Aircraft of the Month: WestJet's Q400s

Q400WestJet announced its new Encore service earlier this month that will fly shorter, regional routes to service some of the smaller communities in Canada. Encore is expected begin service on June 24th of this year and WestJet is adding 45 Bombardier Q400s to their already considerable fleet to accommodate all the new destinations. The Bombardier Q400, or Dash 8, is the fourth generation of a series of turboprop medium-range aircraft.

Distinguished by its large T-tail, intended to keep the tail free of prop wash during takeoff, the Q400 is widely used for short-haul flights due to its fuel efficiencies over regional jets.

According to Bombardier, the aircraft breaks even with about one-third of its seats filled, making it particularly cost-efficient on routes with varying passenger numbers.

Operators: WestJet Encore, Air Canada Express, Flybe, Horizon Air and others 

Manufacturer: Bombardier Inc.

Country: Canada

First Flight: 1998

Maximum Operating Altitude: 27,000 ft (8,230 m)

Maximum Fuel Capacity: 6,526L

Operating Range: 1,567 miles (2,522 km)

Crew: Four (two pilots, two attendants)

Maximum Cruising Speed: 414 mph (667 km/h)

Engine: 2 PW150A

Height: 8.3 m

Length: 32.81 m

Wingspan: 28.4 m

Wing Area: 63.1 m²

Passenger Capacity: 78

Weight (Empty): 37,886 lb (17,185 kg)

Maximum Take-off Weight: 64,500 lb (29,260 kg)

Did You Know? The Dash 8-Q400 is said to be one of the world's quietest turboprops partly due to the special computer managed Noise and Vibration Suppression (NVS) system which was introduced to the Dash 8 family in 1996. 

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