Dominion301
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:05 am

OccupiedLav wrote:
ChrisNH38 wrote:
I think instances of wing icing on turboprops have been frequent enough to scare people away. They just can't fly high enough to avoid ice altogether, especially in the northern states.


If this is the case, why are they more popular with Canadian airlines? Air Canada, Westjet, Porter...


Us Canadians are just more sophisticated. ;)

In all seriousness, there are dozens of airports in Canada that are unpaved that can’t handle jets yet have scheduled air service.

I think the fact that the Dash 8 is built in Canada makes a huge difference. Add to that, that Porter is viewed as a premium airline exclusively flying props, leads to a high degree of acceptance. Also the fact that practically every schedule airline save for a couple, still has props also makes a big difference. AC though since the relegation of BEH ops to Atlantic Canada, now send very few props to the US where they complete with jets everywhere save for the Pacific Northwest.
 
multimark
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:07 am

ScottB wrote:
OccupiedLav wrote:
'“We took on an educational role in our start-up phase (in 2006) by promoting the aircraft’s benefits. Once people tried it, this became a non-issue,” said Porter’s Brad Cicero in an email to TPG. “Self-interested parties, whether manufacturers or other airlines, have tried to dismiss turboprops over the years,” he said. “One of our competitors initially did so as a transparent attempt to dissuade passengers from considering flying with us. It didn’t work and now this competitor happens to be one of the largest Q400 operators in the world.”'


Porter is a bit of a special case. Their entire business model is predicated upon the convenience of YTZ vs. YYZ. And... jets aren't allowed at YTZ. Further, the Q400 is a Canadian-made product and the demographic which flies to/from YTZ is more likely to be aware of the jet's provenance. There is value in the Canadian market when your business actively supports Canadian manufacturing jobs -- akin to why a SEA-hubbed airline would paint "proudly all-Boeing" on its fleet.

One should also consider that it's not entirely clear PD is even a profitable enterprise.


That still doesn't explain why both Air Canada Express and Westjet Encore are big operators of the Q400 across Canada.
 
Mboyle1988
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:16 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
Partially it is speed. If flying, why not save time? The other is fear of propellers. I know numerous people, not a majority, but enough, who dislike turboprops enough they will drive instead of flying.

Another aspect is the slow time in airports now. In the US, routes below 250nm are rare now. Between all the added delays, the fraction of short haul flying (<250nm) has plummeted. That is where turboprops thrive.
...

What turboprop market there is will be met by 9 seaters that do not require the hours.

Lightsaber


A great real example is Horizon Air, the Alaska regional, flying from SEA to Spokane, WA. $84 ea way 1 hr 5 min on Q400 for 284 mile by driving distance, expected by google to take 4.5 hours.

To fly I drive 1h10 min to airport, 20 min to park car, 1.5 hours at airport. Fly 1h5. At Spokane 1 hr in arrival and car rental. 1 hour drive to actual site. 6h10 min to get to destination.

To Drive 5h8 from home to Spokane Airport 329 miles, still 1 hour to site for same travel time. No plane fare, no $30/day parking at SEA, no car rental. Same time. I can pick the time I leave to match the appointment, possibly drive the night before and stay near the destination. Flying would need to save me at least 2 hours before I would consider it.


Interesting...for me:

1. I live 20 minutes from airport
2. Parking the car takes 5 minutes because I park in central parking
3. I would never get to the airport more than an hour in advance and typically get there 45 minutes in advance.
4. It has never taken me more than 30 minutes to get from my gate to my rental car, and that's at airports that have remote rental car stands. I don't check bags.

So you spend 3 hours and 40 minutes on tasks that in my situation would take 1 hour 40 minutes.

Personally, I won't drive more than 2 hours voluntarily as it is incredibly dangerous.
 
N649DL
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:25 am

IIRC, the turboprops made a bit of a renaissance in the late 2000s when jet fuel was spiking, at least with Continental Express. Then the Colgan (COEX) crash happened and killed everyone onboard in 2009 and were quickly phased out again.

American had a slew of crashes in the 1990s which moved the ATR fleet down to MIA and SJU hubs and were phased out based on age, I think. The Saab fleet in DFW were also gone around the same time as well.
 
69bug
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:53 am

dcaviation wrote:
For me is opposite. I'm avoiding turboprops in Asia like a plague. TransAsia ATR crash coming to mind first.
Young pilots are starting there on props and they are the ones that make deadly mistakes.


Airlines flying jets are no better.. most of the new pilots are fresh out of flying school with around 500hrs max.. direct into the right hand seat of 737/320.

bug
 
DarthLobster
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:16 am

par13del wrote:
DarthLobster wrote:
par13del wrote:
A good question would be how many of today's pilots learned to fly in jets, never a prop.


I don’t know of any pilots that started off learning in jets.

Exactly, so the technology that is used to train pilots is not good enough for pax?
Does make you wonder why only the military uses jet trainers, if it is an industry thing.


And how many military pilots, who already have significant time in jets, go into the regionals after their service is complete? They don't, they go mainline.

And the topic is US pilots, NOT international. US pilots who operate regional aircraft tend to have a non-military training background, and thus almost certainly started in a Cessna or Piper.
 
Karlsands
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:44 am

69bug wrote:
dcaviation wrote:
For me is opposite. I'm avoiding turboprops in Asia like a plague. TransAsia ATR crash coming to mind first.
Young pilots are starting there on props and they are the ones that make deadly mistakes.


Airlines flying jets are no better.. most of the new pilots are fresh out of flying school with around 500hrs max.. direct into the right hand seat of 737/320.

bug

Not in America , 1500 hours needed
 
Karlsands
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:45 am

multimark wrote:
ScottB wrote:
OccupiedLav wrote:
'“We took on an educational role in our start-up phase (in 2006) by promoting the aircraft’s benefits. Once people tried it, this became a non-issue,” said Porter’s Brad Cicero in an email to TPG. “Self-interested parties, whether manufacturers or other airlines, have tried to dismiss turboprops over the years,” he said. “One of our competitors initially did so as a transparent attempt to dissuade passengers from considering flying with us. It didn’t work and now this competitor happens to be one of the largest Q400 operators in the world.”'

As stated prior , Canadian airlines, Canadian manufacturer. Is one reason at the least
Porter is a bit of a special case. Their entire business model is predicated upon the convenience of YTZ vs. YYZ. And... jets aren't allowed at YTZ. Further, the Q400 is a Canadian-made product and the demographic which flies to/from YTZ is more likely to be aware of the jet's provenance. There is value in the Canadian market when your business actively supports Canadian manufacturing jobs -- akin to why a SEA-hubbed airline would paint "proudly all-Boeing" on its fleet.

One should also consider that it's not entirely clear PD is even a profitable enterprise.


That still doesn't explain why both Air Canada Express and Westjet Encore are big operators of the Q400 across Canada.
 
ScottB
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:44 am

multimark wrote:
ScottB wrote:
OccupiedLav wrote:
'“We took on an educational role in our start-up phase (in 2006) by promoting the aircraft’s benefits. Once people tried it, this became a non-issue,” said Porter’s Brad Cicero in an email to TPG. “Self-interested parties, whether manufacturers or other airlines, have tried to dismiss turboprops over the years,” he said. “One of our competitors initially did so as a transparent attempt to dissuade passengers from considering flying with us. It didn’t work and now this competitor happens to be one of the largest Q400 operators in the world.”'


Porter is a bit of a special case. Their entire business model is predicated upon the convenience of YTZ vs. YYZ. And... jets aren't allowed at YTZ. Further, the Q400 is a Canadian-made product and the demographic which flies to/from YTZ is more likely to be aware of the jet's provenance. There is value in the Canadian market when your business actively supports Canadian manufacturing jobs -- akin to why a SEA-hubbed airline would paint "proudly all-Boeing" on its fleet.

One should also consider that it's not entirely clear PD is even a profitable enterprise.


That still doesn't explain why both Air Canada Express and Westjet Encore are big operators of the Q400 across Canada.


Permit me to requote myself:

ScottB wrote:
There is value in the Canadian market when your business actively supports Canadian manufacturing jobs -- akin to why a SEA-hubbed airline would paint "proudly all-Boeing" on its fleet.


Also, there's just generally less choice in the Canadian market.
 
airbazar
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:45 am

I made the mistake of flying with WS Encore once and never again. Not necessarily because I don't like turboprops but because of its unreliability in bad weather. The route was BOS-YYZ-BOS in February. Both of my flights were severely delayed because of weather and in both occasions my luggage was left behind due to weight balance issues. I will never fly on a turboprop again if I can avoid it.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:59 am

I know it’s a relatively new technology with a shaky (literally) record, but I wonder if commercial tilt rotors would ever be viable. You don’t need runways, faster cruise speeds than helicopters, and potentially large payload. Just a thought. Commercial air service from the Costco parking lot.
Jumped out of: C130H, C130J, C17A, C212, CH47, and UH60. Bucket list: C160, A400, C2
 
OccupiedLav
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:15 pm

N649DL wrote:
IIRC, the turboprops made a bit of a renaissance in the late 2000s when jet fuel was spiking, at least with Continental Express. Then the Colgan (COEX) crash happened and killed everyone onboard in 2009 and were quickly phased out again.


It's a shame that a crash which was 99% pilot error (pulling back on the control column when stick shaker goes off) leads to the demise of an aircraft type.
 
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par13del
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:28 pm

DarthLobster wrote:
par13del wrote:
DarthLobster wrote:

I don’t know of any pilots that started off learning in jets.

Exactly, so the technology that is used to train pilots is not good enough for pax?
Does make you wonder why only the military uses jet trainers, if it is an industry thing.


And how many military pilots, who already have significant time in jets, go into the regionals after their service is complete? They don't, they go mainline.

And the topic is US pilots, NOT international. US pilots who operate regional aircraft tend to have a non-military training background, and thus almost certainly started in a Cessna or Piper.

Who's talking about international pilots?
The reason why this topic keeps coming up every now and then is because the USA is not using enough turbo props, after all, at present time, where is the largest commercial market for pax?
So as stated, most pilots in the USA start learning to fly on props, so if that technology is good enough to train pilots why is it not good enough for pax? That's the question.
 
Dominion301
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:16 pm

multimark wrote:
ScottB wrote:
OccupiedLav wrote:
'“We took on an educational role in our start-up phase (in 2006) by promoting the aircraft’s benefits. Once people tried it, this became a non-issue,” said Porter’s Brad Cicero in an email to TPG. “Self-interested parties, whether manufacturers or other airlines, have tried to dismiss turboprops over the years,” he said. “One of our competitors initially did so as a transparent attempt to dissuade passengers from considering flying with us. It didn’t work and now this competitor happens to be one of the largest Q400 operators in the world.”'


Porter is a bit of a special case. Their entire business model is predicated upon the convenience of YTZ vs. YYZ. And... jets aren't allowed at YTZ. Further, the Q400 is a Canadian-made product and the demographic which flies to/from YTZ is more likely to be aware of the jet's provenance. There is value in the Canadian market when your business actively supports Canadian manufacturing jobs -- akin to why a SEA-hubbed airline would paint "proudly all-Boeing" on its fleet.

One should also consider that it's not entirely clear PD is even a profitable enterprise.


That still doesn't explain why both Air Canada Express and Westjet Encore are big operators of the Q400 across Canada.


Given that around 1/2 the world's operational turboprops are Canadian built contributes a lot to not having a stigma around them. Another thing is the stellar safety record of props in Canada. Compared to other parts of the world crashes have been rare, and the last > 9 seater turboprop crash in Canada, the West Wind Aviation ATR in northern Saskatchewan had nothing to do with the aircraft being a turboprop and everything to do with the failure of the crew to properly deice the aircraft. Could have happened to any aircraft type.
 
ScottB
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:25 pm

OccupiedLav wrote:
It's a shame that a crash which was 99% pilot error (pulling back on the control column when stick shaker goes off) leads to the demise of an aircraft type.


The Q400s would have been done at UA post-merger anyway. A quirk in the scope agreement at CO (I assume, dating back to the ATR-72 at CoEx) allowed for larger turboprops at Continental Express even though jets larger than 50 seats couldn't be flown by a regional outsourcer. That prohibition went away with the merger so there was no need to fly Q400s anymore. CO didn't choose the Q400 for efficiency; they chose it to get around scope.
 
N649DL
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:31 pm

ScottB wrote:
OccupiedLav wrote:
It's a shame that a crash which was 99% pilot error (pulling back on the control column when stick shaker goes off) leads to the demise of an aircraft type.


The Q400s would have been done at UA post-merger anyway. A quirk in the scope agreement at CO (I assume, dating back to the ATR-72 at CoEx) allowed for larger turboprops at Continental Express even though jets larger than 50 seats couldn't be flown by a regional outsourcer. That prohibition went away with the merger so there was no need to fly Q400s anymore. CO didn't choose the Q400 for efficiency; they chose it to get around scope.


Are you sure? I definitely recall CO subbing out ERJs for Q400s in 2008 when oil prices were at an all-time high.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:58 pm

Mboyle1988 wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
Partially it is speed. If flying, why not save time? The other is fear of propellers. I know numerous people, not a majority, but enough, who dislike turboprops enough they will drive instead of flying.

Another aspect is the slow time in airports now. In the US, routes below 250nm are rare now. Between all the added delays, the fraction of short haul flying (<250nm) has plummeted. That is where turboprops thrive.
...

What turboprop market there is will be met by 9 seaters that do not require the hours.

Lightsaber


A great real example is Horizon Air, the Alaska regional, flying from SEA to Spokane, WA. $84 ea way 1 hr 5 min on Q400 for 284 mile by driving distance, expected by google to take 4.5 hours.

To fly I drive 1h10 min to airport, 20 min to park car, 1.5 hours at airport. Fly 1h5. At Spokane 1 hr in arrival and car rental. 1 hour drive to actual site. 6h10 min to get to destination.

To Drive 5h8 from home to Spokane Airport 329 miles, still 1 hour to site for same travel time. No plane fare, no $30/day parking at SEA, no car rental. Same time. I can pick the time I leave to match the appointment, possibly drive the night before and stay near the destination. Flying would need to save me at least 2 hours before I would consider it.


Interesting...for me:

1. I live 20 minutes from airport
2. Parking the car takes 5 minutes because I park in central parking
3. I would never get to the airport more than an hour in advance and typically get there 45 minutes in advance.
4. It has never taken me more than 30 minutes to get from my gate to my rental car, and that's at airports that have remote rental car stands. I don't check bags.

So you spend 3 hours and 40 minutes on tasks that in my situation would take 1 hour 40 minutes.

Personally, I won't drive more than 2 hours voluntarily as it is incredibly dangerous.


Where do you live that you can substitute a flight for a 2 hour drive? And, you do know driving is not incredibly dangerous, in fact, safer than ever.

At my local airport showing up less than an hour from departure is courting not going—between TSA waits, remote parking, bag claim (I refuse to drag bags on a connection and fuss getting overhead bin space) and assorted other delays.

GF
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:12 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Mboyle1988 wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:

A great real example is Horizon Air, the Alaska regional, flying from SEA to Spokane, WA. $84 ea way 1 hr 5 min on Q400 for 284 mile by driving distance, expected by google to take 4.5 hours.

To fly I drive 1h10 min to airport, 20 min to park car, 1.5 hours at airport. Fly 1h5. At Spokane 1 hr in arrival and car rental. 1 hour drive to actual site. 6h10 min to get to destination.

To Drive 5h8 from home to Spokane Airport 329 miles, still 1 hour to site for same travel time. No plane fare, no $30/day parking at SEA, no car rental. Same time. I can pick the time I leave to match the appointment, possibly drive the night before and stay near the destination. Flying would need to save me at least 2 hours before I would consider it.


Interesting...for me:

1. I live 20 minutes from airport
2. Parking the car takes 5 minutes because I park in central parking
3. I would never get to the airport more than an hour in advance and typically get there 45 minutes in advance.
4. It has never taken me more than 30 minutes to get from my gate to my rental car, and that's at airports that have remote rental car stands. I don't check bags.

So you spend 3 hours and 40 minutes on tasks that in my situation would take 1 hour 40 minutes.

Personally, I won't drive more than 2 hours voluntarily as it is incredibly dangerous.


Where do you live that you can substitute a flight for a 2 hour drive? And, you do know driving is not incredibly dangerous, in fact, safer than ever.

At my local airport showing up less than an hour from departure is courting not going—between TSA waits, remote parking, bag claim (I refuse to drag bags on a connection and fuss getting overhead bin space) and assorted other delays.

GF


If I am flying out of Burbank I will allow for an hour to cover a mess at TSA, getting off the plane there to the rental car is like 20 min.

But the freeways around Seattle and the incredible delays that occur at SEA at times it gets quite dicey at about the 75 minute from walking into the terminal. I have missed flights before that tight. Alaska also will close the door early if everyone is on board.
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:01 pm

N649DL wrote:
ScottB wrote:
OccupiedLav wrote:
It's a shame that a crash which was 99% pilot error (pulling back on the control column when stick shaker goes off) leads to the demise of an aircraft type.


The Q400s would have been done at UA post-merger anyway. A quirk in the scope agreement at CO (I assume, dating back to the ATR-72 at CoEx) allowed for larger turboprops at Continental Express even though jets larger than 50 seats couldn't be flown by a regional outsourcer. That prohibition went away with the merger so there was no need to fly Q400s anymore. CO didn't choose the Q400 for efficiency; they chose it to get around scope.


Are you sure? I definitely recall CO subbing out ERJs for Q400s in 2008 when oil prices were at an all-time high.


Yes, ScottB is correct. The Q400 was introduced because Continental could not operate large RJs pre-merger. Lower fuel burn was just a bonus. To your point, of course they were replacing ERJ on certain routes as the ERJ was the largest regional aircraft in the COex fleet at the time. What you saw was upguaging.

Just to add a bit more to what ScottB said, the Q400 wasn't retired immediately post-merger. As noted up thread, they seemed to spend a lot of time in Denver towards the end. United initially kept them around in the hope that they could convince the pilots to exempt props from the the restrictions on large RJs in the scope clause of the combined pilot contract. ALPA weren't budging on that, and the Q400 (and indeed ATR-72) counts as a large RJ for United's scope. They were parked shortly after so that they could take delivery of more E175s.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
N649DL
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:44 pm

RyanairGuru wrote:
N649DL wrote:
ScottB wrote:

The Q400s would have been done at UA post-merger anyway. A quirk in the scope agreement at CO (I assume, dating back to the ATR-72 at CoEx) allowed for larger turboprops at Continental Express even though jets larger than 50 seats couldn't be flown by a regional outsourcer. That prohibition went away with the merger so there was no need to fly Q400s anymore. CO didn't choose the Q400 for efficiency; they chose it to get around scope.


Are you sure? I definitely recall CO subbing out ERJs for Q400s in 2008 when oil prices were at an all-time high.


Yes, ScottB is correct. The Q400 was introduced because Continental could not operate large RJs pre-merger. Lower fuel burn was just a bonus. To your point, of course they were replacing ERJ on certain routes as the ERJ was the largest regional aircraft in the COex fleet at the time. What you saw was upguaging.

Just to add a bit more to what ScottB said, the Q400 wasn't retired immediately post-merger. As noted up thread, they seemed to spend a lot of time in Denver towards the end. United initially kept them around in the hope that they could convince the pilots to exempt props from the the restrictions on large RJs in the scope clause of the combined pilot contract. ALPA weren't budging on that, and the Q400 (and indeed ATR-72) counts as a large RJ for United's scope. They were parked shortly after so that they could take delivery of more E175s.


That's true, I forgot they were also larger and COEX couldn't get past scope to get to the E170. Also didn't UA add first class seats on the Q400 in the rear of the aircraft as well before completely getting rid of them?
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:45 am

DocLightning wrote:
ScottB wrote:
The slower speed of turboprops makes them relatively unsuitable for all but the shortest routes, and those flights have become far less common as roads have been improved/expanded, speed limits have been raised, and air travel has been made more inconvenient by increased security theater at the airport.


Not only that, but in the United States, the population tends to be concentrated in the vicinity of urban centers on the large scale, while on the small scale, the population is spread out more (most stand-alone houses have yards that surround them). By contrast, in Europe, small and medium-sized towns are scattered all over the land, but within those towns, people live very close to each-other. This means that a greater proportion of Americans have cars and that the radius served by a major airport in the US might be quite a bit larger than in Europe.

But turboprops still get used here. I flew one BZN-SEA, for example. I flew one PDX-SFO. And the ASE-DEN route is mostly Q400s.


The doc nailed it, or at least the idea is correct.
It is not the slower speed, the noise, the more cramped cabin, the big scary prop, the past crashes, but how travel patterns are.

The rural flight or rural exodus is concentrating more and more people in and around cities.
People who need to fly a lot will also see distance to a major airport as a major consideration when relocating. Often this consideration is made by the companies and people choose to live close to their workplace.

However! This does not by any means indicate that there is no demand, because there is certainly demand.
This demand is just unmet, because airlines tend to focus on major markets which may be less cyclical or offer higher yields, or may have a perceived higher potential.

I think that there is room in the US for thousands of turboprops, from 19 to 80 seats. It just doesn't have that sexy factor that attracts people to invest in such a venture.
You also have the EAS program that is often abused by airlines operating RJ's, when the same mission can be done by a turboprop without subsidies.

So my conclusion is that it's not that there isn't demand. There just isn't much offer.



I would also like to add another aspect. While flying around in the US on my private pilot license, I was astonished about how popular and developped general aviation was. It is probably a chicken or egg discussion, but considering that there are GA airports about every 10 miles, each with dozens to hundreds of based aircraft ranging from homebuilts to Gulfstreams, Americans have it all figured out already when it's about moving around.
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:36 am

I would also like to add another aspect. While flying around in the US on my private pilot license, I was astonished about how popular and developped general aviation was. It is probably a chicken or egg discussion, but considering that there are GA airports about every 10 miles, each with dozens to hundreds of based aircraft ranging from homebuilts to Gulfstreams, Americans have it all figured out already when it's about moving around.
When you consider that avgas costs almost the same as gas for cars with many aircraft having the autofuel/mogas STC, that your average car in the US has awful MPG and many highways are limited to 60mph, that many FBO's offer a free courtesy/rental car, airplane ownership starts making a lot of sense if you live ot need to be in a rural area very often.
The 200.000 (1 every 1500 inhabitants) US registered general aviation aircraft attest to this.

I live in a city in Northern Europe and travel to the Mediterranean as I'm setting up a branch for my small business in a rural area there. The great circle distance is just 650nm/1200km.
Having my own private license, I would love to have the option to hop on a Cessna 182 and fly there in the morning and back the next day. But with avgas at 10 to 12 USD a gallon, crazy high charges for annuals, parking, landing charges, etc... It makes more sense to travel commercially, even if less often and it takes the entire day to get there, combining train rides, highway busses on both ends.
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:25 am

N649DL wrote:
RyanairGuru wrote:
N649DL wrote:

Are you sure? I definitely recall CO subbing out ERJs for Q400s in 2008 when oil prices were at an all-time high.


Yes, ScottB is correct. The Q400 was introduced because Continental could not operate large RJs pre-merger. Lower fuel burn was just a bonus. To your point, of course they were replacing ERJ on certain routes as the ERJ was the largest regional aircraft in the COex fleet at the time. What you saw was upguaging.

Just to add a bit more to what ScottB said, the Q400 wasn't retired immediately post-merger. As noted up thread, they seemed to spend a lot of time in Denver towards the end. United initially kept them around in the hope that they could convince the pilots to exempt props from the the restrictions on large RJs in the scope clause of the combined pilot contract. ALPA weren't budging on that, and the Q400 (and indeed ATR-72) counts as a large RJ for United's scope. They were parked shortly after so that they could take delivery of more E175s.


That's true, I forgot they were also larger and COEX couldn't get past scope to get to the E170. Also didn't UA add first class seats on the Q400 in the rear of the aircraft as well before completely getting rid of them?


United did indeed add first class post-merger. I'd forgotten that! But first was at the front of the cabin, not the rear.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
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par13del
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:32 am

Waterbomber2 wrote:
I live in a city in Northern Europe and travel to the Mediterranean as I'm setting up a branch for my small business in a rural area there. The great circle distance is just 650nm/1200km.
Having my own private license, I would love to have the option to hop on a Cessna 182 and fly there in the morning and back the next day. But with avgas at 10 to 12 USD a gallon, crazy high charges for annuals, parking, landing charges, etc... It makes more sense to travel commercially, even if less often and it takes the entire day to get there, combining train rides, highway busses on both ends.

Which in a number of countries is what the government requires to ensure that their investment in rail or road infrastructure for example pay's off or is less painful to the tax payers. In our tax class society, the rich have to pay their fair share of tax so why make it cheaper for them to avoid public transportation. Climate change and all the carbon / emission trading schemes are now a bonus, expect to see a greater push in the US against GA. The majors are already omboard with having them pay more taxes for FAA services etc.
 
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usdcaguy
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:43 am

smokeybandit wrote:
Most people have no clue what plane they are flying on


The only time I hear this is when they say, “...and they put us on this small little plane. We had to go out to the tarmac and walk up the stairs. When we got inside, it was really hot and the seats were really narrow. Then the whole thing shook as we rolled toward the runway.”

Knowing which aircraft you’re on and knowing whether you’re in an unfavorable position are mutually exclusive. If the service you provide does not make people feel good, it does not make them feel good.

I will also add that the majors screwed up in the nineties and early 2000’s by flying props in certain markets instead of the jets they once flew. It never saved them from bankruptcy, and WN reaped the benefits as many people decided to stick with a carrier who only flew “big planes”.
 
rouelan
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:47 am

There are not many places in the world where turboprops are popular. Because of reduced range, they compete with ground transport (car, bus, rail ). It is only when this transport is not efficient that turbos have a chance : interisland, over jungle, countries with poor road infrastructure....
 
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fallap
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:12 am

CPHFF wrote:
This subject pops up about once a year. There are numerous post on A-net. Use the search function. It works 75% of the time


I guess this instance is part of the remaining 25 pct. then
Ex grease monkey buried head to toe inside an F-16M
Now studying Political Science
 
Redd
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:37 am

OccupiedLav wrote:
ScottB wrote:
The economics, even with lower fuel burn, just don't work in today's market. There's a shortage of people with an ATP who are willing to work for low pay in the regional space. Pay more and the economics don't work. And higher crew productivity on regional jets, thanks to the greater speed, can tip the economics back in favor of the jets in spite of the increased fuel burn. The real issue with 50-seat jets isn't the non-labor cost of operating the aircraft; it is that the low wages needed to make 50-seat flying more widely viable don't attract enough workers to the jobs.


This is a good point. I was wondering how airlines would persuade pilots to fly turboprops. Correct me if I'm wrong but not gaining jet time could be a major issue with the pilots flying turboprops.


AS far as I know, turbine-multi or turbine time is just that. I don't think it matters whether your turbine has a prop attached to it.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:43 am

rouelan wrote:
There are not many places in the world where turboprops are popular. Because of reduced range, they compete with ground transport (car, bus, rail ). It is only when this transport is not efficient that turbos have a chance : interisland, over jungle, countries with poor road infrastructure....

You forgot to say "In your opinion...".
Semantics? Not really - you have presented it as fact, and that's disingenuous :roll:

Here's my own opinion (backed up by some reality)
There are plenty of places in the world where turboprops are popular. [basically everywhere except the US) :roll:
Because of reduced range, With excellent short range capability, they compete with ground transport (car, bus, rail ).
They are particularly advantageous when this transport is not efficient : interisland, over jungle, countries with poor road infrastructure, countries with slow or non-existent rail infrastructure, over mountain ranges, between two strips of (contiguous) land separated by a body of water, etc, etc, etc
But even where there are half decent ground transport alternatives, a 2-hour flight in a "slow" aircraft makes a business meeting possible where an 8-hour drive doesn't.

Quite which category the UK comes under I wouldn't know.

Yes, it's an island, and there are interisland services (Scottish islands, Channel Islands, IOM, Eire & NI)
And then there is the small matter of getting across to the European mainland. :o
There is a [premium] train service thru' a tunnel, and a number of ferries. But that isn't much help if you want to get to Denmark, or Spain, or.....most of Europe.

I fully accept that Ryanair performs an excellent service in this respect with an all-jet fleet, but here are some of the others ...



Oh look, spinny things. :cloudnine:
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
rouelan
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:28 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
You forgot to say "In your opinion...".
Semantics? Not really - you have presented it as fact, and that's disingenuous :roll:



Facts: 10 years ago, around Europe, turboprop hours represented 13% of flight hours; now it is 6%, mainly confined to inter island services or fjord crossing + Flybe (how many years of losses ???)
Many carriers phased out their turbos (by the way, the picture of ATR in AF livery is bound for the museum as ATR are going to leave).
2 hours on a turbo flight is not a treat. I should have said that turboprops are structurally confined to a niche between ground transportation and jets (which is what customers prefer) depending on distance.
On shorter flights, I agree that it can appeal to business travellers (flybe USP : "faster than road or rail") but then what do you do with your aircraft mid day ? It cant reach leisure destinations + issues with bags.
 
airlineworker
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:44 pm

It all comes down to do small towns need air service and do they offer airlines a profitable passenger load to sustain the service? To me its a waste of crews and equipment to fly 3-12 or so passengers when those resources can be put to better use moving more people. The EAS program is a waste of funds, when one knowingly moves to a rural area, they cannot expect the same services that larger cities offer. Airline service is not a right, but we live in a world where some have an entitlement mentality and politicians looking for votes support such a wasteful program.
 
slider
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:10 pm

OccupiedLav wrote:
N649DL wrote:
IIRC, the turboprops made a bit of a renaissance in the late 2000s when jet fuel was spiking, at least with Continental Express. Then the Colgan (COEX) crash happened and killed everyone onboard in 2009 and were quickly phased out again.


It's a shame that a crash which was 99% pilot error (pulling back on the control column when stick shaker goes off) leads to the demise of an aircraft type.


Actually, Bombardier bears some responsibility here too. They were focused on the C Series that they failed to do upgrades and packages for the Q to improve reliability. Shame, because the Q was a decent airplane, and hella fast. Had good mission applications, but Bombardier screwed themselves on this one. CO3407 was incidental to that.
 
slider
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:13 pm

ScottB wrote:
OccupiedLav wrote:
It's a shame that a crash which was 99% pilot error (pulling back on the control column when stick shaker goes off) leads to the demise of an aircraft type.


The Q400s would have been done at UA post-merger anyway. A quirk in the scope agreement at CO (I assume, dating back to the ATR-72 at CoEx) allowed for larger turboprops at Continental Express even though jets larger than 50 seats couldn't be flown by a regional outsourcer. That prohibition went away with the merger so there was no need to fly Q400s anymore. CO didn't choose the Q400 for efficiency; they chose it to get around scope.


Scope avoidance was part of it, but they also wanted to exploit the crosswind runway 11/29, to maximize slot usage. The Q400 was a rocket--could've taken off and been cleared out unlike an RJ. Alas, FAA and ATC never really embraced it. But CO at the time could have increased capacity, in essence, in EWR where the congestion--as we all know--is notoriously impactful to the operation.
 
rouelan
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:56 pm

talking of the devil, Oliver Wyman just sent this

https://www.planestats.com/bhsr_2019jun

(beware that costs reported for turbo are only for Horizon Q400)
 
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keesje
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:01 pm

Distances are bigger, you need some fleet flexibility / standardization. Bigger runways compared to e.g. places where ATR's are popular ( SW asia, S America).
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:26 pm

slider wrote:
OccupiedLav wrote:
N649DL wrote:
IIRC, the turboprops made a bit of a renaissance in the late 2000s when jet fuel was spiking, at least with Continental Express. Then the Colgan (COEX) crash happened and killed everyone onboard in 2009 and were quickly phased out again.


It's a shame that a crash which was 99% pilot error (pulling back on the control column when stick shaker goes off) leads to the demise of an aircraft type.


Actually, Bombardier bears some responsibility here too. They were focused on the C Series that they failed to do upgrades and packages for the Q to improve reliability. Shame, because the Q was a decent airplane, and hella fast. Had good mission applications, but Bombardier screwed themselves on this one. CO3407 was incidental to that.


I so wish BBD had invested more in the Q400 to do the upgrades and pips it needed. Around 2007 for a number of years there seemed to be a lot of landing gear incidents which hurt new orders at a key time. If the upgrades had happened there would be several hundred still in backlog.

The prop market is pretty small these days, ATR delivered a total of 76 planes in 2018, 1/8th Airbus's A320 production. When modern scope compliant RJ's appear it will clip into the market even more, lower operating cost of a 70 pax RJ compared to the older will make a lot of turboprop routes RJ's
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:11 pm

rouelan wrote:
talking of the devil, Oliver Wyman just sent this

https://www.planestats.com/bhsr_2019jun

(beware that costs reported for turbo are only for Horizon Q400)

It's a joke isn't it?
Those tables are so full of errors it gives Excel a headache.

Out of 28 entries, the fuel costs are either $1-$5 (per millisecond?), or the average of $1279 - $1346 (per hr). Do you smell mackerel?
I guess most airlines didn't want to provide actual fuel data, meaning 26 out of 28 entries are screwed before we start.

Endeavor Air's crew costs for a CRJ700 are "$100" per block hour, but $629 for the smaller CRJ200 :crazy:
Everyone else is within a sensible range ($300-$450), except JetBlue coming in at $923. No way!

Maintenance for Horizon ERJ175 is a paltry $35 per block hour, compared to ten times that amount ($300-$450) for most types & airlines, and a whopping $931 for a JetBlue ERJ190
Yes, the single entry for the Dash8 tops that at $1,004, which might be reasonable but I don't have any confidence in the numbers.

The above are just a fraction of the questionable data entries.
There is barely a single category where the figures make any sense.
Who are they employing as statisticians?
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
commpilot
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:16 pm

United787 wrote:
I would put a lot of it on AA 4184, the 25th anniversary which is coming up in two days on Halloween. I remember the night clearly because I was living in Champaign, IL at the time and we tried trick or treating in the same storm, it was a horrible night.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_ ... light_4184

The airlines reaction to the crash, particularly AA, sending their ATRs to Puerto Rico and Miami etc, only reinforced the idea that the turboprops were unsafe. At that moment, I think it was embedded into the minds of Americans that Turboprops were unsafe, deserved or not.

Also, the CRJ-200 had just been introduced two years earlier and the ERJ-145 first flight was less than a year later. So the RJ boom began. Again, I remember the airlines touting their new regional jets as an 'upgrade' to the turboprops. One airline, I can't remember which, I think would advertise "all jet service" or something similar. The airlines were basically saying: "we know you don't want to fly on those inferior unsafe turboprops, so we are only using jets at ORD"...

I doubt speed has much to do with it. For most turboprop distances, the extra time is not the much. I just flew Porter YTZ-MDW and the flight was comfortable and didn't feel any longer than the UA 737 I had taken ORD-YYZ I had taken two days earlier.


Roselawn and Comair Flight 3272 (EMB-120 into DTW) were the public media killers of turboprops in US airline service. The Air Midwest 1900D at CLT was a MX and W&B double oops that happened way after the two.
 
N649DL
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:31 pm

slider wrote:
ScottB wrote:
OccupiedLav wrote:
It's a shame that a crash which was 99% pilot error (pulling back on the control column when stick shaker goes off) leads to the demise of an aircraft type.


The Q400s would have been done at UA post-merger anyway. A quirk in the scope agreement at CO (I assume, dating back to the ATR-72 at CoEx) allowed for larger turboprops at Continental Express even though jets larger than 50 seats couldn't be flown by a regional outsourcer. That prohibition went away with the merger so there was no need to fly Q400s anymore. CO didn't choose the Q400 for efficiency; they chose it to get around scope.


Scope avoidance was part of it, but they also wanted to exploit the crosswind runway 11/29, to maximize slot usage. The Q400 was a rocket--could've taken off and been cleared out unlike an RJ. Alas, FAA and ATC never really embraced it. But CO at the time could have increased capacity, in essence, in EWR where the congestion--as we all know--is notoriously impactful to the operation.


Wow, I had no idea it cruised at 414 MPH (had to look that up.) Also it was fairly quiet as well. It was being used on longer operations like EWR-MYR as late as 2011. Porter still seems to love them though. The Flight #3407 crash was tragic as it could've been saved had the pilots had been more experienced and not as fatigued.

The American Eagle crash of 4184 made it that the ATRs were effectively safer for use out of warmer climates. By rushing them down MIA, SJU (and IIRC, DFW as well) saved the reputation of the type at AA for many years after the crash. What's even crazier about flight 4184? It was literally a brand new ATR that crashed and killed everyone onboard.
 
rouelan
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:43 am

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
There is barely a single category where the figures make any sense.
Who are they employing as statisticians?


I must admit you have got a point ;)
 
Subwayfan1998
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:28 am

Because it is Slower and Deadly, We don't need Turboprops.
 
rouelan
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:38 am

Subwayfan1998 wrote:
Because it is Slower and Deadly, We don't need Turboprops.


You forgot Noisy
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:44 pm

rouelan wrote:
Subwayfan1998 wrote:
Because it is Slower and Deadly, We don't need Turboprops.
You forgot Noisy

And old, and smelly, and uncomfortable, and probably flown by washed-up old drunks or trainee jet pilots with less than 200 hrs. {/sarcasm off }

Back in 2002 a similar thread here on a.net came to an entirely different conclusion, mainly due to contributions from posters who had actual experience of turboprops having flown them regularly, some as pilots, some as passengers.
I value their opinions somewhat more than the majority of those here today who have either never flown on a turboprop, or at best "tried it once and didn't like it"(™).

viewtopic.php?t=155007
As a regular passenger of turboprops (F50, Saab 340/2000, Q-400) I feel perfectly safe while flying with them. Actually I feel even more comfortable with turboprop than with jet as I know that turboprop can safely land on every open field...

The first time I flew on a turboprop, a Fokker 50, it surprised me how similar it was to flying on a jet.

I flew a Saab 340 for about 20 months and have nothing but respect for it. Its very safe and reliable,

The whole turboprops are less safe then jets complaint just proves one thing.
The traveling public are idiots

and this one that says it all, remember this was 2002!
Since a perceived truth is much more powerful than an actual truth, the airlines are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on RJ's to keep the flying public happy. It would be more cost effective to enlighten the flying public than to placate them.
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
airbazar
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:06 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
rouelan wrote:
There are not many places in the world where turboprops are popular. Because of reduced range, they compete with ground transport (car, bus, rail ). It is only when this transport is not efficient that turbos have a chance : interisland, over jungle, countries with poor road infrastructure....

You forgot to say "In your opinion...".
Semantics? Not really - you have presented it as fact, and that's disingenuous :roll:

I think it's more fact than opinion. Care to count the number of turboprops operating for those airlines that you posted (BA, AF, AI, etc), compared to their respective jet fleets?
I think that's a pretty strong fact isn't it? You will be very hard pressed to find an airline around the world where turboprops outnumber jets, except as he pointed out in places where ground transport is not efficient.
And isn't it ironic that every single one of those images that you posted are in an island and quite possibly flying an inter-island route. The ones that have a caption are all flying inter-island routes. It doesn't get more factual than that :)
 
ScottB
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:47 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Back in 2002 a similar thread here on a.net came to an entirely different conclusion, mainly due to contributions from posters who had actual experience of turboprops having flown them regularly, some as pilots, some as passengers.
I value their opinions somewhat more than the majority of those here today who have either never flown on a turboprop, or at best "tried it once and didn't like it"(™).


Except you are collecting opinions from a website aimed at enthusiasts -- the type of people who will spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to be on the last AA MD-80 or DL DC-9 flight, or to be among the first paying passengers on a new aircraft type like A380 or 787. Those opinions are not representative of the traveling public at large, or more importantly high-value customers which one would be more likely to encounter on other sites aimed at that population.

The fact is that there are definite downsides to flying on props (turbo or otherwise) and I do speak from firsthand experience. I've been on Q400s and ATR-72s, as well as 6-seaters taking off from and landing on a beach. They are noisier inside than their RJ competitors, and the vibration (even on the Q400) is quite tiresome on a flight approaching two hours. In more challenging weather (strong winter winds in the U.S. Northeast or thunderstorms down south) they don't handle turbulence well and the bumpiness is nauseating.

Up until about 20 years ago, USAir/US Airways was absolutely dominant in the Northeast. PIT was the airline's crown jewel as they were able to connect dozens of small markets, largely with turboprops, with the rest of the U.S. And they were quite profitable. But once the late 1990s rolled around, competitors like DL, NW, and CO were able to access those markets with RJs which customers absolutely preferred. The traffic flows and (high) fare structures which supported the PIT hub collapsed -- and this was even before 9/11.

The story repeats itself at LGA. US was flying a bunch of turboprops in short-haul markets from LGA because they didn't have the fleet and/or financial wherewithal to leverage their leading portfolio of assets and gates into market leadership. And they were losing tens of millions of dollars a year at LGA. DL came in with the slot swap and leveraged those assets into strong market leadership at LGA by flying RJs (and now small mainline aircraft) to places New Yorkers actually wanted to go. Not 25x daily to PHL and not to ITH/ALB/BDL/PVD, and not on props.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:46 pm

airbazar wrote:
rouelan wrote:
There are not many places in the world where turboprops are popular. Because of reduced range, they compete with ground transport (car, bus, rail ). It is only when this transport is not efficient that turbos have a chance : interisland, over jungle, countries with poor road infrastructure....

I think it's more fact than opinion. Care to count the number of turboprops operating for those airlines that you posted (BA, AF, AI, etc), compared to their respective jet fleets?
I think that's a pretty strong fact isn't it? You will be very hard pressed to find an airline around the world where turboprops outnumber jets, except as he pointed out in places where ground transport is not efficient.

My bad - I forgot that this site is populated by many for whom english is not their first language, and others who can see the same words written but interpret them differently. (And I'm not even saying my interpretation is correct either)
However, you appear to have selected the definition based on numbers. And indeed you are correct. But also by your interpretation Concorde was not very popular - there were only ever 14 of them in commercial service. Good luck selling the "fact" that Concorde wasn't very popular. :lol:

But before we get too bogged down, it wasn't even the word "popular" that I was challenging. The offending paragraph went on to say...
It is only when this transport (car, bus, rail) is not efficient that turbos have a chance
The clear implication is that pax will jump on a jet as an alternative to high speed rail, or miles of 6-lane highway, but that they would baulk at a turboprop. I query that.


And isn't it ironic that every single one of those images that you posted are in an island and quite possibly flying an inter-island route. The ones that have a caption are all flying inter-island routes. It doesn't get more factual than that.
Yes, my bad (again). On the one hand I am pleased you took the effort to examine the lovely photos, and on the other I am gutted that you caught me out. Good work. Especially concerning the Jetstream serving the remote welsh "island" of Anglesey :rotfl:

In reality at least three of the photos were of intra-island flights. But what of it anyway? Between the UK and Eire there are both a/c types available - mostly jets (737 & A320), plus some turboprops (ATR & Dash8). Turboprops can compete even on a level playing field, so what exactly is your point?

With only about one photo in 50 carrying any flight details, I struggled a bit to prove purely mainland turboprop flights even exist, but just for you....
Tarom, Bucharest-Budapest...…...CSA Czech, Strasbourg - Prague...………. LOT, Warsaw-Budapest.

SAS, Ronneby-Stockholm (¹)…………., Austrian, Innsbruck - Frankfurt...……….. Luxair, LUX-FRA


And lord knows what routing this one was on. :lol:


(¹) If you are a fan of trivia, you may well query if the SAS ATR72 was benefiting by flying a route across a difficult Swedish landscape.
Not so! Ronneby is very well connected to Stockholm via the E22 highway.
Actually, the E22 highway also connects Ronneby to Holyhead (on Holy Island, off the "island" of Anglesey mentioned earlier), also Manchester, Amsterdam, Lubeck, Riga, MKAD (Moscow's M25), Ekaterinburg and Tyumen (which I believe is somewhere in Asia) It's a miracle! :shhh:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_route_E22
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
rouelan
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:13 am

I would agree that perception is (partly) unfair. But you have to listen to your customers who dont like turbos and also to the communities that pay for EAS / PSO.
I say partly because I have been flying for years a route that was jet, then turbo and now jet again.
To start with, it takes 20 mns more with turbo on this 1 hour flight.
Then, there were serious issues in terms of delays and cancellations. It may be that it was due to maintenance and not due to the aircraft itself, but as a consequence, I just decided to take the train instead, taking more time, spending more money than for my ID tickets.
Now I have resumed flying since the jet is back.
Safety has never been a concern for me but, thinking twice, proportion of fatal accidents involving turbos has been high here in France (including overseas) : Proteus on Lyon-Lorient, Air Moorea and Air Guadeloupe in St Barts.
 
Sokes
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:03 pm

WeatherPilot wrote:

I think the Colgan Air 3407 crash outside Buffalo is what sealed the fate of the turboprop in the US. After that crash people’s perceptions of turboprops changed. The crash had nothing to do with it being a prop plane but it did hurt the image of them with people that don’t know any better.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colgan_Air_Flight_3407
"After the captain reacted inappropriately to the stick shaker stall warning, the stick pusher activated. As designed, it pushed the nose down when it sensed a stall was imminent, but the captain again reacted improperly and overrode that additional safety device by pulling back again on the control column, causing the plane to stall and crash.[55]...
On May 11, 2009, information was released about Captain Renslow's training record. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, before joining Colgan he had failed three "check rides", including some at Gulfstream International's training program, and "people close to the investigation" suggested that he might not have been adequately trained to respond to the emergency that led to the airplane's fatal descent.[57] Investigators examined possible crew fatigue. The captain appeared to have been at Newark airport overnight, prior to the day of the 9:18 pm departure of the accident flight. The first officer commuted from Seattle to Newark on an overnight flight.[3][58] These findings during the investigation led the FAA to issue a "Call to Action" for improvements in the practices of regional carriers.[59]

Another press report said that the pilot had failed five prior tests, and also alleged "flirtatious" conversation in the cockpit between the pilot and the much-younger First Officer.[60]
...
The official transcript of the crew's communication... were made available to the public on May 12, 2009. Some of the crew's communication violated federal rules banning nonessential conversation.[62]

On June 3, 2009, The New York Times published an article detailing complaints about Colgan's operations from an FAA inspector who observed test flights in January 2008.[63] As in a previous FAA incident handling other inspectors' complaints, the Colgan inspector's complaints were deferred and the inspector was demoted.[63] The incident is under investigation by the Office of Special Counsel, the agency responsible for U.S. Government federal whistle-blower complaints. On August 5, 2009 the OSC released a report stating that the inspector's removal from the Colgan inspection team was proper.[64]"

One could argue that the accident is unrelated to the plane being a turboprop. On the other side it's hard to believe that such situations don't happen in jets.
Do turboprops need better pilots?

Why would the FAA demote an inspector who complains? Isn't that his job?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
Sokes
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:11 pm

Pinto wrote:
A major part is that they aren't flexible. A CRJ, whilennot as effective, can do most Turboprop jobs better. The UA CRJ family can cover routes from 50-76 people up to 1300 miles. This all can be done without much extra cost. However by adding the Dash 8 then you have to factor in the cost of a new fleet type and planning routes where they could be effective. It just doesnt have the bang for the buck to be effective st the scale needed by US carries.



iberiadc852 wrote:
Much less density than EU, for example --> more routes where distance/flight duration overcome turboprop economics.



cougar15 wrote:
peterinlisbon wrote:
Where I have seen turboprops have a lot of success is in countries where the distances are short but the roads are bad. For example, Costa Rica is a small country but it is very mountainous and it can take 8 hours to go 200km. So the turboprops flying to small airstrips can offer an alternative to those that can afford it. Obviously in the US, you could just drive 200km in an hour and a half so it's no contest. Another place where turboprops are popular is for services between small islands.


… and in countries where the environmental impact/green footprint has much higher value than the good old US of A, but I guess that road would lead us to the Non-Av Forum! Enviromentaly friendly Europeans don't mind turboprops on short sectors!


Is this so? We Germans like to separate our garbage and drive SUVs. How many turboprops with major European carriers?


rouelan wrote:
On shorter flights, I agree that it can appeal to business travellers (flybe USP : "faster than road or rail") but then what do you do with your aircraft mid day ? It cant reach leisure destinations + issues with bags.


"The DHC-8 has been involved in 80 aviation accidents and incidents including 31 hull losses.[53] Those resulted in 180 fatalities.[54]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havill ... _incidents

I think it's self explaining that a plane with much less wing loading is at risk for a bumpy landing if there are sudden winds. One should assume that the most experienced pilots fly the props, but I believe it's the other way round.
Considering that there are more than 1200 Dash 8 delivered and that they make a lot of short "hops" with less experienced pilots, one can argue if this rate is still acceptable or not.

The question is if it can be improved. In another topic I asked if flaperons on turboprops could compensate for turbulence. It was said that would be too expensive. I guess a turboprop wing is a bit too simple for it's wing loading. Here an ATR:

Image

It's not fair to compare comfort of a jet which takes oxygen along the way with a turboprop that doesn't. A Q400 could take oxygen with it and climb higher, but usually they don't. Congested seating is also not inherent in turboprops. But I guess speed should be on the higher side to reduce wing loading and achieve fast climbing.
I believe to remember that turboprops are very inefficient when the engine runs at low load/ during descend. Could one "glide" and restart just before landing?

Maybe it's better to reduce the speed of jets than to increase the speed of props?
What would be the fuel consumption of a jet designed for 750 km/ h in cruise?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
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SheikhDjibouti
Posts: 1929
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Re: Why are turboprops so unpopular in the US?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:20 pm

Sokes wrote:
Maybe it's better to reduce the speed of jets than to increase the speed of props?
What would be the fuel consumption of a jet designed for 750 km/ h in cruise?

Bingo - we have a winner! (sort of...)

Something I found in Wikipedia, at least two years ago, was an unusual presentation of the fuel burn data for the HS146/Avro RJ.
Wikipedia gives two alternative numbers, one for high speed cruise, and the other for a slower cruise.
One should add that in the case of the Avro RJ, high speed cruise (Mach 0.74) is already somewhat slower than a typical 737 or A320.
And following that basis, the lower speed alternative quoted in wiki is pretty much where the fastest turboprop (Q400) comes along.
Wikipedia wrote:
BAe RJ85
At 423kn : 2,483 kg (5,474 lb)/h
At 361kn : 1,672 kg (3,686 lb)/h

So.... for a 15% reduction in speed, you get a 33% reduction in fuel consumption. :bigthumbsup:

Unfortunately - for as long as aviation fuel remains subsidised, airlines will not see any real gains because of the additional costs of an aircraft performing 15% fewer sector-miles per day.
Ordering your pilots to fly to a slower schedule whilst still paying all the crew at full rate is financial suicide, unless legislation is brought in to make every airline do the same. What is needed is a level playing field.
Could this happen?
Fun fact; I once caught a speeding ticket for going faster than a "temporary speed limit", introduced precisely to save fuel, back during the 1973 oil crisis.
But my offence occurred in 2012 - 39 years later.. Temporary my ar$e! :banghead:

The level playing field is already tilted in favor of aircraft because in some countries, cars are restricted from travelling at higher cruising speeds precisely in order to save fuel. Aircraft should face the same restrictions.

I'm not holding my breath though.

Footnote; someone will undoubtedly point out that jet engines are most efficient when the airframe is at higher speeds. One example of that is the incredible efficiency of Concorde's Olympus engines, when maintaining Mach2 without requiring afterburner (supecruise). But the figures for the Avro RJ tell a different story.
Nothing to see here; move along please.

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