DR Smith Foto
Westjet De Havilland Canada DASH 8 Q400 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a brisk Sunday morning 2020 - Photo by Robson Smith
Westjet De Havilland Canada DASH 8 Q400 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) (likely from Québec City's Jean Lesage International Airport, YQB) on a brisk Sunday morning 2020. First launched in 1984 by De Havilland Canada, the DASH 8 series has since undergone frequent ownership transitions. Subsequent to De Havilland's early success with the aircraft, the company was purchased by Boeing in 1988. However, ownership would soon revert to a Canadian company, Bombardier, in 1992. It was at this stage that the aircraft was rebranded the "Bombardier" DASH 8, by which it is best known. At last, following the DASH 8’s divestiture from Bombardier in 2019, Longview Aviation Capital, another Canadian company, gained rights to the famous aircraft lineage. This is the most current ownership change. The roots of this ubiquitous plane stem from the De Havilland DASH 7, whose program commenced in the 1970s as a short take off/landing "STOL" four engine prop plane. Understandably, airlines became more interested in operational costs than short field performance, which led to the DASH 8's inception, whereby two engines were equipped in lieu of four. The airliner then entered service in 1984, with NorOntario, and timing was excellent as many older aircraft (from the 1950 and 1960s) were nearing their respective retirements. Boeing then acquired DeHavilland, as mentioned, but did this in an attempt to facilitate an advantageous position to compete against Airbus. Boeing “lost” and thus sold the unit to Bombardier. Variation wise, The “Q” series is the name given to all DASH 8s manufactured after 1997, when active noise control systems were integrated (the "Q" stands for "Quiet"). The Q400 remains the only model still in active production; many other variants are still operational, however. A fascinating plane, indeed. Enjoy the image!
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