When you look at the Bombardier Dash-8, the first thing you're likely to notice is that this is easily one of the most unique-looking aircraft in the skies today. It has the body of a business jet, yet both the wings and the horizontal stabilizers are placed high up on the fuselage. In addition, the engines are turboprops, meaning that you're dealing with a jet engine with a propeller. These are the types of features that you commonly see on aircraft that are designed for short runway operations. That makes the Dash-8 look like some type of hybrid. If you want to know more about this unique aircraft, read 10 more things about it that you might not already know.
1. Despite its appearance, it's frequently used for regional airlines
Upon first glance, most people don't exactly think about a regional airliner when they look at this turboprop. With that being said, that is precisely what it's used for and it does the job quite well. Under normal circumstances, it's perfectly capable of serving as a regional airliner in almost any part of the world. Thanks to its versatility, it can actually be used for several things but this is the role that it was mainly designed for and it's where you're most likely to see the aircraft today.
2. It was originally made by de Havilland
This is an aircraft that was designed and built by de Havilland and then later purchased by Bombardier. When Bombardier took over de Havilland's operations, they decided to keep the aircraft in production, even making some key changes to it along the way.
3. Several of these aircraft are in service
Currently, there are a little more than 1,000 of these aircraft that are in active service. That is a large number of aircraft, especially when you consider what it was designed for in the first place. This should serve as a testament to the fact that the aircraft was well designed to begin with and that the adaptations that have been made over the years have only served to further enhance both its operational capability and its reliability.
4. It's a proven design that's been around for several years
This aircraft first flew in 1983 and was available to the public a year later. Perhaps even more impressively, it's still being produced.
5. It features a glass cockpit
Earlier versions of the aircraft obviously didn't have this feature, but the most recent versions have a cockpit that is entirely modern. In fact, the cockpit of the most recent Dash-8 aircraft rivals even the most sophisticated jet airliners.
6. It's one of the more economical aircraft of its type
The fact that this aircraft is a turboprop makes it much more economical to operate than a standard jet. The wing design, as well as the design of the tail, also make it capable of performing well in many different types of situations. All of this combines to make the aircraft not only versatile, but more economical in a world where every dollar counts.
7. There are currently four variations available
Depending on the specific needs of the client, there are four different variations available. For the most part, this includes different configurations for the interior of the jet in order to accommodate certain regional airlines.
8. It can seat a surprising number of people for its size
In one such configuration, the jet is actually capable of seating up to 90 passengers plus the crew. This is a rather large number for a regional turboprop aircraft, especially when you consider the fact that it doesn't look like it's big enough to accommodate near that many people as far as the exterior is concerned. With that being said, the interior is far more spacious than you might ever have expected.
9. It's an excellent aircraft for smaller airfields
As previously mentioned, this is one of the best aircraft to use when it comes to short runway takeoffs and landings. This is largely due to the overall design of the aircraft, especially with regard the wings and the tail. As a result, the aircraft can fly to many destination that just don’t have the space for a larger jet to land.
10. It has a decent safety record
This aircraft has been involved in approximately 25 accidents and nine of those accidents have involved a total loss of the aircraft. That's a decent number when you consider the fact that it's been operational for about 34 years. This gives it one of the better safety records in the industry, to say the least.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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