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During the 2022 Farnborough International Airshow, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (DHC) announced design weight increases and cabin enhancements for the Dash 8-400 aircraft, as the company prepares to relaunch Dash 8-400 production.
In early 2021, DHC announced that it is pausing production of the Dash 8-400 at the Toronto-based Downsview facility. Later in the year, De Havilland began the process of decommissioning the facility, following the sale of the land (previously owned by Bombardier) in 2018. The future of Dash 8-400 production would be based in part on forecasts for market demand, as well as a location for a new production site.
Today’s announcement about design weight increases and cabin enhancements for the Dash 8-400 is a positive step for the future of the aircraft, and “illustrates De Havilland Canada’s ongoing commitment and investments to support the worldwide fleet,” said Jean-Philippe Côté, vice president of programs at DHC.
According to DHC, the design weight increases for the Dash 8-400 will provide an increase of up to 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms) in payload (maximum zero fuel weight) and an increase of up to 2,000 lb (907 kg) to the maximum take-off weight.
“These weight increases significantly enhance the operational capability of the aircraft to carry more passengers, more bags, more cargo, and more fuel, and provide more range than ever before,” said DHC.
DHC is offering the weight increases in multiple standard categories, and can also provide customized weight increases to meet an operator’s specific needs. The increased fuel tankering capability provides operators with options to refuel at points of the network “that provide greater operational flexibility and cost optimization.”
DHC said an increase of 650 lb (295 kg) is also being developed to the aft baggage compartment for operators who require additional baggage weight carrying capability.
The new cabin features for the Dash 8-400, which DHC says will enhance passenger appeal, include satellite-based internet connectivity from Starlink; wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system; USB in-seat power; upgraded interior décor; and an overhead bin extension solution and brighter LED cabin lighting for earlier models of Dash 8-400s.
The design weight increases and cabin enhancements will offer operators the opportunity to increase operational flexibility and provide a passenger experience that is equivalent to that on new production aircraft. Moreover, DHC’s design weight increases, specifically, will allow Dash 8-400 operators to meet the increasing passenger weight allowance requirements mandated by Transport Canada, the FAA, and other aviation authorities “without any impact on revenue,” said Côté.
The design weight increases and cabin enhancements are available to retrofit in-service aircraft.