The de Havilland Dash 7 is a regional turboprop with short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities. Powered by four Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-50 turboprop engines, it first flew on 27 March 1975.
Designed to get in and out of short airstrips, it could use smaller facilities such as the Avon STOLport in Colorado, Steamboat Springs, Telluride Airport and London City Airport.
de Havilland Dash 7 Video
Following on from the last video about the Dornier 328JET, this week we look at the de Havilland Dash 7. The video below shows Norwegian airline Widerøe demonstrating the STOL capabilities at Sola, Norway in 1987.
Running for just over two minutes, it’s fun to see the plane in action. Reversing backwards down the runway is certainly something you don’t see every day.
It is remarkable to see just how short the landing roll is once the plane touches down. I think the aircraft could get into a parking lot, or just about!
Capable of carrying up to 50 passengers, it entered service on 3 February 1978. Rocky Mountain Airways operated the first services and it even saw service with the military.
Production ran from 1975 to 1988, and in total 113 de Havilland Dash 7 aircraft were produced. As a larger version of the Twin Otter, it ended up being far less successful. In fact, its older sibling continues to be made today.
Today you can fly on the Dash 7 with Air Tindi in Canada and Air Kenya, who have five and two respectively. If you want to fly on one, these are likely your only options.
Have you ever had the experience of flying on board a Dash 7? What was that like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by Steve Fitzgerald on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.
I flew the dash 7 for almost 10000 hrs and enjoyed every minute of that time!
Sounds great! You must know it like the back of your hand after that many hours. Anything particular you liked or disliked or was unusual about the aircraft?
In 1984 and ’85 I flew Ransome Air’s Newark to Providence route. I know the Dash 7’s were designed for quiet operation, but that was regarding “External noise”. My memories are of internal noise and vibration issues. Multiple times I experienced trim falling off of the interior.
Sounds like there was plenty of vibration if trim was coming off inside. Not something that would inspire confidence from a passenger at any rate. Nice you’ve got to give the plane a try though! Thanks for that!
I was Rocky Mountain Airways’ (RMA) first Station Manager at the Avon STOLport in Avon, Colorado, a private airport built and owned by RMA in the late 1970’s. RMA replaced its fleet of Dash 6’s (Twin Otters) with Dash 7’s which were the only aircraft that used this STOLport. I had flown in Twin Otters around RMA’s destinations before the Dash 7 was introduced. The difference was stark. A Twin Otter is a rugged, basic, unpressurized STOL airplane that can operate almost anywhere. The Dash 7 is a quiet, modern, pressurized STOL airplane. It could fly comfortably into the Avon… Read more »
Fantastic that you worked with RMA in Avon. I had no idea the approach was 8 degrees there – that must have made for some very unusual landings. I knew the Dash 7 was very different to the Twin Otter, so it must have been quite remarkable comparing the two. Sounds like you would have had an interesting time there. Thanks for the comment, I always love hearing from people who worked with the aircraft.
Worked at DHC at the time and got shown what a STOL approach was like while standing in the cockpit doorway. Quite the experience! Last trip was on Berjaya Air into TOD. Again quite the experience as its a one way runway with a Kai Tak like fly into a hill approach and 90 degree turn on finals. Was fortunate enough to fly into YTZ (first time anything that large had been there) to demonstrate aircraft for City Express. To quote an ex Chief Pilot at ZW “it leaps right of the ground but gets to FL 800 and scratches… Read more »
I just looked up TOD – Tioman Airport on Tioman Island, Pahang, Malaysia. I see the runway is one way and the hills all around – Kai Tak like certainly looks like a good analogy. Looks like you had some really interesting experiences working for de Havilland Canada. I like the Chief Pilots analogy!! 🙂 Funny! Thanks for sharing all of that, you’ve alerted me to some new places I had no idea about. Appreciate it!
Sat in the jump seat of the Dash 7, doing bumps and starts at London City Airport in 1988. With a moderate headwind it felt like you were just hanging in the air on approach.
That sounds like it would have been a fun experience! Not too surprised at the feeling of hanging in the air, it seems to fly pretty sedately. Cool experience, thanks for the comment!