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.
|Estonian Air Saab 340A
||Passenger aircraft/ Airliner
||25 January 1983
||Out of production, in active service
||Saab 340 AEW&C
Design and development
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. 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.
Hokkaido Air System Saab 340B+ WT.
LADE Saab 340B
- Saab 340A
- 30 to 36-seat commuter airliner, powered by two 1,735-shp (1215-kW) 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 1,870-shp (1394-kW) 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 340A QC
- Quick-change freight transport version.
- 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.
Golden Air 340A
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. 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 62000 hours and over 63000 cycles and has reached the end of its airframe lifespan.
Nine SAAB 340s have been written off in accidents, 6 of them without fatalities.
Incidents and accidents
Between 1983 and 2013, there were 11 hull loss accidents involving the Saab 340 series aircraft, resulting in the deaths of 48 people.
- 21 February 1990. The undercarriage was accidentally retracted of a Crossair Saab 340A, on the apron at Zürich Airport. No fatalities, aircraft destroyed.
- 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. 3 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 10 people on board 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.
- 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.
A Colgan Air / United Express Saab 340 prepares to accept passengers. Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, 2005.
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993–94
- Crew: 2 pilots, 1 flight attendant
- Capacity: 37 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: 463 km/h (250 knots, 288 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: 9,450 m (31,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 10.2 m/s (2,000 ft/min)