What Are The Prospects For A Next-Gen Turboprop?

turboprop aircraft
Credit: United Technologies

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Now that the Boeing-Embraer joint venture is not moving forward, what are the prospects for a next-generation turboprop coming to market?

Aviation Week Senior Propulsion Editor Guy Norris answers:

Embraer has shelved plans for a Next-Gen turboprop, at least for now, as it regroups after being left at the altar by Boeing. It remains unclear whether ATR or de Havilland Canada—which bought the Q400 and Dash 8 range from Bombardier in 2019—have the means or appetite for launching an all-new next-gen development in the near term. Other new turboprops have been proposed in South Korea, India, Indonesia and China (which is completing assembly of the first Avic MA700).

For the 2020s, an alternative might be a series of significant upgrade and modification programs for existing designs, including reengining with hybrid-electric propulsion systems. Under Project 804, Collins Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney Canada are designing a parallel hybrid-electric demonstrator based on a Dash 8 that may become the basis for a future product offering. Similarly, German aerospace center DLR and aviation research house Bauhaus Luftfahrt are also studying the potential modification of existing 19-seaters such as the British Aerospace Jetstream 31 and Dornier 228 to electric or hybrid-electric propulsion under the Cooperation for Commuter Research project.

Guy Norris

Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, covering technology and propulsion. He is based in Colorado Springs.