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DHC-7 Dash 7

One of the larger of the commuter aircraft, the Dash 7 is a four-engine turboprop aircraft that carries 50 passengers. The Dash 7 is a STOL aircraft, which can operate off very short runways. It has a range of up to 1,400 miles at 225 mph. Another attractive feature is the larger size of the passenger cabin. Whereas most commuter aircraft have two-abreast seating in a very small cabin, the Dash 7 has 6 feet 4 inches of stand-up headroom and a cabin width of 8 feet.

The year 1975 saw the first flight of the Dash 7 STOL regional airliner. The Dash 7's unique capabilities, low noise levels and sophisticated passenger comfort pioneered unique applications at major airports, mountainous, steep-angle approaches and, the development of the London City Airport's STOL operations. In total, 113 Dash 7s were produced.

As part of the increase in commuter airline operations, the LWL STOL transport emerged as a highly successful concept. For example, the de Havilland DHC-7 was used to fly from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. At Washington National Airport, dedicated STOL paths are flown to a separate runway that intersects the main CTOL runway. Simultaneous STOL and CTOL approaches are conducted with the STOL traffic stopping short of the main runway. Because of the proximity of the STOL runway to the CTOL runway, and the lack of a dedicated STOL navigational landing aid, simultaneous approaches were initially being conducted only in visual conditions, that is, a ceiling of at least 300 m and visibilities linking metropolitan centers and smaller communities has equal to or greater than 4.8 km (3 miles).

One way to reduce ground and air congestion is to decrease the number of aircraft using the airport facilities. Initially commuter regional turboprop aircraft could accomodate up to 19 passengers due to Federal Aviation Regulations. Aircraft with 19 passengers or less were not required to have flight attendents on board, thus cutting the airline's expenses. However, these 19 passenger aircraft are posing increased ground and air traffic at major airports. With a 38 passenger aircraft, fewer commuter flights will be needed thus cutting congestion into and out of the major California airports.

The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 raised the capacity limit for commuter aircraf, first to 55 and later to 60 passengers, and commuter airlines that wanted to upgrade their fleets for high-density markets were forced to turn to foreign manufacturers. The only new commuter aircraft in the 30- to 60-passenger category was the Canadian- made deHavilland Dash 7, a four-engine 50-seat aircraft first flown in 1977; it has been put in service or ordered by a number of large commuters. Most of the commuters that wanted 30- to 60-passenger aircraft, however, had to settle for older, twin-engine planes-many also foreign-made-of the type once flown by the local service airlines: the British Aerospace I-E-748 and Fokker F-27 (Dutch), both still in production; and two U.S.-built aircraft, the Convair 580/600 and the piston-powered Martin 404, both no longer in production. The Airborne Reconnaissance Low (ARL) system is a MI manned aerial collection platforms. The system developed from a Commander in Chief U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) requirement for a manned aviation platform that could provide an IMINT and SIGINT collection capability in SOUTHCOM. The design requirements submitted stated that Airborne Reconnaissance Low should support nation-building, counternarcotics, and promote-democracy missions (now classified as stability and support operations or operations other than war) in SOUTHCOM's area of responsibility.

The DeHavilland of Canada Dash-7, a four-engine, turboprop, commuter airplane was chosen as the platform for SIGINT and IMINT collection. The Dash-7 aircraft's ability to operate out of austere runways, its ability to carry the mission payload and its endurance led to the Dash-7's selection. It is an extensively modified aircraft that has a higher maximum gross weight and extended range capability added in the ARL conversions. ARL aircraft survivability equipment includes the AN/APR-39A(V1) radar warning receiver, the AN/AAR-47 infrared missile warning receiver, and the M-130 flare and chaff dispenser.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:35:11 ZULU