De Havilland Canada has confirmed it is to launch a trio of cargo conversion solutions for the Dash 8-400.
The company is to offer quick change (QC), package freighter (PF) and large cargo door freighter (F-LCD) configurations which the manufacturer hopes will address a “wide variety of operational business models”.
Jean-Philippe Côté, vice president programs at De Havilland Canada, said: “As the cargo market continues to grow, our cargo conversion solutions will easily enhance the overall value and extend the already high revenue-generating capabilities of the Dash 8-400 aircraft. De Havilland Canada will offer the three launched cargo conversion solutions through original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Service Bulletins approved by Transport Canada, and we are ready to provide a wide range of OEM support as desired by our operators – from kit installation to on-site support through our global support infrastructure.”
Côté added: “Several built-in attributes of the Dash 8-400 aircraft, including its outstanding airfield accessibility, hot-and-high performance, range up to 1,640 nm and long structural life, position it very well for cargo operations, and its low noise and CO2 emissions mean that it’s also an environmentally responsible choice.”
The Dash 8-400 Quick Change (Dash 8-400 QC) will enable operators the flexibility to quickly convert an aircraft between all-passenger and all-cargo configurations, enabling operators to combine two revenue streams into one. In order to comply with ICAO class E freighter requirements, a new smoke detection system would need to be installed.
The Dash 8-400 Package Freighter appears to be an evolution of the ‘preighter’ which was prompted by a lack of air cargo capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows bulk loading of various sizes of cargo, with nine distinct loading zones and eight radial ‘spider nets’ to ensure the cargo doesn’t move in flight. The primary cargo access door is in the same position as the aft left-hand side baggage compartment door in all Dash 8-400 aircraft, and there are four additional access doors (one at the front and one at the back on each side of the aircraft) to facilitate quick loading and unloading of cargo.
The Dash 8-400F is a true, dedicated freighter which is to be equipped with a large 109x69in cargo door and a cargo loading system compatible with unit load device (ULD) pallets and LD1, LD2, LD3 and LD4 containers. The ability to transport up to eight LD3 containers at a time means the aircraft is ideally suited for the interline transfer needs of hub and spoke network carriers and major logistics operators.