Canada-based aircraft manufacturer De Havilland Aircraft announced the launch of three cargo conversion solutions for Dash 8-400 turboprop passenger aircraft.  

The new solutions will help customer airlines to convert passenger planes into cargo turboprops. According to a De Havilland Aircraft statement released on July 18, 2022, airlines will be provided with three conversion solutions, including Quick Change (QC), Package Freighter (PF), and Freighter with Large Cargo Door (F-LCD) configuration options. 

Under the first option, the Dash 8-400 Quick Change, airlines will be able to convert the passenger plane between all-passenger and all-cargo configurations. The manufacturer explained that in order to convert the turboprop passenger cabin into a Class E compartment, it will install a new smoke detection system. This removes the need for cabin crew to monitor safety in the cabin during cargo flights. 

“Operators can combine two distinctive income streams into one, significantly expanding their revenue base. The short time required to switch from one configuration to the other allows operators to match market dynamics swiftly,” De Havilland Aircraft wrote. 

The second conversion option, the Dash 8-400 Package Freighter, will allow airlines to expand freight capacity by configuring for bulk loading of various sizes of cargo, including e-commerce packages. 

“There are nine distinct loading zones with eight radial spider nets providing tie-down and restraint functions. The primary cargo access door is in the same position as the aft LHS 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 manufacturer explained. 

Meanwhile, for transportation of large-sized freight, the manufacturer offers its new Dash 8-400 Freighter with Large Cargo Door or Dash 8-400 F-LCD conversion option, making the turboprop capable of flying large pallets and containers. 

“The Dash 8-400 Package Freighter can be equipped with a large cargo door (LCD) and a cargo loading system to provide a containerized cargo model that facilitates the transport of unit load device (ULD) pallets or containers. With the LCD measuring 109 in x 69 in (2.8 m x 1.8 m), the Dash 8-400 F-LCD is equipped to handle typical containers such as LD1, LD2, LD3, and LD4,” the company wrote. 

According to Jean-Philippe Côté, the vice president of De Havilland Canada programs, all three cargo conversion solutions will be offered through original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Service Bulletins approved by the local regulator Transport Canada.  

“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 said. 

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