De Havilland Sees Life In Old Turboprops

The ‘Extended Service Program Plus’ will increase the service life of its Dash 8-100 aircraft by a quarter to 160,000 flight cycles.
Credit: De Havilland

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada has revealed a new program to extend the service life of the original variant of the Dash 8 line, the 39-seat -100 model.

Scandinavian regional carrier Wideroe is the launch customer for ‘Extended Service Program Plus,’ which will increase the service life of its Dash 8-100 aircraft by a quarter to 160,000 flight cycles.

Under a previous program, the service life was extended from its original 80,000 cycles to 120,000. De Havilland also offers an extended service program for the larger Dash 8-300.

The move to extend the life of 10 Wideroe -100s, meanwhile, makes sense for both parties given the uncertain future for Dash 8 production and the market that Wideroe operates in Scandinavia, where passenger pressure to improve air transport sustainability is high.

“The Program is vital to bridge the transition between conventional and new technology, and will ensure continuous service of the Norwegian STOL [short take off and landing] network until zero emission technology is available for entry into service," said Werner Skaue, director of aircraft trading at Widerøe Asset.

Robert Mobilio, vice president of engineering at De Havilland Canada, said that the two extended service programs can add more than 40 years to the life of the Dash 8-100 turboprop, which entered service in 1984.

ESP PLUS is the result of several structural and engineering analyses that utilized fatigue and test data accumulated on Dash 8-100 aircraft along with service data analysis on the current ESP Program.

It is initiated through a service bulletin that refers to a new maintenance program supplement. Wideroe will arrange for the replacement of some structural and systems components as identified by the service bulletin.

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.