Improvements to the hot and high performance of British Aerospace's Jetstream 19-seat turboprop family that could be worth up to 350kg of extra payload will be on the market from July.

British Aerospace produced around 400 of its Jetstream 31s, Super 31s and 32s, putting most of them into the North American market. Not exactly unsuccessful, but one of the aircraft's perceived weaknesses was in the hot and high regime.

Most of the Jetstreams are handled by British Aerospace Asset Management - Turboprops (AMT), which manages and re-markets BAe's previously owned turboprop fleet.

Stephen O'Sullivan, AMT executive vice president, says the improvements - centred around the introduction of a flapless take-off setting and the fitting of edams (drag-reducing aerodynamic devices attached to the engine nacelle/wing joint) - will make a noticeable difference to the aircraft's performance. A water methanol power augmentation system is available as an option for more extreme hot and high conditions.

"Jetstream has never really been considered ' a Denver aircraft'," says O'Sullivan. "It is now."

Despite the predicted demise of the 19-seat market, particularly in the US, O'Sullivan says that it will remain healthy for his organisation.

The retirement of older aircraft such as the Embraer Bandeirante and Fairchild Metro II, plus the emergence of 'third tier' airlines filling the void left by larger regionals which move into larger aircraft and busier sectors, means that many city-pair routes are being "rediscovered" and will require relatively inexpensive pre-owned 19-seats.

Source: Flight Daily News