A celebration week for Bombardier. The Canadian aircraft manufacturer delivered its 500th Q400 (fka Dash 8) turboprop aircraft, to WestJet Encore.
The Calgary-based airliner has ordered 36 of the Q400s, and currently operates 21 planes. During a special ceremony held at Bombardier’s 1.7 million square-foot Toronto facility, where the Q400 aircraft is manufactured, more than 500 WestJetters, Bombardier employees and special guests from the federal and provincial governments were in attendance to celebrate the handover activities of the 500th aircraft.
WestJet Encore launched service in June 2013 operating 10 departures daily to two destinations with two Q400 aircraft and 131 employees. Today, it services 24 cities in seven provinces with 114 daily departures with 21 Q400 aircraft and approximately 500 employees. The airline recently launched Edmonton-Kamloops, Toronto-Québec City, and Toronto-Fredericton services. In July, it will launch Halifax-Sydney service.
Designed as a 21st-century turboprop the Q400 aircraft is the most recent development in the Dash 8-Q Series family of aircraft. While it’s nimble enough for a steep approach, the Q400 aircraft is also tough enough to land on unpaved runways. It’s a certified performer at high altitude airports too, like that of La Paz, Bolivia, one of the world’s highest.
Compared to similar jet planes the Q400 uses up to 30 percent less fuel. Still, it has a relatively high-speed cruise for a propeller aircraft: 360 knots (414 mph or 667 km/h).
The Q400 aircraft family includes over 60 owners and operators in almost 40 countries worldwide and the worldwide fleet has logged more than 6 million flight hours. The aircraft has transported more than 370 million passengers worldwide. Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 546 Q400 aircraft.
Featured image: The Bombardier Q400 NextGen in WestJet Encore livery (Image © Bombardier)