Posted on: 17 February 2016 by Mark Howells
Bombardier has announced that it is now offering the Q400 NextGen turboprop in a 90-seat configuration, a move accompanied by a 2,000 lb increase in payload and an extension of the intervals for A-checks and C-checks from 600/6,000 to 800/8,000 flight hours respectively.
Patrick Baudis, Bombardier Commmercial Aircraft’s new vice-president, marketing, noted that the company forecasts a demand for 5,700 aircraft in the 60-100 seat segment over next 20 years. “In the Asia-Pacific there will be a lot of growth and it is to meet the demand that we are launching the 90-seat version of the Q400,” he remarked.
Baudis highlighted that the 86-seat high density version of the the Q400 was launched in the Asia-Pacific, with Nok Air being the first customer. “By adding this 90-seat version, we’ve created a new market segment of 80-90 seat turboprops,” the VP declared.
The 90-seat configuration will be facilitated by the frame of right forward door being re-sculpted and also the rear bulkhead separator (not the pressure bulkhead) in front of the rear entrance will be moved. The pitch will then be set at 28 inches to get the full 90 seats.
“With the design of new seats, you can now get this [pitch] and get knee clearance,” Baudis emphasised. The current standard seats for the aircraft are supplied by B/E Aerospace.
The configuration will be retrofittable and the OEM is aiming to ensure the new maintenance check intervals will also apply as part of the retrofit package.
Regarding the new MRO check intervals, Baudis noted that the application of these will give airlines an 270 extra days of operations through the life cycle of the aircraft.
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net