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ODwyerPW
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Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:10 pm

(I know there have been numerous threads about Embraer re-entering the prop market, but that's not what I'm discussing.
see these threads for info:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1373845
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1383971&p=20099605&hilit=30pax+prop#p20099605)


Despite there being good used, albeit aging, alternatives, the last few years have seen some activity by Tecnam and Cessna (well Textron) towards simple, clean sheet, prop powered planes. Both of their offerings share common characteristics.

Tecnam P2012 Traveler, 2-abreast 9 pax, aluminum high-wing, unpressurized, fixed landing gear, piston powered 4-blade prop (Ly TEO-540), Garmin G1000 avionics, 1600km range $3mil
Cessna 408 SkyCourier, 3-abreast 19 pax, aluminum high-wing, unpressurized, fixed landing gear, turbine powered 4-blade prop (PW PT6A), Garmin G1000 avionics, 750km range $6mil

Despite a good stock of used, albiet aging, alternatives, Is there a market for a very basic, clean-sheet, 30pax, 1 lav, micro galley, aluminum high-wing, unpressurized, fixed landing gear, turbine powered prop with 800km-1000km of range?

What would you power it with?
Who needs it?
Where would it fly?
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leghorn
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:16 pm

19 or 20 seat to avoid UK Airport Departure tax.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:13 pm

There isn't a market in the US that will justify the investment. If regional pilots are going to fly (at sustainable market wages) they may as well be flying 70-76 seat aircraft.
 
T4thH
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:33 pm

Sorry, what is for you a "market"? Unpressurized 30 PAX; ->NO!
30 PAX for an unpressurized turboprop is already to big, useful maximum is something around 20.

Also the expected number of turboprops in the less than 50 seat class (30 to 49) can be discussed.
I have seen 2012 numbers forecasts for next 20 years from Bombardier with just 150 and from Embraer for 450. There was another one of up to 8.000....also from 2012....only little discrepancies...
[ironic on}...with such numbers; yes I can confirm and predict, there will be a market between zero and one million in the next 20 years. And pretty sure, I will be correct.[/ironic off]

For the D328Neu, a potential market of around 800 turboprops for this turboprop was predicted for China alone (in next 20 years). But this is pressurized and 40 PAX.

I say, there is no market for a unpressurized 30 PAX turboprop, that will justify a clean sheet design. I see few dozens in two decades; but as this will be a "orphan" bird, no one will buy it. Who shall produce parts for this bird for next 30 years, if only a few will be produced and sold? Maintenance will be pure horror.
 
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c933103
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:42 pm

T4thH wrote:
Sorry, what is for you a "market"? Unpressurized 30 PAX; ->NO!
30 PAX for an unpressurized turboprop is already to big, useful maximum is something around 20.

Also the expected number of turboprops in the less than 50 seat class (30 to 49) can be discussed.
I have seen 2012 numbers forecasts for next 20 years from Bombardier with just 150 and from Embraer for 450. There was another one of up to 8.000....also from 2012....only little discrepancies...
[ironic on}...with such numbers; yes I can confirm and predict, there will be a market between zero and one million in the next 20 years. And pretty sure, I will be correct.[/ironic off]

For the D328Neu, a potential market of around 800 turboprops for this turboprop was predicted for China alone (in next 20 years). But this is pressurized and 40 PAX.

I say, there is no market for a unpressurized 30 PAX turboprop, that will justify a clean sheet design. I see few dozens in two decades; but as this will be a "orphan" bird, no one will buy it. Who shall produce parts for this bird for next 30 years, if only a few will be produced and sold? Maintenance will be pure horror.

I don't think China proper need any significant amount of D328Neu class product and I don't think there is a market of hundreds of them in outer regions of China like Xinjiang/Tibet/Inner Mongolia/Manchuria/YunGui Plateau
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ODwyerPW
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:27 pm

T4thH wrote:
Sorry, what is for you a "market"? Unpressurized 30 PAX; ->NO!
30 PAX for an unpressurized turboprop is already to big, useful maximum is something around 20.


Cessna 408 SkyCourier fills that at 19pax (you want 19pax, not 20... you get to omit stuff that saves you money).

I chose 30 because it gets you a few things... just like 19 gets you a few things (no flight attendant) and 9 gets you a few things (single pilot ops)… Beyond 30, I guess a case could be made for skipping capacities all the way to 70-76.

Pressurized/Non-Pressurized is as much a function of how long you are going to stay in the air... as well as ultimate weight (itself a function of pax capacity) of the craft. Is it economical on a 60-90 minute flight to spend 7 extra minutes on climb and 15 extra minutes on descent (difference between FAL10 and FAL25)? I'm not arguing, I'm asking, I just don't know? Economical from a fuel burn to get higher, to carry the extra weight to enable pressurization? (I'm not even considering initial build/purchase costs.) Are passengers that much more comfortable between FAL10 and FAL25 (I'm guessing that is substantial based on how queasy I will sometimes get on a long drawn out descent)? What is harder on a small plane's structure.. flying at FAL10 it's whole life and getting beat about by weather... or constant pressurization/depressurization cycles?
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drdisque
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:37 pm

It seems like any market with enough demand to require something with more than 19 seats can usually support an ATR. With a glut of used but still relatively young and well supported ATR's out there, I don't see this changing. The added cost of pressurization is pretty minimal when spread out over 30+ seats and it makes the aircraft a lot more comfortable and capable.
 
T4thH
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:15 pm

c933103 wrote:
T4thH wrote:
Sorry, what is for you a "market"? Unpressurized 30 PAX; ->NO!
30 PAX for an unpressurized turboprop is already to big, useful maximum is something around 20.

Also the expected number of turboprops in the less than 50 seat class (30 to 49) can be discussed.
I have seen 2012 numbers forecasts for next 20 years from Bombardier with just 150 and from Embraer for 450. There was another one of up to 8.000....also from 2012....only little discrepancies...
[ironic on}...with such numbers; yes I can confirm and predict, there will be a market between zero and one million in the next 20 years. And pretty sure, I will be correct.[/ironic off]

For the D328Neu, a potential market of around 800 turboprops for this turboprop was predicted for China alone (in next 20 years). But this is pressurized and 40 PAX.

I say, there is no market for a unpressurized 30 PAX turboprop, that will justify a clean sheet design. I see few dozens in two decades; but as this will be a "orphan" bird, no one will buy it. Who shall produce parts for this bird for next 30 years, if only a few will be produced and sold? Maintenance will be pure horror.

I don't think China proper need any significant amount of D328Neu class product and I don't think there is a market of hundreds of them in outer regions of China like Xinjiang/Tibet/Inner Mongolia/Manchuria/YunGui Plateau

Please note: As I have read somewhere few weeks ago, China/the government of China is planning to build 100 and more regional airports: There is only a strategic reason, to be able, to control the last part and people there of China. So there is no commercial background/need, the routes will be sponsored by the government and the regional departments. So there will be only few routes for some of these airports per days, just to transport few hundred of passengers in total per day, primary officials and few commercial passengers.
To connect these small regional airports regular with the small sub hubs and other small regional airports nearby more than once per day, jets are to big and to expensive (and not needed in most cases).
Now ATR with their ATR72 and less ATR42 have hope to sell up to 600 in total in next 20 years as also SNC with the D328Neu are hoping to get a part of this nice cake in next 20 years.
There are opponents for the ATR72 with the MA60/600/700 family, but there is no one for the D328Neu.

I am not sure, if there is really a market in China or in the world, who will justify a production of a 40 seats turboprop for the civil market alone. And there seems to be a n essential military market for the D328Neu, the US have already bought 20 used Do328 in last years and have upgraded them; these have been delivered in 2017. Seems US and other military governments are now highly interested in a new build 40 seats STOL turboprop aircraft, to replace the getting old existing and to buy as new ones.
There have been many military/government Fokker 50/60, even F27 (which is still in use as C31A Troopship), Saab, many Chinese turboprops in military use worldwide e.g.
They are getting old, they have to be replaced.

But I believe, there is a combined military/government + civil market, to justify a 40 seats STOL D328Neu, able to land also on unpaved airstrips.

EDIT: And I forgot, there is also a market as freighters; FedEx e.g.
 
ODwyerPW
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:24 pm

drdisque wrote:
It seems like any market with enough demand to require something with more than 19 seats can usually support an ATR. With a glut of used but still relatively young and well supported ATR's out there, I don't see this changing. The added cost of pressurization is pretty minimal when spread out over 30+ seats and it makes the aircraft a lot more comfortable and capable.


So basically for new build, twin prop*, the available frames are and will probably remain for some time:
Tecnam, Tecnam P2012 Traveller, 9pax, pistonprop, FAL10, 320km/h cruise, 1600km range, $3.2mil
Textron Aviation, Cessna 408 SkyCourier, 19pax, turboprop, FAL10, 350km/h cruise, 1000kmi range, $6mil
Avion de Transport Regional, ATR-42-600, 48pax, turboprop, FAL25, pressurized, 500km/h cruise, 1300km range, $20mil
(* not including Cessna Grand Caravan EX nor Denali because they are single engine planes)

No room for a cheaper, less capable competitor 30pax just below the $20mil ATR?
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ODwyerPW
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:28 pm

I though planes like the FairchildDornier 328-110 and the Saab 340 were more 30-31 pax planes (they say 33-34, but that includes crew.. 2 pilots/1 flight attendant). Unless, I'm way off on my assumptions (which is entirely possible... I'm often wrong). China is going to stretch the D328 to get 40 seats? Why? At that point the ATR-42-600 is perfect at 48 seats.
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Kent350787
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:39 pm

I know the pressurisation issue is to do with cost, but it seems to be a relatively small issue.

Here in Australia we have the largest operator of 36 something seat aircraft, with RegionalExpress. The newest of their 50+ frames is 22 years. With sector lengths from 200-800km they need pressurised aircraft.

But there is nothing in the market to fit the bill. The ATR42 seems dead in the water, pushing them towards ATR72 or DHC8. It will be interesting to see whether they can remain afloat if they have to upscale.
S340/J31/146-300/F27/F50/Nord 262/Q100/200/E195/733/734/738/744/762/763/77W/788/789/320/321/332/333/345/359
 
vfw614
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:04 pm

Not cleansheet, but the Russians will relaunch the LET610. There was a thread on it here recently, IIRC.

ODwyerPW wrote:
Unless, I'm way off on my assumptions (which is entirely possible... I'm often wrong). China is going to stretch the D328 to get 40 seats? Why? At that point the ATR-42-600 is perfect at 48 seats.


China has nothing to do with the D328NEO.

The D328NEO is seen and marketed for a wide variety of applications, not just as a regional airliner (military, patrol, medevac, business etc.).
 
xdlx
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:14 pm

Cessna Sky courrier NEW !!! Coming up soon $$ 6M per copy Discounts by the dozen!
 
sphealey
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:21 pm

If there were such a market Boeing could put the DC-3 back in production with a few STCs. Since they haven't, I'm guessing there isn't ;-)
 
ODwyerPW
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:57 pm

Kent350787 wrote:
I know the pressurisation issue is to do with cost, but it seems to be a relatively small issue.

Here in Australia we have the largest operator of 36 something seat aircraft, with RegionalExpress. The newest of their 50+ frames is 22 years. With sector lengths from 200-800km they need pressurised aircraft.

But there is nothing in the market to fit the bill. The ATR42 seems dead in the water, pushing them towards ATR72 or DHC8. It will be interesting to see whether they can remain afloat if they have to upscale.


Wow, that's allot of Saab 340s.... probably represents 25% of the present active global fleet. Yeah, I was mistaken on the capacity, did some research and 34pax was really common on A340s (36pax was a high capacity seat map), excluding flight crew.

It would be a hard pill to upgrade to ATR-42s w/ an increase of 12-14 more seats to fill (or not fill and spend gas to haul them around empty) and $20mil to spend.

Thanks for contributing a response.... I was suspicious there were many regional airlines throughout the world facing this same dilemma. One issue, is what is an airline like Regional Express willing to spend per frame to replace all 57of their 34pax Saab 340s?
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Kent350787
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:37 am

ODwyerPW wrote:
Thanks for contributing a response.... I was suspicious there were many regional airlines throughout the world facing this same dilemma. One issue, is what is an airline like Regional Express willing to spend per frame to replace all 57of their 34pax Saab 340s?


IIRC, most of the Rex fleet are leased used frames, so I expect that they would again be looking at the used market for replacements - which probably means that, even with empty seats, switching to used ATR72 (but does it have the right capability?) or Q400 the economics may still work. They will want the $ to be low, as they must have been able to pick up parked SAABs mostly from the US at a good price.

Qantaslink (Q400 (plus some Q300) and VARA (ATR72) are Rex's competitors where there is direct competition.
S340/J31/146-300/F27/F50/Nord 262/Q100/200/E195/733/734/738/744/762/763/77W/788/789/320/321/332/333/345/359
 
moa999
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:24 am

As mentioned up thread there is a push for a D328neo
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -g-460299/

Rex typically operates on thinner routes than QLink/VARA
 
2175301
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:00 am

I believe I heard that a Stretched Converted and Zero Hour DC 3 (BT-67) goes for in the range of 9-10 Million, and it would likely seat close to 30 if configured that way.

https://www.baslerturbo.com/overview1.html

Yet, I don't think anyone has purchased one for normal passenger use; so I suspect that shows how much market demand there is. They have sold some for pure Freighter Operations.

Have a great day,
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:18 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
There isn't a market in the US that will justify the investment. If regional pilots are going to fly (at sustainable market wages) they may as well be flying 70-76 seat aircraft.

OK, and? There is more to the world than the US: Canada has extended areas with low population, other countries have also sparsely populated areas that need to be connected to more populated areas, etc.
 
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william
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:21 pm

vfw614 wrote:
Not cleansheet, but the Russians will relaunch the LET610. There was a thread on it here recently, IIRC.

ODwyerPW wrote:
Unless, I'm way off on my assumptions (which is entirely possible... I'm often wrong). China is going to stretch the D328 to get 40 seats? Why? At that point the ATR-42-600 is perfect at 48 seats.


China has nothing to do with the D328NEO.

The D328NEO is seen and marketed for a wide variety of applications, not just as a regional airliner (military, patrol, medevac, business etc.).


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_328

Does it share the same P&W engines as the Cessna SkyCourier?
 
patrickjp93
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:14 pm

If and only if the U.S. and China both start explosively building tons of regional airports out of nowhere.

More likely they'll re-engine the Bombardier Dash or ATR family with something like GE's Catalyst or something like that, maybe add some composite paneling to lighten the weight?

The 20-70-seat market is a shrinking but ever-present one, so if such a project IS justifiable, it'll only be by the skin of its teeth.
 
SimProgrammer
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:33 pm

I reckon there is a market in the Philippines for an inter-island seaplane service. Akin to Maldivian Air Taxi but with 20 seats. It's all small boats.
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KlimaBXsst
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:37 pm

Maybe a faster smaller pressurized version, complimented by a larger stripped down unpressurized version but with maximum commonality to keep down costs and appeal to a broader market.

Is the under 70 seat air travel market percentage shrinking because the over 70 seat air travel market is growing at a faster rate?

Some outlying towns and cities, though smaller will always need to be connected to the air travel grid.
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iceberg210
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:09 pm

There's a market for anything, but is there enough of a market for someone to clean sheet a design? Almost definitely not. Partially because I doubt that besides engines it's hard to see you finding enough efficiency over previous designs to make it worth it over a re engine.


Would it be possible to stick Catalysts on the Flying Shed Shorts 360 and sell that as an unpressurized 30 seater? Now that while also unlikely would have a better shot especially if you could tie it to some military and logisitics orders to get 100 or so launch orders out of it. Still wouldn't expect to see it, but there's a reason why even in the 40 seat market the planes that are being offered or might be are based on planes already built. The gains of a clean sheet simply aren't worth the already paid off cost of the engineering of a plane that has already been designed, flown and certified.
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Devilfish
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:12 pm

SimProgrammer wrote:
I reckon there is a market in the Philippines for an inter-island seaplane service. Akin to Maldivian Air Taxi but with 20 seats. It's all small boats.

AirJuan is ceasing operations with their float-fitted Caravan. I have always maintained that the SkyCourier is particularly well-suited to the island hopper, leisure tourist/charter market in the country's smaller, rougher airports..... :sun: .....

Image
https://cessna.txtav.com/-/media/cessna ... 60_16.ashx


The problem is the sticker price means that only operators with deeper pockets can afford them. If orders for the freighter would be large enough for Cessna to subsidize and reduce the cost of the pax variant, then there might be more interest in the latter. :dollarsign: :dollarsign: :dollarsign:
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ODwyerPW
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:04 pm

patrickjp93 wrote:
The 20-70-seat market is a shrinking but ever-present one, so if such a project IS justifiable, it'll only be by the skin of its teeth.


Which is the direction Tecnam and Textron went for the 9pax and 19pax..... basic purpose built craft to keep cost down.... an attempt to address the skin of it's teeth requirement... Though honestly the SkyCourier at $6mil may be too steep for many. I know the Traveller is $3.25mil, but one can imagine CapeAir received a good discount as a launch customer with a 100 frame purchase.

If cleansheet is out, which existing 30-36pax prop is the best candidate to receive an updated interior, updated engines, updated avionics, tweaks to cut weight, tweaks to improve aerodynamics, and brought back into production? A plane with decent passenger comfort and fuel burn... Is it Saab340, Fokker27, Dornier328, Embraer120, Short330, Short360?
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WayexTDI
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:42 pm

ScottB wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
OK, and? There is more to the world than the US: Canada has extended areas with low population, other countries have also sparsely populated areas that need to be connected to more populated areas, etc.


The problem is that, absent heavy government subsidy, it is difficult to support commercial air service to sparsely-populated areas. Low population generally equals low demand unless there's some sort of high-value local industry akin to YMM or ISN/XWA. Many rural regions are relatively poor so the local inhabitants just don't have the wealth to spend on flying around the country or world. Outside the wealthiest nations, it's difficult for governments to afford the necessary subsidies.

Well, I am sure most countries do subsidize such air service; even the US (EAS).
 
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:43 pm

Scott - much of the Blue Mountains are hundreds of miles from freeways, and no commerce passes through the area. One Interstate touches the boundaries, others are distant from its boundaries except for I-84 near the Columbia Gorge and does pass through and carry commerce. Snow plows do work throughout the winter, but for local traffic, not for interstate (or even intrastate) commerce. There are such isolated areas throughout the US mountain west.
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:58 pm

sphealey wrote:
If there were such a market Boeing could put the DC-3 back in production with a few STCs. Since they haven't, I'm guessing there isn't ;-)

Errr... BT-67 remains popular.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basler_BT-67

There are now 66 flying.

19 typical passengers ( as a combi) up to 38. Firefighting, gunship, combi, passenger, and freight available).


For an estimated (my guess $8.5 million), how do you compete? Was $6.5 7 years ago per Wikipedia.

A re-engined DC-3 with lowish operating costs.


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ODwyerPW
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:45 pm

lightsaber wrote:
sphealey wrote:
If there were such a market Boeing could put the DC-3 back in production with a few STCs. Since they haven't, I'm guessing there isn't ;-)

Errr... BT-67 remains popular.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basler_BT-67
There are now 66 flying.
19 typical passengers ( as a combi) up to 38. Firefighting, gunship, combi, passenger, and freight available).
For an estimated (my guess $8.5 million), how do you compete? Was $6.5 7 years ago per Wikipedia.
A re-engined DC-3 with lowish operating costs.
Lightsaber



Ummm, 29 years to sell 66 of them.. They aren't exactly flying off the shelves.
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lightsaber
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:56 pm

ODwyerPW wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
sphealey wrote:
If there were such a market Boeing could put the DC-3 back in production with a few STCs. Since they haven't, I'm guessing there isn't ;-)

Errr... BT-67 remains popular.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basler_BT-67
There are now 66 flying.
19 typical passengers ( as a combi) up to 38. Firefighting, gunship, combi, passenger, and freight available).
For an estimated (my guess $8.5 million), how do you compete? Was $6.5 7 years ago per Wikipedia.
A re-engined DC-3 with lowish operating costs.
Lightsaber



Ummm, 29 years to sell 66 of them.. They aren't exactly flying off the shelves.

True. But they are low cost and fill the niche.

We're talking about how popular a market for aircraft larger than single engine pressurized props with more speed and range as unpressurized limits the flight envelope.
Flu+Covid19 is bad. Consider a flu vaccine, if not for yourself, to protect someone you care about.
 
ODwyerPW
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:48 pm

lightsaber wrote:
ODwyerPW wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
Errr... BT-67 remains popular.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basler_BT-67
There are now 66 flying.
19 typical passengers ( as a combi) up to 38. Firefighting, gunship, combi, passenger, and freight available).
For an estimated (my guess $8.5 million), how do you compete? Was $6.5 7 years ago per Wikipedia.
A re-engined DC-3 with lowish operating costs.
Lightsaber


Ummm, 29 years to sell 66 of them.. They aren't exactly flying off the shelves.

True. But they are low cost and fill the niche.

We're talking about how popular a market for aircraft larger than single engine pressurized props with more speed and range as unpressurized limits the flight envelope.


Begs the question what could you do with revised SAAB340 or Embraer120 in low serial production to fill a niche? Could Embraer do such a plane for $8million?

My sense, and I'm probably wrong, is that the regional jet revolution left us with a surplus of really good props in the 30-50 seat category as they were pulled out of service early. That surplus has served the industry well for decades... But that pool is drying up, no? Probably.... But perhaps the cleansheet unpressurized 30pax may not be the route to go. Maybe the answer all along was in my first post of this thread... a launch of a revised Embraer120 may be the way to go... You get pressurization and all of the comfort and performance that comes with that (FAL29.5), although it has a very high stall speed and requires a fair amount of runway for take-off. I mean, Embraer is going to have 4billion dollars soon.
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WaywardMemphian
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:03 am

ODwyerPW wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
The 20-70-seat market is a shrinking but ever-present one, so if such a project IS justifiable, it'll only be by the skin of its teeth.


Which is the direction Tecnam and Textron went for the 9pax and 19pax..... basic purpose built craft to keep cost down.... an attempt to address the skin of it's teeth requirement... Though honestly the SkyCourier at $6mil may be too steep for many. I know the Traveller is $3.25mil, but one can imagine CapeAir received a good discount as a launch customer with a 100 frame purchase.

If cleansheet is out, which existing 30-36pax prop is the best candidate to receive an updated interior, updated engines, updated avionics, tweaks to cut weight, tweaks to improve aerodynamics, and brought back into production? A plane with decent passenger comfort and fuel burn... Is it Saab340, Fokker27, Dornier328, Embraer120, Short330, Short360?


I recently read the new owners of the Dash/Q line will pitch a similar layout like the new United CRJ550 but pitch the economocs/savings of a TurboProp.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:44 am

ODwyerPW wrote:
If cleansheet is out, which existing 30-36pax prop is the best candidate to receive an updated interior, updated engines, updated avionics, tweaks to cut weight, tweaks to improve aerodynamics, and brought back into production? A plane with decent passenger comfort and fuel burn... Is it Saab340, Fokker27, Dornier328, Embraer120, Short330, Short360?

The Fokker 27 design dates from the early 1950's and even the updated F50 would require more than a few tweaks to bring it up to todays standards.
It is also at the upper end of the size range for your purposes, being more closely related to the HS748, BAe ATP, and ATR-42.

The Saab340, Dornier 328 and Embraer 120 are all pressurized, so all three would require a major stripping out / re-design to gain the benefits of a lighter unpressurized design.

The Shorts 330 was superseded by the 360 which with it's extra length (= six extra seats) smoothed out the aerodynamic profile and reduced drag. For this reason alone the 360 gets the nod over the 330, and amongst the selection above, it is the only one designed as unpressurized. But it is slow. And it isn't half as sexy as the Brasilia. :rotfl:

The downside is that you cannot comfortably stand up in the cabin of an EMB 120. Unless you are a dwarf.

As they stand, the Saab, Dornier and Embraer are all considerably faster than the Shorts 360, some of it due to more powerful engines, some of it due to sleeker designs, and some of it due to operating at higher altitudes. If they are modified to unpressurized this difference will reduce but I cannot believe it will vanish completely.
Having said that, the fuel burn of the 360 could possibly be the lowest as a consequence of it's lower speeds, particularly if they are all flying through the same denser air at FL100.

Historically, passengers have chosen speed over comfort, and couldn't give a fig for fuel economy just as long as their ticket was cheap.
The slower Shorts 360 seems to have a bigger cabin, and might save fuel, but would cost more in other respects because of it's slow speed.
Indeed, all of these designs could save fuel if they adopted a slower cruise speed, but would that sell?
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:55 am

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
The Saab340, Dornier 328 and Embraer 120 are all pressurized, so all three would require a major stripping out / re-design to gain the benefits of a lighter unpressurized design.


Enough folks have pointed out the shortcoming of unpressurized fuselages to cause me to eliminate that requirement... In fact my question going forward is more along the lines of:

"Is there a market for a new build upgraded version of an out-of-production pressurized 30pax prop?" (eg. like the saab, embraer, dornier)
learning never stops.
 
2175301
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:19 am

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
ODwyerPW wrote:
If cleansheet is out, which existing 30-36pax prop is the best candidate to receive an updated interior, updated engines, updated avionics, tweaks to cut weight, tweaks to improve aerodynamics, and brought back into production? A plane with decent passenger comfort and fuel burn... Is it Saab340, Fokker27, Dornier328, Embraer120, Short330, Short360?

The Fokker 27 design dates from the early 1950's and even the updated F50 would require more than a few tweaks to bring it up to todays standards.
It is also at the upper end of the size range for your purposes, being more closely related to the HS748, BAe ATP, and ATR-42.

The Saab340, Dornier 328 and Embraer 120 are all pressurized, so all three would require a major stripping out / re-design to gain the benefits of a lighter unpressurized design.

The Shorts 330 was superseded by the 360 which with it's extra length (= six extra seats) smoothed out the aerodynamic profile and reduced drag. For this reason alone the 360 gets the nod over the 330, and amongst the selection above, it is the only one designed as unpressurized. But it is slow. And it isn't half as sexy as the Brasilia. :rotfl:

The downside is that you cannot comfortably stand up in the cabin of an EMB 120. Unless you are a dwarf.

As they stand, the Saab, Dornier and Embraer are all considerably faster than the Shorts 360, some of it due to more powerful engines, some of it due to sleeker designs, and some of it due to operating at higher altitudes. If they are modified to unpressurized this difference will reduce but I cannot believe it will vanish completely.
Having said that, the fuel burn of the 360 could possibly be the lowest as a consequence of it's lower speeds, particularly if they are all flying through the same denser air at FL100.

Historically, passengers have chosen speed over comfort, and couldn't give a fig for fuel economy just as long as their ticket was cheap.
The slower Shorts 360 seems to have a bigger cabin, and might save fuel, but would cost more in other respects because of it's slow speed.
Indeed, all of these designs could save fuel if they adopted a slower cruise speed, but would that sell?


So why not include an analysis of the BT-67 in the above... How does it compare in speed, comfort (stand up room), etc.

It's currently in production (and has modern electronics, data recorders, etc.). While I'm not aware of any that have been sold as a pure passenger aircraft- they easily could be. I accept Lightsaber's estimate of $8.5 million per aircraft. I believe that the estimates are that there are 3-500 usable DC-3 frames out there for such a conversion/re-manufacturing.

Have a great day,
 
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:48 am

2175301 wrote:
So why not include an analysis of the BT-67 in the above... How does it compare in speed, comfort (stand up room), etc.


3 reasons i didn't put them.
1. props already have a stigma... In 2020 boarding a plane with a very sloped floor won't 'fly' (no pun intended) with the flying public.
2. they've produced 66 in 29 years, which means there hasn't been allot of convinced buyers
3. with their low production, they wouldn't be able to supply demand for folks looking to replace 15, 20, 30, 50 props in a reasonable time.

(I also didn't include the British Aerospace Jetstream-41... they only made 100 copies ending with just 5 years production.)

A plane I'd like to include though would be a revised/upgraded De Haviland de Canada Q200 / DHC-8-201/2. But Q400s are expensive (about $32million), I don't imagine a Dash8 Q200 would be an affordable alternative in the 37pax space if it adopted allot of Q400 tech/enhancements. (It's doubtful that a Q300 could be made affordable in the 50pax space either.)
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anrec80
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:01 am

Kent350787 wrote:
I know the pressurisation issue is to do with cost, but it seems to be a relatively small issue.

Here in Australia we have the largest operator of 36 something seat aircraft, with RegionalExpress. The newest of their 50+ frames is 22 years. With sector lengths from 200-800km they need pressurised aircraft.

But there is nothing in the market to fit the bill. The ATR42 seems dead in the water, pushing them towards ATR72 or DHC8. It will be interesting to see whether they can remain afloat if they have to upscale.


Similar story here in Canada - there are plenty of rural/regional markets pretty much in every province. For many small to mid sized cities (10-50K population) turboprops like ATR-42 or Q400 are too big. Regional airlines serving those communities mainly fly really old SAAB-340s and 19 seater Beechcraft. I don’t see those communities supporting even double daily Q400 service, since people here prefer flight frequency too. Hence, there is a market for such planes, with range maybe up to 1500km.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:13 am

ODwyerPW wrote:
2175301 wrote:
So why not include an analysis of the BT-67 in the above... How does it compare in speed, comfort (stand up room), etc.


3 reasons i didn't put them.
1. props already have a stigma... In 2020 boarding a plane with a very sloped floor won't 'fly' (no pun intended) with the flying public.
2. they've produced 66 in 29 years, which means there hasn't been allot of convinced buyers
3. with their low production, they wouldn't be able to supply demand for folks looking to replace 15, 20, 30, 50 props in a reasonable time.

(I also didn't include the British Aerospace Jetstream-41... they only made 100 copies ending with just 5 years production.)

A plane I'd like to include though would be a revised/upgraded De Haviland de Canada Q200 / DHC-8-201/2. But Q400s are expensive (about $32million), I don't imagine a Dash8 Q200 would be an affordable alternative in the 37pax space if it adopted allot of Q400 tech/enhancements. (It's doubtful that a Q300 could be made affordable in the 50pax space either.)

If someone wanted 50, Basler would find a way to surge production.
So:
1. If props have a stigma, as a turboprop, the BT-67 is fighting the same issues a new prop would fight.
2. There isn't demand in this size range. With ATP requirements, pilots will be expensive.


The pilot ATP requirement means there is a jump to a 50 seater from a small single engine design. The Denali, PT-12, and TBM are all quite competitive.

But the reality is automobiles are so much more reliable and cheap that the TSA hassles pushed people to drive further.

If a market cannot fill an ATR, drive.

Lightsaber
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aircatalonia
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:25 am

This may be an important question in a few years from now when small electric drones/UAVs become a viable solution.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:55 am

ODwyerPW wrote:
Enough folks have pointed out the shortcoming of unpressurized fuselages to cause me to eliminate that requirement... In fact my question going forward is more along the lines of:

"Is there a market for a new build upgraded version of an out-of-production pressurized 30pax prop?" (eg. like the saab, embraer, dornier)

That is your choice as OP, but I didn't see that negativity quite the same as you.
Here are the naysayers;
drdisque wrote:
The added cost of pressurization is pretty minimal when spread out over 30+ seats and it makes the aircraft a lot more comfortable and capable.
I would like to see some figures for this, both in terms of the extra capital cost of installing the kit in the first place, the extra certification and checks for such life-critical systems, ongoing maintenance, and above all the extra weight which will offset the gains made by flying at higher altitudes.
You say it is minimal; I am yet to be convinced.

Kent350787 wrote:
I know the pressurisation issue is to do with cost, but it seems to be a relatively small issue.
As above - show me the numbers!
Here in Australia we have... . With sector lengths from 200-800km they need pressurised aircraft.
Agreed; longer sector lengths do indeed call for pressurized aircraft. And even longer sectors call for jets.
But Australia is a big land mass with a vast areas of sparse population (as are Canada and Russia). What it doesn't have so much of is short sectors where an aircraft is competing with a boat (e.g. between islands), or competing with a mountain goat (e.g. across lower mountain ranges not requiring higher altitudes), or a train (where there is heavy congested road traffic, possibly through a choke point such as a single bridge)
That is not to say these aspects do not exist in Australia at all (you've got ski resorts, FFS!), but there are better examples elsewhere.

So the question becomes where are these shorter sectors, and how many would value the flexibility of two 30 pax flights versus one 60 pax aircraft? Or simply only have enough demand to justify 30 pax a/c.
SimProgrammer wrote:
I reckon there is a market in the Philippines for an inter-island seaplane service. Akin to Maldivian Air Taxi but with 20 seats. It's all small boats
And there we have one prime example.
May I suggest another? Indonesia is the world's largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands.
Obviously some of the routes are longer distances, and with it's vast population some of these routes are very heavily trafficked, requiring something nearer to an A380 in size. But overall, one might assume that the phenomenal and rapid growth of Lion Air could be reflected in a similar increase in demand for smaller feeder services at a local level.
p.s. I don't see that Indonesia or The Philippines necessarily require seaplanes. The Maldives is a special case in that respect.

FWIW there were two prime cases of short water crossings in Europe; crossing the English Channel (all 17 miles of it) and likewise the Øresund (between Denmark & Sweden). Both now have viable alternatives to a slow ferry crossing. But before that, at least one airline made a living out of providing a simple non-pressurized air service across the water (from a purpose built airport, with purpose built aircraft)

Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:32 pm

Rather than looking at planes, it seems to me we should be looking at what sort of demand exists in small towns. Some of the factors are how much money people have, how far are the nearest emergency medical facilities or major medical centers. In Alaska most villages are served by a mail plane every few to several days. (I don't know if it is as frequent as when I lived in small villages in the 60s). Demographics will be different for any particular flight. Hence one size plane will not fit all. Groceries and Amazon packages likely would mean no plane flies with less than a full load of passengers/cargo.

In the Blue Hills area there is a lot of money. Not so in most Alaskan villages. There are government subsidies, medical insurance for some transports, tourists, locals going to the big cities, or world travel. Demographics are as much the key as costs. Given modern technology, people wanting to and have the need to fly, and subsidies (Boeing and Airbus expect them as an entitlement) any notable reduction in costs will create more demand. Aviation will have a big role (perhaps not as much as improved ground transportation). Current costs, my 75 cents a mile was a good guess, are high. Industry and government could set a goal of bringing those costs down. At about 50 cents a mile I suspect there would be a whole lot more demand. Incremental cost reductions may be the way to go. Electric hybrid likely will play a role in about 15 years. But today, can anything bring down costs? One pilot, no other crew - how much would that save? Fly at a lower speed (not really a detriment on flights of less than 400 miles). Less comfortable planes - again not a factor on short hops? Noisy planes - seats come with a noise reduction ear sets?

If industry and government set goals it will happen. If they don't it won't. Possibility thinking is often silly, but without setting goals nothing flies.
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32andBelow
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:44 pm

Why would it be unpressurized? Passengers don’t want to get rocked and rolled at 7000 feet for an hour.
 
2175301
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:30 pm

ODwyerPW wrote:
2175301 wrote:
So why not include an analysis of the BT-67 in the above... How does it compare in speed, comfort (stand up room), etc.


3 reasons i didn't put them.
1. props already have a stigma... In 2020 boarding a plane with a very sloped floor won't 'fly' (no pun intended) with the flying public.


This entire thread is about someone building a new or restarting production of a prop aircraft. Obviously it will be a turbo-prop (which the BT-67 already is) So this point makes ZERO sense.

For a reasonably priced ticket - I don't think anyone is going to complain about the slopped floor. It can actually be sold as historic charm and an unbeatable structure and history.

ODwyerPW wrote:
2. they've produced 66 in 29 years, which means there hasn't been allot of convinced buyers


There are at least 2 other companies in the world converting DC-3 aircraft frames; although my understanding is that they are not stretching and fully upgrading the electrical systems to fully modern standards (complete with data recorders) and increasing the capacity of the aircraft like Basler has. So, actual historic demand numbers in this size range are at least twice what Basler has been producing.

But my overall translation of your statement: There is very limited market demand for an aircraft in this size range over the last several decades; which makes me wonder why anyone really thinks that is going to change.

ODwyerPW wrote:
3. with their low production, they wouldn't be able to supply demand for folks looking to replace 15, 20, 30, 50 props in a reasonable time.

(I also didn't include the British Aerospace Jetstream-41... they only made 100 copies ending with just 5 years production.)


So someone without an existing parts supply chain and production facilities and systems is going to be able to ramp up faster? That does not even include the years it would take to re-certify any of the discussed restarts with modern controls (The Twin Otter 400 took about 2 years to complete appropriate re-design and re-certification).

I live about an hours drive from Basler... and have seen their facilities. I know for a fact that they at one point put together plans on how to produce 10 a year using some nearby very local to them additional facilities... and they have looked around the general area (within 50 miles) and seen lots of additional locations they could use for higher production rates. My understanding is that their existing shop would likely just be a final body/wing join and final interior outfitting location: Bodies and wings would be stripped and rebuilt in other buildings). They have had inquiries about double digit purchases in the past.

ODwyerPW wrote:
A plane I'd like to include though would be a revised/upgraded De Haviland de Canada Q200 / DHC-8-201/2. But Q400s are expensive (about $32million), I don't imagine a Dash8 Q200 would be an affordable alternative in the 37pax space if it adopted allot of Q400 tech/enhancements. (It's doubtful that a Q300 could be made affordable in the 50pax space either.)


I'm not sure if you have noticed.... but the market for new aircraft is affected by the purchase price of an aircraft. The Basler BT-67 is very economical, and my understanding is fuel efficiency is not that bad for short hops (OK, the aircraft is heavier than modern aircraft due to the Tank design of the structure); but, its not that much heavier to significantly affect short flight economics.

I think if you compared the BT-67 with the rest of the aircraft you would find it actually compares very well... and is a very economical purchase (est $8.5 Million). The fact that I'm not aware of a single commercial passenger only sale tells me that there's just not much of a market for an commercial airline aircraft this size (I do believe that they have built several "combi" aircraft).

I believe any other company restarting production for any other older aircraft that have been discussed will almost certainly be a financially loosing proposition; and they cannot restart, do the required re-certification upgrades that modern instruments will require, and come up to full production faster than what Basler could.

Have a great day,
 
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:14 pm

lightsaber wrote:
[
2. There isn't demand in this size range. With ATP requirements, pilots will be expensive.

The pilot ATP requirement means there is a jump to a 50 seater from a small single engine design. The Denali, PT-12, and TBM are all quite competitive.
But the reality is automobiles are so much more reliable and cheap that the TSA hassles pushed people to drive further.
If a market cannot fill an ATR, drive.
Lightsaber


I initially settled on 30pax because it allows you to operate a type of service that avoids TSA hassles...

Is the Pilot issue a US centric thing? Have other countries world significantly increased their requirements as well?
learning never stops.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:12 pm

The ATP thing is US only and there’s reduced experience requirements for military and college flight training programs. The ATP issue is a red herring anyway, having an ATP was de facto required for any serious flying job for decades. The issue arose when RJ operators expanded rapidly in the wake of 9/11 and hired wet commercial pilot’s with 250 hours and promised them the career they never would have dreamed of five years before. In 1985, 100% of my EAL class held ATOs, civil or military backgrounds.

TSA exempts some 30 passengers ops, but at some level of service frequency level the exemption goes away. And no one can connect riding on TSA security exempted flights, some real limits here.

GF
 
airlineworker
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:12 pm

The prop is dead and there is no going back. Passengers have grown accustomed to RJ's and it would be a waste of a crew to fly a small number of people. The 19-30 seat market is gone as far as the airlines are concerned. Even the 50 seat RJ's are being phased out so where does the 30 seat prop fit into today's airline fleets? I know some lamented the end of the Dash-8 but not me. Over the years I have taken many, many Dash-8 flights and they were all uncomfortable.
Small cities that had service with 30 seat planes are now out of the route system of the majors. Two for instance I know of are GON and BDR, when the 19 seat Beech-1900's were parked, that signaled the end of airline service.
No OEM will build a plane that airlines don't want.
I cannot envision any major ordering such a plane that seats 30.
 
ParkFSI
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:24 pm

The poor old Metroliner gets over looked again : )
Out of production for 20 years now and some parts are getting hard to find. There’s about 500 SA-227’s still flying and they all have a niche especially flying cargo. I think this thread was leaning toward pax service and it works for that too but not the most comfortable platform for 19 pax.
But 250 KTS minimum at about 100 gallons per hour, what’s not to love.
Thread killer
 
mxaxai
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:33 pm

ODwyerPW wrote:
Wow, that's allot of Saab 340s.... probably represents 25% of the present active global fleet. Yeah, I was mistaken on the capacity, did some research and 34pax was really common on A340s (36pax was a high capacity seat map), excluding flight crew.

It would be a hard pill to upgrade to ATR-42s w/ an increase of 12-14 more seats to fill (or not fill and spend gas to haul them around empty) and $20mil to spend.

Thanks for contributing a response.... I was suspicious there were many regional airlines throughout the world facing this same dilemma. One issue, is what is an airline like Regional Express willing to spend per frame to replace all 57of their 34pax Saab 340s?

ATR has converted several Saab 340 operators, and they are confident of placing some in Australia as well:
https://press.jal.co.jp/en/release/201807/004803.html
https://www.silverairways.com/destinations/atr42
https://australianaviation.com.au/2018/02/__trashed-12/

Other regional markets like Indonesia and the Philippines also feature large ATR fleets already, albeit with a focus on the ATR 72. Then there are airlines like Susi Air with a large fleet of 34 Cessna Grand Caravan. I doubt that a new 30 seater is viable. Markets that absolutely need service can be served by Caravans or Skycouriers, larger markets will get an ATR.

anrec80 wrote:
Similar story here in Canada - there are plenty of rural/regional markets pretty much in every province. For many small to mid sized cities (10-50K population) turboprops like ATR-42 or Q400 are too big. Regional airlines serving those communities mainly fly really old SAAB-340s and 19 seater Beechcraft. I don’t see those communities supporting even double daily Q400 service, since people here prefer flight frequency too. Hence, there is a market for such planes, with range maybe up to 1500km.
In Canada and other sparsely populated contries perhaps. But how many aircraft do you need for that? 50, maybe 100? That doesn't warrant a clean sheet design. 99.9% of people either live close to a larger airport or will happily drive 6 hours (or more). There are two routes with 19-seaters at my home airport and both sell for $600+ roundtrip - doesn't need a high LF for profits but isn't suitable for a casual trip either.
 
Kent350787
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Re: Is there a market for a cleansheet unpressurized 30pax Prop

Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:05 am

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
[
So the question becomes where are these shorter sectors, and how many would value the flexibility of two 30 pax flights versus one 60 pax aircraft? Or simply only have enough demand to justify 30 pax a/c.


Australia is also a little strange in that almost 1/3 of the population lives in two cities each of which has only one major airport. There are few cities or towns needing air links with over 20k population, so 30 seat, or at most 50, is really all that's needed.

Rex flights are primarily O&D to SYD and MEL, less so to BNE and ADL. SYD is slot restricted in peak periods, so frequency for 30 seaters isn't going to work.

As for the skifields, Rex offers seasonal flights to OOM for the NSW skifields.
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