Andrzej Jeziorski/MUNICH

SAAB AIRCRAFT is modifying the Saab 2000 turboprop to overcome dispatch-reliability problems, which afflicted the fleets of Deutsche BA and Crossair during the European winter.

According to Saab operations chief Johan Oster, the aircraft is now operating at close to its target of 99% dispatch reliability, that having sunk to 98% in Europe last winter. Saab is confident of being able to maintain this level all year.

The problems with nuisance cockpit warnings, and an earlier problem with the auxiliary power unit causing, smoke in the cabin (Flight International, 10-16 April), have been resolved.

Saab says that it is still following two avenues of investigation for a possible solution to the brake-icing problem. "One is to provide heating for the gear bay, and another is to see if a change in the brake material could help," says Oster.

Saab had failed to solve the problem by fitting new water shields to the undercarriage, to prevent moisture building up between the brake discs. The problem is expected to be resolved this year.

Improvements now being installed will bring cabin noise down by one further decibel, to 77dB. This is still short of the 76dB the manufacturer is contractually obliged to reach, but Oster is confident that this target will be met within 12 months. The latest improvements include adjustments to the aircraft's active noise-control system, but primarily tackles broadband emissions.

Source: Flight International