The commercial turboprop market remains essentially a two-horse race between ATR and Bombardier. The story is interesting. The chart below shows the order history for both models since 2000. ATR had a bumpy start but has done exceptionally well since 2004, albeit with much more volatile swings in its order book. Continue reading
Bombardier announced Okinawa-based Ryukyu Air Commuter Co., Ltd is the unidentified airline that had signed a firm purchase agreement for five Q400 turboprop airliners announced in July 2014. Based on the list price for the Q400 aircraft, the transaction is valued at about $168m. The Q400 combi aircraft offers up to 9,000lb. of cargo capacity and up to 1,150 cubic feet of cargo volume.
The image below was taken inside the first RAC combi two weeks ago and the sheer volume of the space is clear. The bulge on both sides is where the rear passenger door is located on the full passenger version. The cargo bay comes with independent fire suppression. The orange box to the right is a weight used to provide ballast on test flights.
RAC is a part of the Japan Airlines Group and is also the launch customer of the Q400 cargo-combi variant… Continue reading