predecessors
- powerful engines that operate well in hot and high and challenging environments
- seating capacity that challenges the < 100 seat RJs
- a 360kt cruise speed that's somewhere between RJs and its closest turboprop competitor
- a two cabin configuration that a number of airlines have implemented

Now we are seeing news that the Q400 is:
- approved to increase seating capacity to 90 pax, making it a closer threat to the likes of the E190s
- working on approvals to increase hours required between A checks and C checks

http://atwonline.com/airframes/bombardi ... ore-orders

While this aircraft is gaining popularity in other parts of the world, we have seen US airlines shy away from it and go into RJs. Is the Q400 poised to make a comeback?
 
SonomaFlyer
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:32 pm

The largest domestic operator, Horizon (QX) is in the process of phasing out the type in favor of E175s. I think the increased hours between checks will be good but I don't know if that will be enough to tip the balance back in the Q's favor.

It's a staple for us here at STS and really opened up travel options for our area but I think in 5-10 years, they'll be gone from our skies.
 
PC12Fan
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:37 pm

It would be nice to think so. Airlines should love the numbers but the flying public - unexplainably - characteristically shy away from the props. Thank the "uneducated" for that. Not that it matter in this debate, but I have the Q along with the Saab2000 in my fantasy fleet.

We'll see what happens.
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MIflyer12
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:40 am

berari wrote:
Is the Q400 poised to make a comeback?


No. Express routes have to focus on passenger willingness to pay to address pilot wages. Qs are so inferior in NVH to a CR9 or E75 it isn't even funny. Horizon used them sensibly on short routes (generally less than 400 sm) from SEA and PDX. There are similar short distance/high frequency route opportunities out of EWR/LGA/CLT/ATL/ORD... and nobody uses them. Q400s have failed the U.S. market test. Stick a fork in it.
 
YYZatcboy
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:09 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
berari wrote:
Is the Q400 poised to make a comeback?


Q400s have failed the U.S. market test. Stick a fork in it.


Needless to say, the USA is not the be all and end all of the rest of the world. I think that there might still be a hope for the Q globally. It seems to do well in Australia compared to the EMB/CRJ family, and likewise in Canada and Europe the Q is certainly holding its own against the jets. The biggest problem for the Q is the purchase price compared to ATR, and that while passengers love the jet like speeds, airlines don't necessarily like the closer to jet like costs either.
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holcakker
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:19 am

Hell of a lot (and continuing) gear issues (collapsed gears and gear up landings) come to mind. If you ask me I prefer any crap piston engine oldtimer with three greens over speed and a quiet cabin.
 
ExMilitaryEng
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:19 am

holcakker wrote:
Hell of a lot (and continuing) gear issues (collapsed gears and gear up landings) come to mind.


Interesting, and somehow the Q400 still has a better safety record than its competitor, the ATR72. The ATR must be really scary then ;-)
 
prebennorholm
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:33 am

holcakker wrote:
Hell of a lot (and continuing) gear issues (collapsed gears and gear up landings) come to mind. If you ask me I prefer any crap piston engine oldtimer with three greens over speed and a quiet cabin.

Simply untrue. Launch customer SAS did experience severe proplems due to a MLG design fault. But that fault was corrected on the world wide Q400 fleet in September/October 2007. Since then Q400 landing gears have behaved on par with other good plane types. It is physically impossible to repeat the SAS problem on any existing Q400 out there, and it has been the case for almost 11 years.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
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holcakker
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:46 am

prebennorholm wrote:
holcakker wrote:
Hell of a lot (and continuing) gear issues (collapsed gears and gear up landings) come to mind. If you ask me I prefer any crap piston engine oldtimer with three greens over speed and a quiet cabin.

Simply untrue. Launch customer SAS did experience severe proplems due to a MLG design fault. But that fault was corrected on the world wide Q400 fleet in September/October 2007. Since then Q400 landing gears have behaved on par with other good plane types. It is physically impossible to repeat the SAS problem on any existing Q400 out there, and it has been the case for almost 11 years.

Happy to hear that. All the following funny landings since 2007 were all perfectly normal then:

http://avherald.com/h?article=49e1e5f4&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=4a550e8d&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=49e7df41&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=4b377c21&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=430f40eb&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=47cee08a/0000&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=4b0d7885&opt=0
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... irport.jpg
https://www.exyuaviation.com/2013/09/cr ... -gear.html
 
prebennorholm
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:57 am

ExMilitaryEng wrote:
Interesting, and somehow the Q400 still has a better safety record than its competitor, the ATR72. The ATR must be really scary then ;-)

The ATR is scary when it has an engine problem, and the flight crew chooses to shut down the good engine. And when MX chooses to mount a wrong fuel gauge which shows double of actual fuel in the tanks, so it ditches in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

Mistreated the same way the very best planes - even Q400s - are scary.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
cheapgreek
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:07 am

The Q400 is based on the old Dash-8 series which has been out of production for years. I have not flown the Q400, but I have taken dozens of Dash-8-100,200 and 300 flights and they all were inferior in noise and comfort compared to RJ's. I believe the Q400 still uses inflatable de-ice boots, they were always being patched or replaced on the Dash's. Any cancelled flight in CLT or PHL I was listed for turned out to be a Dash. I was glad to see the Piedmont birds being parked, they served long enough.
 
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smithbs
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:48 am

I have a soft spot for Dash 8's. I flew in -200 combis in Afghanistan. Just this Sunday I did BOI-SEA in a QX Q400. It's getting a bit frayed inside and the overhead bins couldn't fit a backpack, but I still enjoyed it. The seat pitch does me well (6' 2") and the short headrest fits my neck perfectly (unlike the AS 739ER, which shoves my head forward uncomfortably). As I mentioned in the recent boarding post, boarding was fast because it was through both doors and the overhead bins prevent most carry-on baggage (smart thinking, Bombardier!). For some reason I like the Q400 - maybe nostalgia?

That said, BOI-SEA is as about as long as I care to be in one. After your first flight hour, you start wondering if a jet would have gotten you there already.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:24 am

The Q400 was what i looked forward to most on my weekend trips home during my first 2 years of college.

With the engines being overpowered, it sounds like it is ripe for lengthening. It most likely wont happen, but i hope it does. Hopefully Bombardier can design a Q500 with bleed air anti-ice instead of the boot as well as more reliable landing gear.
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Max Q
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:33 am

TWA772LR wrote:
The Q400 was what i looked forward to most on my weekend trips home during my first 2 years of college.

With the engines being overpowered, it sounds like it is ripe for lengthening. It most likely wont happen, but i hope it does. Hopefully Bombardier can design a Q500 with bleed air anti-ice instead of the boot as well as more reliable landing gear.



I don’t understand your concern over the use of de-icing boots


If well maintained and used properly they are effective in removing ice


Very few turboprops have a ‘hot wing’ the
bleed air requirement is significant and takes a lot of power from the engine when you may need it most



In fact I can’t think of a civilian turboprop
in production that uses bleed air for de-icing unless you include the civilian version of the C130
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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aerolimani
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:28 am

holcakker wrote:
prebennorholm wrote:
holcakker wrote:
Hell of a lot (and continuing) gear issues (collapsed gears and gear up landings) come to mind. If you ask me I prefer any crap piston engine oldtimer with three greens over speed and a quiet cabin.

Simply untrue. Launch customer SAS did experience severe proplems due to a MLG design fault. But that fault was corrected on the world wide Q400 fleet in September/October 2007. Since then Q400 landing gears have behaved on par with other good plane types. It is physically impossible to repeat the SAS problem on any existing Q400 out there, and it has been the case for almost 11 years.

Happy to hear that. All the following funny landings since 2007 were all perfectly normal then:

http://avherald.com/h?article=49e1e5f4&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=4a550e8d&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=49e7df41&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=4b377c21&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=430f40eb&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=47cee08a/0000&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=4b0d7885&opt=0
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... irport.jpg
https://www.exyuaviation.com/2013/09/cr ... -gear.html


http://avherald.com/h?article=49e1e5f4&opt=0
Partly manufacturer fault and part maintenance issue.

http://avherald.com/h?article=4a550e8d&opt=0
Caused by a situation which went undetected during inspections, which may have arisen during manufacture, or during maintenance, and no determination can be definitively made. However, it is notable that this was the first flights after maintenance was performed the night before.

http://avherald.com/h?article=49e7df41&opt=0
Caused by incorrect maintenance.

http://avherald.com/h?article=4b377c21&opt=0
Had the operator followed a service bulletin from BBD, this likely wouldn't have happened.

http://avherald.com/h?article=430f40eb&opt=0
A hard landing, where the gear hit the ground at a vertical rate of 16 feet/second! The right main gear fuse pin broke as result of overload, as designed.

http://avherald.com/h?article=47cee08a/0000&opt=0
A burst tire was the root cause. My reading of this is that it's a rather bizarre and unusual situation, caused by a vibration which just happened to a natural vibrating frequency of the gear itself. Current testing standards (for all manufacturers) don't seem to account for this possibility. I assume because it's such a rare occurrence.

http://avherald.com/h?article=4b0d7885&opt=0
Report not yet released.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... irport.jpg
This one was BBD's fault, having not re-installed a bolt after a repair they did themselves. They were repairing damage occurred during testing of the aircraft after manufacture. So, the fault is BBD's but not because of any issue with the design of the gear.

https://www.exyuaviation.com/2013/09/cr ... -gear.html
The part at fault was a replacement produced by a 3rd party manufacturer. Granted, it came with approval from BBD. So, BBD is responsible, ultimately. However, again, it is not the design that is the issue.
 
PacificWest
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:49 am

I love the Q400. Have been on 6 of them so far this year between PDX and MFR on Horizon. I've even flown them from MFR-LAX a few times before the Horizon pilot shortage, and two hours was no problem.

Great views with the high wing. Lots of power. I'm gonna be sad when they're gone - the Q400 is the unofficial "small town" aircraft for the Pacific Northwest.
 
B777LRF
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:10 am

1st flight on a Q400: Delayed due to technical problems
2nd flight on a Q400: Replacing an A320, extending flight time from 01:15 to 01:45. Was not impressed with the noise.
3rd flight on a Q400: Delayed due to door sensor warning
4th flight on a Q400: Door sensor warning during climb out, return to departure airport
5th flight on a Q400: **** me, this is a noisy bastard!
6th flight on a Q400: Cancelled due to technical issues
7th flight on a Q400: Cancelled due to technical issues

If I never see the inside of a Q400 again, that would suit me just fine.
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AirbusOnly
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:10 am

Air Iceland Connect and Air Greenland are using 20 years old and older frames Dash 8-200 but also their three Dash 8 Q400 still on routes with a length of more than 2 hours, f. e. from UAK Narsarsuaq to KEF Keflavik (1.241 km, 670 nm) and until may this year they flew even "tatl" from KEF to ABZ and BHD - more than 2,5 h over "open water". And None of their flights failed. So seems the ideal plane for them and their routes.
 
QXAS
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:35 am

SonomaFlyer wrote:
The largest domestic operator, Horizon (QX) is in the process of phasing out the type in favor of E175s. I think the increased hours between checks will be good but I don't know if that will be enough to tip the balance back in the Q's favor.

It's a staple for us here at STS and really opened up travel options for our area but I think in 5-10 years, they'll be gone from our skies.

QX is only phasing out a few of the type. Most of the fleet will remain operating. I hope this remains to be the case. I want to fly these birds in about 5 years. Airfleets.net reports 52 Q400s in service at QX and I believe the plan is to go forward with about 40 once E175s are delivered. Now I don’t know if that means STS will keep Q400 service.
I am NOT an employee of any airline or manufacturer. I speak for myself, not on the behalf of any company.
 
Milka
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:46 am

Not a fan of the Q400 either, as my local carrier currently is LOT Polish Airlines who is constantly having issues with its Q400 fleet, especially in terms of landing gear issues on one aircraft which does not inspire me with confidence to fly this aircraft type. I also dislike how cramped and uncomfortable the seats are on most Q400s, I would choose an E-jet any day or even an ATR over this sardine can.
 
Noshow
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:06 am

I think modern turboprops deserve more attention. They are efficient and quiet. Eco-airplanes if you want. A new 100-seater Turboprop would be nice with something like an A220 fuselage interior.

On the Q400 I experienced several times that passenger bags are left behind due to weight and balance issues. Especially heavy bags in the winter season. That made me a bit sceptical I have to say. With just carry on it's okay and I don't assume some Turboprop to be "not modern" or similar. In fact I think it should be communicated more how modern Turboprops are. Many people consider them old fashioned or even outdated somehow which they are not.
Last edited by Noshow on Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
integrator
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:11 am

Fly on AUA's regularly and they are getting old and tatty inside, causing a lot of "extra" cabin noise from panels and bins vibrating. After my flt Monday this week, I decided to bring my earplugs for the next flt... sad that I do not have them for the return flt this afternoon :-(

I do not mind the Q400 but I am also a plane freak... ;-) but they are definitely not, and in my recollection never were, very Quiet in the cabin... but they serve AUA's purpose quite well... just wish they would refurbish the cabin on the fleet soon!

Cheers
 
Noshow
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:16 am

I flew Qs onboard SAS, Olympic, Azores and LGW (airberlin) and enjoyed the good views and the classic experience. I like the ATR as well.
The Metroliner and Jetstream are too tight for my taste.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:45 am

berari wrote:
In recent years we have seen the Q400 becoming known from a basic turboprop to a "quiet," efficient, speedy aircraft that keeps on improving. If memory and recent reads serve me right, it is known to have:
- a quiet cabin compared to other turboprops including its predecessors
- powerful engines that operate well in hot and high and challenging environments
- seating capacity that challenges the < 100 seat RJs
- a 360kt cruise speed that's somewhere between RJs and its closest turboprop competitor
- a two cabin configuration that a number of airlines have implemented

Now we are seeing news that the Q400 is:
- approved to increase seating capacity to 90 pax, making it a closer threat to the likes of the E190s
- working on approvals to increase hours required between A checks and C checks

http://atwonline.com/airframes/bombardi ... ore-orders

While this aircraft is gaining popularity in other parts of the world, we have seen US airlines shy away from it and go into RJs. Is the Q400 poised to make a comeback?


My two cents:

I wouldn't really say that the Q400 has a quiet cabin. By no mean. It's a noisy aircraft, period. The ATR -500/600 is A LOT quieter. ATRs offer a much better ride, with less noise and a lot less vibration. Heck, even a Fokker 50 in good nick is quieter!
BBD could have also done something to address the issue of rattly panels, and also those horrid, small, narrow seats. The cabin of an ATR is a much much nicer place to spend a couple of hours in.
Having said this I still enjoy flying the Q400 *over short segments*.
The old -200/300s? No way - they were just excessively noisy and the level of vibration made me literally dizzy after a while.

To me the Q400 always feels somewhat less refined than the ATR, and as if BBD 'never quite finished the job' with it.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:03 am

ExMilitaryEng wrote:
Interesting, and somehow the Q400 still has a better safety record than its competitor, the ATR72. The ATR must be really scary then ;-)


Truth be told, most accidents for both types have been with non-western operators with shady pilot training and aircraft maintenance. And the lower price and operating costs of the ATR meant that they have generally been far more common in the 3rd world. We are also talking around twice as many ATR-72s built compared to Q400s.


Max Q wrote:
I don’t understand your concern over the use of de-icing boots

If well maintained and used properly they are effective in removing ice

Very few turboprops have a ‘hot wing’ the
bleed air requirement is significant and takes a lot of power from the engine when you may need it most


The boots really aren't very good. They protect the plane, but removing the ice can take ages, under the right wrong several hours. All the while, the ice prevents you from climbing properly. It also takes a certain amount of skill and awareness to use the system properly.

You are right about the power it takes to have hot air edges though.


Noshow wrote:
On the Q400 I experienced several times that passenger bags are left behind due to weight and balance issues. Especially heavy bags in the winter season. That made me a bit sceptical I have to say. With just carry on it's okay and I don't assume some Turboprop to be "not modern" or similar. In fact I think it should be communicated more how modern Turboprops are. Many people consider them old fashioned or even outdated somehow which they are not.


I would expect the Q400 to be worse in this regard than the ATR, with just one cargo hold in the extreme rear. But even the ATR can be tricky to load, with the cargo holds at the extreme ends of the aircraft. For a clean sheet replacement, an underfloor cargo hold would be really nice.
 
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TripleDelta
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:09 am

VSMUT wrote:
I would expect the Q400 to be worse in this regard than the ATR, with just one cargo hold in the extreme rear.


All Qs except the incoming 90 seat variant have a front hold as well, good for 400 kg - which gives a total capacity of 1500 kg for the whole aircraft.

oldannyboy wrote:
Heck, even a Fokker 50 in good nick is quieter!


Indeed, the only place in the F50 that's as loud as the entire cabin of the Q is the rear galley.

However, a fair amount of the noise on older Q400s comes from those "rattling panels" that several posters had complained about; that's the ANVS (Active Noise & Vibration Supression system). This system uses vibrating panels in the walls that try to produce the same type of sound as the propellers, but of an opposite amplitude, thus cancelling out some of the noise. Most of the time they do help (and the difference is noticeable), but the system is maintenance intensive and frail, so some panels don't always work according to spec. When they do go belly up, they produce an awful racket, even in the cruise.
Last edited by TripleDelta on Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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TripleDelta
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:20 am

oldannyboy wrote:
To me the Q400 always feels somewhat less refined than the ATR, and as if BBD 'never quite finished the job' with it.


It is less refined - and it is evident everywhere on board from the tip of the nose to the APU exhaust in the tail that "ergonomics" was one of them big fancy words city slickers use. There is also the cheapness of non-structural and non-critical components that has a part in the Q's woes.

However, all of this is a consequence of its vast power: the PW150 engine/R408 prop combo is not cheap by any measure, so to keep overall costs down and sufficiently below those of comparable RJs, savings have to be made elsewhere (particularly in the cabin).
Hawkeye: "It doesn't make any sense."
Radar: "Well, none of it makes any sense. You just have to send in the right number of forms." - MASH 4077
 
afgeneral
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:25 am

not really, there are only to main types of turboprops and its main competitor, the ATR, is an overall better aircraft

ATR is cheaper to buy and operate / maintain, burns less fuel

Q400 is faster flies higher and has more range but it does not really make a difference because these aircraft are suited for 1.5-2h flights maximum, anything more and RJ is the way to go

also Q400 reliability and landing gear issues do not help
 
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Aeroflot777
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:31 am

I fly them often with Austrian on INN-FRA and INN-VIE roundtrips. I've yet to understand the nickname "The Quiet One". The plane is loud as hell, even my noise-cancelling headphones aren't a match to beat the cabin noise.

The only thing that makes me enjoy these flights is the fact that I'm not sitting inside just another A319/320/321. And that the flights are never more than an hour on both flight destinations.

But one thing I must mention... INSANE climbout performance on these birds out of Innsbruck. I have many videos I've filmed from the cabin in my archive and it's a wild ride.
 
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TripleDelta
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:49 am

afgeneral wrote:
Q400 is faster flies higher and has more range but it does not really make a difference because these aircraft are suited for 1.5-2h flights maximum, anything more and RJ is the way to go


It does - especially from an operational perspective. The ability to always reach its ceiling and get a few thousand feet more above the weather at lower altitudes is always much appreciated... as is the fact that you can reach that ceiling and cruise there for awhile even on flights 1 hour long.
Hawkeye: "It doesn't make any sense."
Radar: "Well, none of it makes any sense. You just have to send in the right number of forms." - MASH 4077
 
T prop
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:52 pm

afgeneral wrote:
not really, there are only to main types of turboprops and its main competitor, the ATR, is an overall better aircraft

ATR is cheaper to buy and operate / maintain, burns less fuel

Q400 is faster flies higher and has more range but it does not really make a difference because these aircraft are suited for 1.5-2h flights maximum, anything more and RJ is the way to go

also Q400 reliability and landing gear issues do not help


ATR is a cheaper airplane to buy and operate because it's systems are more like a general aviation aircraft. It's a simple aircraft that is less capable than the Q, you get what you pay for. They do get expensive to maintain as they build up hours and cycles though and therefore they are retired from passenger service sooner than the Q which is a more robust airframe. Nothing wrong with that, ATR's make great freighters, not a bad aircraft at all.

The Q with it's systems and operational performance are more in line with those of an airliner. Again you get what you pay for. As for reliability numbers the Q and the ATR are very close, the ATR edges the Q slightly. For actual stats on this, if you have access, you can look at reported numbers from the operators...or you can believe people who have never turned a wrench on or crewed either type but like posting regurgitated 'facts' on the internet.
 
willenglish
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:58 pm

It all depends on the market. Here in Canada, the Q400 is a superior airplane, operating for/on behalf of Air Canada, Westjet and Porter.

The longest Q400 route we see is probably YQR-YVR, sometimes coming in just shy of 3 hours block, while the shortest would be YVR-YYJ often coming in at a 20 minute block time. So it’s used on a variety of segments.

Passengers here in Canada don’t mind the Q400, and most actually enjoy it consider most service they had into their small city prior to the Q400 was on a classic Dash, so yes many of us consider it an upgrade.

And lastly it’s a great plane for airlines, low operating costs and very efficient (although maintenance is sometimes pretty tough). Take the route YYZ-YQB for example and compare the CRJ200 to the Q400. In the same amount of required fuel, the airline can add up to 28 extra seats, while only paying the cost of one additional flight attendant, while only sacrificing 12 minutes of air time. Sounds like a win win to me. Not sure why everyone hates the Q.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:06 pm

At this point in the thread would people perhaps agree to say that after all the Q400 is not underrated?...
 
ExMilitaryEng
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:35 pm

oldannyboy wrote:
At this point in the thread would people perhaps agree to say that after all the Q400 is not underrated?...

Believe me, if flying over the Rockies, northern India or the likes, you want the Q400, not the ATR72 (one engine out performance...)
 
baje427
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:50 pm

Having flown a factory fresh Q300 back in the day its always surprising to hear the comments on the noisy Q400. Other than takeoff I found in the cruise the Q300 to be quieter than the 737 but maybe the ANVS system was working. That being said on this site I have never heard anything good about the Q400 in terms of reliability or cabin comfort perhaps Bombardier will pay more attention to the Q400 issues now that they dont have the C Series to deal with. Perhaps they should look into a lighter/slower version to compete directly with the ATR.
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:53 pm

What happened to QX basing out of Anchorage? Was that part of the pilot shortage, the distance from maintenance, it was there something problematic with the aircraft itself that caused AS to take the flights back?
 
ExMilitaryEng
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:04 pm

baje427 wrote:
Perhaps BBD should look into a lighter/slower version to compete directly with the ATR.

Actually, it's the other way around. BBD is taking advantage of the overpowered engines, sturdier frame and longer interior space to fit in 90 passengers.

This 90 passengers version has now equivalent CASMs to the ATR72 while still offering better speed, better TO, superior climb and much safer one engine out performance.
And if the schedule permits, you just slow down to an ATR speed and then this 90pax Q400 beats the ATR CASM !

That should now justify that higher sticker price.
 
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:25 pm

ExMilitaryEng wrote:
This 90 passengers version has now equivalent CASMs to the ATR72 while still offering better speed, better TO, superior climb and much safer one engine out performance.

Do we know this? 90 pax. is going to be heavy.
 
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TripleDelta
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:26 pm

ExMilitaryEng wrote:
This 90 passengers version has now equivalent CASMs to the ATR72 while still offering better speed, better TO, superior climb and much safer one engine out performance.
And if the schedule permits, you just slow down to an ATR speed and then this 90pax Q400 beats the ATR CASM !

That should now justify that higher sticker price.


At the expense of baggage space. No forward hold anymore, and a reduced capacity in the rear. 10.33 m3 now in place of the 14.22 seen in most 74-78 seat configurations.

Assuming the floor load limit in the aft remains the same, the leaves room for just 1150 kg of baggage - just 12.5 per passenger (vs the current 20.5).
Last edited by TripleDelta on Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hawkeye: "It doesn't make any sense."
Radar: "Well, none of it makes any sense. You just have to send in the right number of forms." - MASH 4077
 
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aerolimani
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:30 pm

To those who complain about any prop being noisy… here’s a pro tip. The quietest section of a prop cabin is at the back. In the old days, before jets, the first class section was at the back. So, get yourself a seat towards the back. You won’t even have to pay extra for it!
 
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TripleDelta
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:39 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
ExMilitaryEng wrote:
This 90 passengers version has now equivalent CASMs to the ATR72 while still offering better speed, better TO, superior climb and much safer one engine out performance.

Do we know this? 90 pax. is going to be heavy.


The highest gross weight variant will have an MTOM of around 30.500 kg (just a ton more than the current models) while retaining the 4580 HP base power rating.
Hawkeye: "It doesn't make any sense."
Radar: "Well, none of it makes any sense. You just have to send in the right number of forms." - MASH 4077
 
ExMilitaryEng
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:42 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
Do we know this? 90 pax. is going to be heavy.

Even when including the indeed 2,000-lb. payload increase (bringing it to a 67.200 lb. / 30.481 kg MTOW), the overall power to weight ratio is still considerably better than the ATR72.
 
berari
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:55 pm

smithbs wrote:
I have a soft spot for Dash 8's. I flew in -200 combis in Afghanistan. Just this Sunday I did BOI-SEA in a QX Q400. It's getting a bit frayed inside and the overhead bins couldn't fit a backpack, but I still enjoyed it. The seat pitch does me well (6' 2") and the short headrest fits my neck perfectly (unlike the AS 739ER, which shoves my head forward uncomfortably). As I mentioned in the recent boarding post, boarding was fast because it was through both doors and the overhead bins prevent most carry-on baggage (smart thinking, Bombardier!). For some reason I like the Q400 - maybe nostalgia?

That said, BOI-SEA is as about as long as I care to be in one. After your first flight hour, you start wondering if a jet would have gotten you there already.


For anyone that's looking for super comfort, the Q400 is not it, although their recent cabin rejig is improving upon that.

B777LRF wrote:
1st flight on a Q400: Delayed due to technical problems
2nd flight on a Q400: Replacing an A320, extending flight time from 01:15 to 01:45. Was not impressed with the noise.
3rd flight on a Q400: Delayed due to door sensor warning
4th flight on a Q400: Door sensor warning during climb out, return to departure airport
5th flight on a Q400: **** me, this is a noisy bastard!
6th flight on a Q400: Cancelled due to technical issues
7th flight on a Q400: Cancelled due to technical issues

If I never see the inside of a Q400 again, that would suit me just fine.


Maybe it's you.

integrator wrote:
Fly on AUA's regularly and they are getting old and tatty inside, causing a lot of "extra" cabin noise from panels and bins vibrating. After my flt Monday this week, I decided to bring my earplugs for the next flt... sad that I do not have them for the return flt this afternoon :-(

I do not mind the Q400 but I am also a plane freak... ;-) but they are definitely not, and in my recollection never were, very Quiet in the cabin... but they serve AUA's purpose quite well... just wish they would refurbish the cabin on the fleet soon!

Cheers


The Q400s like many turboprops have multiple cycles a day that jets may not get, and do wear and tear quicker as a result. The airlines need to put time in to tighten them screws and improve on the cabins. As far as noise, they'll never be as quiet as a 787s, they have different kind of sound than a jet and they can't be something that they're not. The "Quietness" is in comparison to previous generation aircraft, and having flown the -200s, -300s there's a difference to be felt.

oldannyboy wrote:
At this point in the thread would people perhaps agree to say that after all the Q400 is not underrated?...


When the audience/participants is US heavy, then yes. The success of the Q400 is much greater outside of the US where the airlines have chosen in recent times to move away from props and into RJs. The Q400 is popular in Canada, Europe, Africa and India.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:25 pm

ExMilitaryEng wrote:
This 90 passengers version has now equivalent CASMs to the ATR72


No, no it doesn't. It doesn't even have better CASM than a 68 seat ATR 72, much less the new 78-seat versions.


ExMilitaryEng wrote:
much safer one engine out performance.


This should be irrelevant. If you can't do it safely, you won't be doing it in the first place. An advantage for the Q400 in mountainous terrain for sure, but if an ATR is doing it, it is well within safe limitations.


ExMilitaryEng wrote:
And if the schedule permits, you just slow down to an ATR speed and then this 90pax Q400 beats the ATR CASM !


Aaaaand again, no. Slow cruising a Q400, even with 90 seats, won't make it competitive with an ATR. BTW, the optimum cruise speed of the Q400 is still faster than an ATR. Slowing it down even further to the speed of an ATR will only increase the fuel consumption.
 
ExMilitaryEng
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:33 pm

VSMUT wrote:
ExMilitaryEng wrote:
This 90 passengers version has now equivalent CASMs to the ATR72

No, no it doesn't.

Says whom? I'm genuinely interested to know your source. (comparing similar configurations, ie @ same 28in pitch and @ same payload/passenger)

VSMUT wrote:
ExMilitaryEng wrote:
much safer one engine out performance.

This should be irrelevant. If you can't do it safely, you won't be doing it in the first place. An advantage for the Q400 in mountainous terrain for sure, but if an ATR is doing it, it is well within safe limitations.

I still find the one engine out performance relevant. Better ceiling (17.500ft versus 11.000 ft), better climb rate etc.
Totally agree the ATR72 will be safely operated within its limitations. Obviously, its (less generous) operating envelop is sync'd with its weaker performance.

VSMUT wrote:
ExMilitaryEng wrote:
And if the schedule permits, you just slow down to an ATR speed and then this 90pax Q400 beats the ATR CASM !

BTW, the optimum cruise speed of the Q400 is still faster than an ATR.

Indeed! I should have typed slowing it down to 300 kts (long range cruise).

For some reasons, I overrated the ATR's performance. :smile:
 
VSMUT
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:57 pm

ExMilitaryEng wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
ExMilitaryEng wrote:
This 90 passengers version has now equivalent CASMs to the ATR72

No, no it doesn't.

Says whom? I'm genuinely interested to know your source. (comparing similar configurations, ie @ same 28in pitch and @ same payload/passenger)


From actually flying the ATR myself, and having access to a QRH and various manufacturers documents on the Q400.

It's pretty simple, 600 kg/hr for a full ATR, vs 1200 kg/hr for a Q400. And yes, Bombardier does state that you can reduce that to 800 kg/hr by cruising slowly, but even then it doesn't compare. In practice, based on Pprune comments, most pilots achieve only about 1000 kg/hr.

So crunch the numbers:
ATR with 68 seats: 600/68 = 8.8 kg/pax/hr
ATR with 78 seats: 600/78 = 7.7 kg/pax/hr
Q400 with 90 [email protected]/hr: 1000/90 = 8.9 kg/pax/hr
Q400 with 90 [email protected]/hr: 1000/90 = 11.1 kg/pax/hr
Q400 with 90 [email protected]/hr: 1000/90 = 13.3 kg/pax/hr

So quite simply, the Q400 in monkey class configuration will just be able to achieve the same numbers as a much more spacious ATR configuration, but only with figures that no pilots achieve in practice.

It isn't rocket science to see why the Q400 isn't selling. The 90 seat configuration isn't new either. They have been offering it without success (except for Spice) for several years now. Regardless of how much you twist and turn the numbers to make it look favorable, the customers just aren't lining up, which ultimately speaks the entire truth.
 
cheapgreek
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:01 pm

aerolimani wrote:
To those who complain about any prop being noisy… here’s a pro tip. The quietest section of a prop cabin is at the back. In the old days, before jets, the first class section was at the back. So, get yourself a seat towards the back. You won’t even have to pay extra for it!


Two months ago I rode a Piedmont Dash-8-300 and it did not matter where you sat, the overhead bins rattled loudly for the whole flight. Face it, props are dead in the US. Newer model RJ's have better fuel numbers, better short field performance and can fly faster, quieter and above bad weather.
 
ExMilitaryEng
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:13 pm

VSMUT wrote:
ATR with 68 seats: 600/68 = 8.8 kg/pax/hr
ATR with 78 seats: 600/78 = 7.7 kg/pax/hr
Q400 with 90 [email protected]/hr: 1000/90 = 8.9 kg/pax/hr
Q400 with 90 [email protected]/hr: 1000/90 = 11.1 kg/pax/hr
Q400 with 90 [email protected]/hr: 1000/90 = 13.3 kg/pax/hr

Those are extremely valuable numbers, thank you.

Now, those are fuel burn / hr.

As the Q400 flies faster, obviously it will perform more rotations per day than the ATR. (Or similarly, it will obviously rack up many more miles per hour)

Can you provide the stage length used for the above, and the speed used ?

That should allow us to calculate the CASM. (If we know the maintenance costs)
 
crescent
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:36 pm

This is the only aircraft type I flat out will not fly. Too many landing gear incidents- around one every 12-18 months.

There used to be a wiki page memorializing all the events.

Two this year:
A) Croatia Air landing gear wouldn't lock, but fixed after a couple of circles
http://www.aviation24.be/airlines/croat ... s-airport/

B) LOT - Nose gear collapsed on landing
http://avherald.com/h?article=4b377c21
 
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aerolimani
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Re: Q400: the underrated aircraft type?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:52 pm

cheapgreek wrote:
aerolimani wrote:
To those who complain about any prop being noisy… here’s a pro tip. The quietest section of a prop cabin is at the back. In the old days, before jets, the first class section was at the back. So, get yourself a seat towards the back. You won’t even have to pay extra for it!


Two months ago I rode a Piedmont Dash-8-300 and it did not matter where you sat, the overhead bins rattled loudly for the whole flight. Face it, props are dead in the US. Newer model RJ's have better fuel numbers, better short field performance and can fly faster, quieter and above bad weather.


This thread is about the Q400. Comparing the Q400 to a DH8C is like comparing a B732 to a B738. They share the same DNA, but they have some very different spec's/capabilities.

As to overflying weather, the Q400 can reach 25,000 ft in any conditions. That is enough to overfly most weather. It certainly does better than other TP options when it comes to one-engine-out performance. To others who have questioned its importance, consider overflying the Rockies in Western Canada. With a one-engine-out ceiling of 17,500 ft, the Q400 can easily overfly the mountains and make it to the nearest airfield. The ATR one-engine-out performance tops out at 11,000 ft. That could really spell trouble overflying the Rockies. That was almost certainly a factor in the WS decision to buy the Q400 for Encore.

As to the short field performance, I think only the the E-190 E2 comes close to the Q400. Currently, the E-190 E2 exceeds scope clauses, so it is not likely to appear en masse in the US market just yet.

For the US market, yes, I think the props are pretty much finished. However, I think it has more to do with customer perception than anything. For other parts of the world, however, they still make sense.

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