De Havilland Expands Dash 8 Temporary Freighter Program

Credit: De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada expanded its “simplified package freighter” conversion program to its legacy Dash 8s, announcing Transport Canada approval and a launch customer.

The service bulletins and conversion kits allow Dash 8-100/200s and Dash 8-300s to be converted into temporary freighters by removing passenger seats and seat-track covers, and by using cargo nets. 

The converted Dash 8-100/200 can carry 6,500 lb. of cargo and 561 cubic ft. of volume, while the Dash 8-300’s capacity is up to 9,625 lb and 719 cubic ft.

Nairobi, Kenya’s 748 Air Services has signed up to convert its four of its Dash 8-100s, becoming the newest program’s launch customer. The carrier also ordered kits for its three Dash 8-400s, which De Havilland unveiled in April. Canada regional carrier Jazz Aviation launched that program, ordering kits for up to 13 aircraft, which will fly on short and medium haul routes under the Air Canada Express banner. 

The largest Dash 8’s simplified-cargo configuration payload is 17,960 lb. with a total cargo volume of up to 1,150 cubic ft.

Aviation Week Intelligence Network Fleet Data shows 466 passenger-version Dash 8s in commercial service, including 122 in parked/reserve status, meaning they operate infrequently. Operators have another 500 parked or in long-term storage.

Sean Broderick

Senior Air Transport & Safety Editor Sean Broderick covers aviation safety, MRO, and the airline business from Aviation Week Network's Washington, D.C. office.