Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
Greg
Topic Author
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:28 pm

I was a bit surprised that the cost of operating the 70 seat Dash 8-400 is significantly (16-22%) less than CR7 and ERJ170 (estimated operating costper EMB)). This was on routes of 450 miles and under.

So why isn't it more popular? Is it strictly folks like me who avoid props?

Cost source is Avitas.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20479
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:42 pm

Question 1: Why do you avoid props?

Most modern props are cheaper than their RJ equivalents over shorter routes. Turboprops are simply more efficient than turbofans. Over longer routes, the higher speed of RJs is of course a factor.

I think when RJs really started coming on the market, airlines (especially in the US) went a bit crazy despite the higher costs. It was a marketing thing. RJs are quieter, faster and cruise higher (smoother ride).

I like modern props like the DHC8-400. It's actually very quiet compared to older props like the SAAB340.

[Edited 2004-07-16 16:43:36]
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Greg
Topic Author
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 12:17 am

Noisy and they vibrate. I've done the SAS DH4 twice and it was no better than an F50 (Air Nostrum) in my book. So, I usually look for the jet alternative.

What I didn't realize was how much cheaper they were to operate on <500 miles segments.
 
Danny
Posts: 3753
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2002 3:44 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 12:23 am

Greg - you can't be serious. Modern props like Q402 and 72-500 are way more quieter that old generation ones. On short routes there is no difference in comfort of travel comparing to ERJ for example which have loud airflow noise.

Daniel
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20479
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 12:26 am

I guess I'm spolied by my noise cancellation headphones. And after the SAAB340 any other prop is soooo quiet Big grin

There is a technical explanation on why props are more efficient, but I can never quite remember it. If you really want to know, try out Tech Ops.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
bjg231
Posts: 157
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 2:30 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 12:30 am

The one factor in an RJ's favor is passenger preference. Generally passengers couldn't care less what they're flying on, so long as it gets them to where they want to go safely and cheaply. However, when an airline offers a comparable fare and an hour or so less flying time in a quieter aircraft, that airline's service becomes more appealing.
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20479
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 12:37 am

Bjg231 is exactly right. Pity it's at the expense of the very profits that keep the route (and the airline) alive. I guess the sweet spot will be found eventually and a balance struck.

I always get annoyed when wuffos at the airport refer to props with "it's an old plane, with propellers" or the like. Turboprops (and for that matter, piston props) are still being produced and developed. The technology is just as advanced as turbofan technology. Take your bigotry elsewhere!
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Greg
Topic Author
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:09 am

Both my SAS experiences were compounded by technical delays on departure. And yes, they have come a long way...but they still vibrate and noise is a factor. I realize that it's primarily US pax that have prop phobia....

Again, I was just surprised at the cost side of the equation.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20479
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:14 am

Just making conversation. If you don't like a certain plane(s), that's ok by me. But as an A.nutter it's my right to take potshots even at considered and valid points of view Big grin
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:42 am

I've done the SAS DH4 twice and it was no better than an F50 (Air Nostrum) in my book.

Test readings by BBD demonstrated that the Q400's cabin average noise level (dBA) is lower than the CRJ.

The Q400's prop speed in cruise is over 200 RPM slower than the F50's, and the PW150's are mounted further outboard than the F50's PW125s. But most important, the F50 doesn't have an NVS system.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
geg2rap
Posts: 739
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:02 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:48 am

Right on, I have always wondered that as well, with the current cost cutting measures across the board I have wondered why more airlines haven't went to the dash
really is a nice plane plenty of room at 70 seats as fast as the ARJ and nice ride
Love QX's Dash8-400 or Q400  Smile
Hope NW goes that way for a arj replacement when the time comes
Interesting thing happened though at PUW the Q400 was "banned" for being too loud ??????
Anyone got noise data of Dash8-200 compared to 400?
Jeremy
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:19 am

Anyone got noise data of Dash8-200 compared to 400?

Q200

T-Off 80.5
Sideline 85.6
Approach 94.8


Q400

T-Off 77.6
Sideline 80.9
Approach 88.7

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
Greg
Topic Author
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:24 am

Planemaker..that's all well and good...but as a passenger I've experienced both first hand....so spew out all the 'average' stats you want---it's not that much of an improvement, particularly in vibration.

Again, I'm actually complimenting the seat operating cost of the -400---it's closer in line to much larger aircraft than to a regional....
 
ScottishLaddie
Posts: 2309
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 8:30 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:30 am

Sitting next to the prop on the Q400 wasn't particularly enjoyable, the vibrations, particularly on take-off, were very noticeable and the drone of the engines I'm sure can get very wearing for the passengers, however sitting away from the area around the prop was much better.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20479
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:30 am

Perception is everything. No problem with me Mr. Greg.

The -400 has the advantage of being very light since it is a stretch of a stretch. I guess that helps.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:49 am

it's not that much of an improvement, particularly in vibration.

Some people say they feel cold even though the temp is 80 outside...


The good economics are partly due to the double stretch, as Starlion says, but it is the PW 150s that make it all possible.

BTW, the -400 was on the drawing boards 20 years ago but Boeing didn't give it the green light.

More recently, there was a study for a Q500 -- a 50 seat shrink.

[Edited 2004-07-16 19:54:13]
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
Danny
Posts: 3753
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2002 3:44 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 3:07 am

Not to mention ATRs and Dashes are more roomy than RJs and they carry more cargo and baggage. Go props!
 
Greg
Topic Author
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 3:23 am

How is the Dash 8-400 more roomy than say, a CRJ700?
It's 3" narrower at the shoulder and 4" narrower at floor level? It does have half an inch more height....(I think the ATR several inches wider than the Dash, however...).

How is this better?

Planemaker....that's true! But if you've flown one..then you know exactly what I mean.
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:05 am

Not only have I flown both the F50 and Q400 many times, I have also been in the Q400 cabin while the NVS system has been cycled in flight. The passive systems and features on the Q400 make it quiter and smoother than the F50 as it is, but the active NVS system results in a significant difference beyond subjectivity. Unlike the Saab 2000 that uses audio technology for noise cancelling (similar to Bose headsets), the NVS system uses tuned dampners as the basis for cancelling noise and vibration. If you have a light load on your next Q400 flight, ask the FA to turn off the NVS -- I guarantee that you will be surprised at the difference.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
Greg
Topic Author
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:29 am

I would....but I avoid the -400 at all costs since they seem to be down...more than up---at least at SAS!.

If the opportunity arises...I will ask, though---you have my curiosity piqued.

Thank you for your reply.

Brdgs,
Greg
 
T prop
Posts: 975
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2001 4:33 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:41 am

I would....but I avoid the -400 at all costs since they seem to be down...more than up---at least at SAS!.

The schedule completion rate as of Feb 04 for the Q400 is 99.2%, this is comparable to the CR7's 99.1% for the same period.

T prop.
 
HAJ_OW
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2001 5:53 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 5:21 am

Hello there,

I must admit I really do not understand this whole discussion regarding noise and vibrations.
Every plane has is quieter and noisier seats. But over all I rather prefer the noise of a modern prop than of any RJ. Did you ever had a seat in the rear of a RJ? The high frequency noise of the engine is not very nice. Have you ever flown in a ERJ 145? The noise of the airflow is disturbing. And even in the narrow body airbusses you have the sound of a vacuum cleaner gone mad if seated next to the engine.
If you ask me the noise of a prop engine is much more comfortable than any noise discribed above.

Regards

Oliver
 
Greg
Topic Author
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 7:15 am

Interesting then why SAS was so dissatisfied with dispatch reliability?
Both my -400's were technical for over two hours.
Admittedly, it was in the first year of service.

I have not had the opportunity to fly on any other carriers Dash's.
 
wgw2707
Posts: 1113
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:37 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 7:30 am

The Dash-8-Q400 I would argue is much better suited to short haul regional flights than any regional jet. The regional jets never were intended to fly many of the routes they're being put on...the whole point of the misnamed regional jet was to serve lower-traffic medium hauls. The airlines made a mistake in switching to all-RJ regional fleets, and hopefully they'll have the sense to reverse that decision.

One concept I've been toying with is the thought of having seperate Express and Regional/Commuter/Connection divisions. You could have your RJ flights branded as "Express" flights, as that's really what they are, flights serving more isolated and smaller cities or lower traffic routes but providing full jet service nonetheless, and brand the turbo-prop operated regional flights as "Connection" or "Regional" or "Commuter". For instance, United would have United Express for the RJs and United Commuter for the turboprops...

Just an idea to introduce a more logical branding...

-WGW2707
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20479
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sun Jul 18, 2004 12:03 am

WGW2707, I agree whole wholeheartedly. Putting an RJ on a 1 hour route with 40-60 pax is not very rational economically. With their economy down the drain, US carriers would get away with putting props back. Unfortunately they don't have the money for it. And I like your idea of branding.

SAS had problems with the -400 year one, but since then they are doing just fine. Teething.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
LineMechQX
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 6:02 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sun Jul 18, 2004 12:37 am

Those of you who haven't noticed a big difference in noise and vibration of the Q400. Next time you board a Dash product ask the F/A if the ANVS is operative or not. (or simply look to your right as you board the airplane on the FA's panel, to see if it is on, or if there is a deferral sticker there) The ANVS system in Dash products, consist of hundreds of sensors, microphones, attenuators, et cetera. Truth is they are highly unreliable and are often deferred. We rarely have the parts we need on hand to fix the systems, and being a 120 day MEL they are very low priority. I'm not trying to downtalk the system, when it works its wonderful, but for it to work its a complex system. Complexity=low reliability. If I were to make an educated guess on how many of QX's fleet of dashes had inoperative ANVS at any one time, I would say 25-30%.
Greg-Walk into a Q400 sometime for me, step out and walk into a CRJ-700 and tell me the CRJ-700 doesn't feel smaller
FYI the Q400 has its own website now. www.Q400.com

Late
PC
 
Greg
Topic Author
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:38 am

The Q400 cabin is 2" narrower than the CRJ700 at the widest point and 4" narrower at the floor level. It is, however, 3" taller.

And no, it didn't seem larger at all--to me...and the stats seem to back that up.
Is it possible the overhead bins are larger on the CRJ...making it look more claustrophobic? Is that possible?

Thanks for your reply on the noise system...it was likely inoperative on my flights.
 
stirling
Posts: 3896
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2004 2:00 am

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sun Jul 18, 2004 2:44 am

Could it be said that the RJ bubble has burst?

To me, this sounds a lot like the early 60's, when the pure-jets were first being introduced....Keeping up with the competition meant putting jets on routes that didn't warrant the traffic. And then it happened again with widebodies....every airline thought, to compete, they had to fly widebodies, so Delta, they got one of each, UA, they flew them on routes like Chicago to Hartford...
I believe the industry is due for a correction....Wherever the Brasillias, ATRs, Beechs, BAes and the rest all went, look for them to return. That is of course, if "Joe Q. Public" hasn't already decided that props are unsafe, etc etc etc etc, ad naseum.
It is possible, to have too much of a good thing.
Delete this User
 
cumulonimbus
Posts: 508
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:13 pm

RE: DH8-400 Is Fast And Cheap?

Sun Jul 18, 2004 2:59 am

I too think it sounds like the RJ bubble may burst. ATR And Bombardier still think to this day that their will be a market for Turboprops as do I. I personally like the Dash and Atr's better than any RJ. On the other hand I think RJ's in the 70-100 seat category will also prosper in the longer thinner routes and complement mainline aircraft and Turbos alike. As for props coming back from the dead watch the price of oil keep rising and I think airlines will think twice about operating a RJ in stage lengths under 300 miles.

Mike

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos