Saab 340

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Saab 340
Estonian Air Saab 340A ES-ASN.jpg
Estonian Air Saab 340A
Role Passenger aircraft/Airliner
National origin Sweden
Manufacturer Saab
First flight 25 January 1983
Introduction 1983
Status Out of production, in active service
Primary users Regional Express Airlines
Silver Airways
Loganair
PenAir
Seaborne Airlines
Produced 1983–1999
Number built 459
Variants Saab 340 AEW&C
Developed into Saab 2000

The Saab 340 is a discontinued Swedish two-engine turboprop aircraft designed and initially produced by a partnership between Saab AB and Fairchild Aircraft in a 65:35 ratio. Under the initial plan Saab built the all aluminium fuselage and vertical stabilizer, and also performed final assembly in Linköping, Sweden, while Fairchild was responsible for the wings, empennage, and wing-mounted nacelles for the two turboprop engines. After Fairchild ceased this work, production of these parts was shifted to Sweden.

The aircraft first flew on 25 January 1983, but due to declining sales, production of the Saab 340 ended in 1998.[1]

Design and development[edit]

Originally designated as the SF340, the aircraft first flew on 25 January 1983. When Fairchild exited the aircraft manufacturing business in 1985 after about 40 units, Saab dropped the name Fairchild from the project and continued aircraft production under the designation Saab 340A and 159 A models were built. An improved version, the second generation 340B, introduced more powerful engines and wider horizontal stabilizers in 1989 and the later 340Bs also had an active noise control system. Two hundred aircraft were built. The final third generation version, the 340B Plus, was delivered for service in 1994 and incorporated improvements that were being introduced at the same time in the Saab 2000. One hundred aircraft were built adding up to a total of 300 B models. The Saab 340 typically seated between 30 and 36 passengers, with 34 seats being the most common configuration. The last two 340s built were constructed as older configuration 36-seat aircraft for Japan Air Commuter.

One of the improvements introduced in the 340B Plus was the installation of an active noise and vibration control system in the cabin, reducing noise and vibration levels by about 10 dB during cruising flight. This optional feature carried over from the 340B was standard in the 340B Plus along with extended wingtips which was an option on the 340B, about 30 aircraft have the WT option.[2] Another change from earlier models was a more modern interior design and the moving of the lavatory compartment from the aft of the passenger cabin to just aft of the flight deck in most 3rd generation units. This increased total available cargo volume as the original location intruded into the cargo bin area. While the active noise control became standard on all Saab 340Bs in 1994 the first ever 340B Plus (third B+ built) was delivered new to Hazelton Airlines in Australia in 1995, later operating for Regional Express, and currently for the Japanese Coast Guard.

The military variants are the Saab 340AEW, 340AEW-200 & 340AEW-300, which are airborne early warning (AEW) and airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft. Production of all 340 models ended in 1999, and Saab ceased all civil aircraft production in 2005.

Variants[edit]

Hokkaido Air System Saab 340B+ WT.
LADE Saab 340B
Saab 340A
30- to 36-seat commuter airliner, powered by two 1,735shp (1215kW) General-Electric CT7-5A2 turboprop engines. (340A-001 to 340A-159) Available in passenger, VIP and cargo.
Saab 340B
33- to 36-seat commuter airliner, powered by two 1,870shp (1394kW) General-Electric CT7-9B turboprop engines. (340B-160 to 340B-359)
Saab Tp 100
VIP transport version of the Saab 340B and B Plus for the Swedish Air Force.
Saab 340B Plus
Improved version of the Saab 340B. Some have extended wingtips. (340B-360 to 340B-459)
Saab 340B plus SAR-200
Maritime search and rescue version for the Japan Coast Guard. Extended Wingtips fitted.
  • Saab 340AF (cargo)
Saab 340A QC
Quick-change freight transport version.
  • TP 100A
  • TP 100C
Saab 340 AEW&C 
Airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) version
Saab 340 MSA (?)
Maritime Security Aircraft

A stretched version of the aircraft, being the Saab 2000, was also produced.

Operators[edit]

Interior of a Saab 340B+.

As of June 2009, Saab Aircraft AB reports there were 413 Saab 340s in service with 61 operators in 30 countries having accumulated 13,499,000 flight hours on over 15 million flights.[3] SAAB is considering extending the airframe lifespan, which initially was 60,000 hours and 90,000 cycles, up to 75,000 hours. The most used aircraft in the fleet (-023), as of January 2013, had reached approximately 62,000 hours and over 63,000 cycles and has reached the end of its airframe lifespan.[4]

Nine SAAB 340s have been written off in accidents, six of them without fatalities.[5]

Civil operators[edit]

The active fleet of current operators


A Colgan Air / United Express Saab 340 prepares to accept passengers. Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, 2005.
Saab 340B operated by Colgan Air at Logan International Airport
A Saab 340B+ WT operated by Regional Express Airlines in Australia
Calm Air Saab 340 B+ WT in Churchill, Manitoba, August 2008

Regional Express Airlines, also known as Rex has leased 25 Saab 340B+ aircraft in the largest lease deal for the type. The 340B+ has a redesigned extended wing to increase flight performance and fuel efficiency. With the delivery of the 340B+ aircraft some of Rex's older aircraft were phased out, including all of their Saab 340As. Three of the 340As were converted into freighters for PEL-AIR and one was kept as a passenger aircraft. The other four went to SprintAir, Solinair and SOL. First Delivery was in May 2007. The 340B+ aircraft with extended wingtips (formerly in service with American Eagle) were all delivered and put into service by May 2010.[6]

Military operators[edit]

 Argentina
 Japan
 Sweden
 Thailand

Former operators[edit]

 Argentina
 Australia
 Austria
 Canada
 Czech Republic
 Finland
 France
 Gabon
 Germany
 Guatemala
 Kyrgyzstan
 Ireland
 Kenya
 Latvia
 Lithuania
 Mexico
 Moldova
 Netherlands
 New Zealand
 Norway
 Poland
 Puerto Rico
 Romania
 Slovenia
 Sweden
  Switzerland
 Thailand
 The Bahamas
 Ukraine
 United Kingdom
 United States

Source:[7]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Between 1983 and 2013, there were 13 hull loss accidents involving the Saab 340 series aircraft, resulting in the deaths of 48 people.[8]

  • 14 May 1997: Pilots of Regional Líneas Aéreas 340B landing at Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport were not aware of runway construction work. Aircraft plowed through trench, shearing off the undercarriage. No deaths.[8]
  • 19 March 1998: Formosa Airlines 340B crashed into the ocean 11 km off the city of Hsinchu in Taiwan, caused by electrical fault and disorientation of crew. 13 people killed.[8]
  • 11 November 1998. Kendell Airlines 340 went into a stall, causing loss of control for 10 seconds due to icing of the aircraft around Lake Eildon, Victoria on a flight from Albury to Melbourne. It descended about 2,300 feet, causing the flight attendant to receive minor injuries. It continued the flight. All 28 passengers were fine and nobody was killed.
  • 14 June 2013: SkyBahamas Airlines Flight 9561 from Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbour attempted to land on Marsh Harbour's runway 09 but touched down hard, bounced four times until the right hand wing detached, and veered right off the runway. The Saab SF-340B came to a stop with the right wing fractured and right main gear collapsed. No injuries, aircraft received substantial damage.[12]

Specifications (340B)[edit]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993–94[13] and [14]

General characteristics

Performance

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Saab 340 history". Airliners.net. Retrieved November 20, 2009. 
  2. ^ Halvorsen W. and Emborg U., Interior Noise Control of the Saab 340, SAE Technical Paper 891080, 1989
  3. ^ saabaircraft.com
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ http://aviation-safety.net/database/dblist.php?field=typecode&var=410%&cat=%1&sorteer=datekey&page=1
  6. ^ Flight International, 3–9 October 2006
  7. ^ Saab Aircraft Leasing Corp. list of operators
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Saab 340 Crash Record". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  9. ^ Passenger plane crashes in Argentina: local TV
  10. ^ "Passenger plane crashes in Argentina: local TV." Reuters. May 19, 2011. Retrieved on May 19, 2011.
  11. ^ Warren, Michael (19 May 2011). "22 Dead in Plane Crash in Argentine Patagonia". The Guardian. Associated Press. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  12. ^ http://avherald.com/h?article=463cfa1c&opt=1 Retrieved 14 June 2013
  13. ^ Lambert 1993, pp. 352–354.
  14. ^ http://www.saabaircraftleasing.com/prod/dataSheets/340A_JAR.pdf
  • Lambert, Mark (ed.). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993–94. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Data Division, 1993. ISBN 0-7106-1066-1.

External links[edit]