|Estonian Air Saab 340A|
|First flight||25 January 1983|
|Status||Out of production, in active service|
Regional Express Airlines
|Variants||Saab 340 AEW&C|
|Developed into||Saab 2000|
The Saab 340 is a Swedish twin-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. Production of the Saab 340 ended in 1998.
Design and development
Originally designated 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. 200 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. 100 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 ten 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 having the WT option. 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.
- 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 Tp 100A
- VIP transport version of the Saab 340B
- Saab OS 100
- Single Tp 100A modified into an Open Skies aircraft.
- 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 100C
- Saab 340 AEW&C
- Airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) version
- Saab 340 MSA
- Maritime Security Aircraft for multi-role surveillance for detection, classification and identification of maritime contacts and can also be used as a Search-And-Rescue aircraft.
- Can be fitted with an auxiliary fuel tank for extended operation.
A stretched version of the aircraft, being the Saab 2000, was also produced.
As of July 2015, Saab Aircraft AB reports there were 373 Saab 340s in service with 49 operators around the world having accumulated 15,317,000 flight hours. Nine SAAB 340s have been written off in accidents, six of them without fatalities.
In December 2016, the fleet average is at 35,277 h and 39,446 cycles - a mean 0.89h per flight, less than halfway of its remaining life : the airframe life has been extended from 45,000 to 80,000 flight hours and 90,000 cycles and the Saab 340 should remain in service for another 30 years. Fleet leaders are at 71,268 cycles and 61,867h.
Accidents and incidents
Between 1983 and 2013, there were 13 hull loss accidents involving the Saab 340 series aircraft, resulting in the deaths of 48 people.
- 21 February 1990: The undercarriage was accidentally retracted on a Crossair Saab 340A, on the apron at Zürich Airport. No fatalities, aircraft destroyed. The captain involved was killed in a subsequent crash in 2001.
- 2 January 1993: Express Airlines Saab 340A crashed hard onto the runway at Chisholm-Hibbing Municipal Airport due to wing ice accretion. No fatalities, aircraft destroyed.
- 4 April 1994: KLM Cityhopper Flight 433 suffered engine problems, stalled and struck the ground while landing at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The aircraft broke apart on impact. Three people were killed.
- 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.
- 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.
- 10 January 2000: After taking off from Zürich Airport, Crossair Flight 498 banked steeply and entered a high-speed spiral dive, crashing into a field in Niederhasli. All ten people on board were killed.
- 21 March 2000: American Eagle Airlines 340B overshot the runway at Killeen Municipal Airport, crashing into a ditch. No fatalities.
- 6 September 2001: Aerolitoral Airlines 340B made an emergency belly landing in farmland after running out of fuel near the Las Palmas River, in Mexico. No fatalities. Aircraft written off and scrapped.
- 8 June 2005: Shuttle America 340A, operating as United Express Airlines reported undercarriage problems on approach to Washington Dulles International Airport. Undercarriage collapsed on landing, aircraft skidded off the runway, and onto grass. No fatalities, aircraft damaged beyond repair.
- 18 May 2011: Sol Líneas Aéreas Flight 5428 en route from Neuquén to Comodoro Rivadavia, a Saab 340A (LV-CEJ), crashed in Prahuaniyeu, Rio Negro Province, Argentina, causing 22 fatalities.
- 13 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 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.
- 21 February 2016: A Regional Express Airlines Saab 340B, registered VH-ZLA, was forced to take evasive action to avoid a glider while operating from Orange Airport. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) says the Rex aircraft was climbing through 7,500 ft after departing Orange when the crew sighted the glider in “close proximity”, and took evasive action.
- Crew: two pilots, one flight attendant
- Capacity: 34 passengers
- Length: 19.73 m (64 ft 8¾ in)
- Wingspan: 21.44 m (70 ft 4 in)
- Height: 6.97 m (22 ft 10½ in)
- Wing area: 41.81 m² (450.0 sq ft)
- Airfoil: NASA MS(1)-0313
- Empty weight: 8,140 kg (17,945 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 13,155 kg (29,000 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × General Electric CT7-9B turboprops, 1,305 kW (1,750 shp) (take-off) each
- Propellers: Dowty Rotol or Hamilton Standard 14RF19 four-blade constant speed propeller, 1 per engine
- Propeller diameter: 3.35 m (11 ft 0 in)
- Never exceed speed: 522 km/h (282 knots, 325 mph)
- Maximum speed: 502 km/h (271 knots, 312 mph) (VMO) (IAS), 0.5 Mach MMO
- Cruise speed: 467 km/h (252 knots, 290 mph) at 7,620 m (25,000 ft) (range cruise)
- Stall speed: 164 km/h (88 knots, 102 mph) (landing flaps)
- Range: 1732 km (935 nmi, 1076 mi)
- Service ceiling: 7,620 m (25,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 10.2 m/s (2,000 ft/min)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia
- Antonov An-24
- ATR 42
- CASA CN-235
- De Havilland Canada Dash 8
- Dornier 328
- Xian MA60
- BAe Jetstream 41
- Beechcraft 1900
- Related lists
- "Saab 340 history". Airliners.net. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- Halvorsen W. and Emborg U., Interior Noise Control of the Saab 340, SAE Technical Paper 891080, 1989
- "The Saab 340: A Strong History and a Candidate for the U.S. Military". Saab aircraft. 6 July 2015.
- Harro Ranter. "Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > ASN Aviation Safety Database results". Retrieved 5 July 2015.
- Paul Seidenman and David J. Spanovich (Dec 1, 2016). "Why Turboprop MRO Is, And Will Remain, Brisk". Inside MRO. Aviation Week.
- "Saab 340 Crash Record". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- "Plane crashes in Argentina, 22 dead: hospital". Reuters. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
- "Passenger plane crashes in Argentina: local TV." Reuters. May 19, 2011. Retrieved on May 19, 2011.
- Warren, Michael (19 May 2011). "22 Dead in Plane Crash in Argentine Patagonia". The Guardian. Associated Press. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- http://avherald.com/h?article=463cfa1c&opt=1 Retrieved 14 June 2013
- "Rex Saab 340 in near-miss with glider". Flight Global. Retrieved 29 Feb 2016.
- Lambert 1993, pp. 352–354.
- Magnusson, Michael. Saab 340 & Saab 2000 – The Untold Story. Stockholm, Sweden: Aviatic Förlag, 2014. ISBN 978-9186642051
- Lambert, Mark (ed.). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993–94. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Data Division, 1993. ISBN 0-7106-1066-1.
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