Saab 340/2000


When Saab-Scania and Fairchild Industries announced a new aircraft to be jointly-developed, (a unique aviation collaboration between European and US partners), it resulted in the 35 seat, twin turboprop design, the Saab-Fairchild 340 (SF340).

SF 340(A) Fairchild produced the tail unit and wings complete with engine nacelles while Saab was responsible for 75 per cent of the development costs, system integration and certification. The SF 340's maiden flight was on the 25th January 1983 and the first units were delivered to launch customer Crossair of Switzerland in July 1984. 
The SF 340 was initially available in two configurations, the standard passenger transport, and the executive VIP model. After a year into production, at the Paris Air Show '85, further developments were announced, more powerful engines with larger Dowty propellors and an increase in MTOW (27,275 lb). Later that year Fairchild was forced to withdraw from the project due to a crippling financial position and the production gradually shifted to Saabs factory in Linkoping.

Country of origin

SF.340 Sweden and USA ; 2000 Sweden

First Flight

25 January 1983

Entered Service

April 1984 with Crossair


Saab 340/340B  459

Saab 2000          63

Total                522 with nearly all in service as of 2004.


340A: two General Electric CT7-5A turboprops 1,250 kW (1675 shp)

340B: two General Electric CT7-9B turboprops 1,305 kW (1750 shp)

2000: two Allison AE2100A turboprops 3,076 kW (4125 shp)


340B: cruising speed 252 kts (467 km/h); range 935 nautical miles (1,732 km); Service Ceiling 25,000 ft

2000: cruising speed 353 kts (653 km/h); range 1,255 nautical miles (2,324 km); Service Ceiling 31,000 ft


340B: operating, empty 17,945 lb (8,140 kg); maximum take-off 29,000 lb (13,155 kg)

2000:  operating, empty 29,762 lb (13,500 kg); maximum take-off 48,500 lb (22,000 kg)


340B:  span 70ft 4in (21.44 m); height 22ft 6 in (6.87 m); length 64 ft 8 in (19.72 m); wing area 450 sq ft (41.80m2)

2000:  span 81 ft 3 in (24.76 m); height 25ft 4 in (7.73 m); length 88 ft 9 in (27.03 m)


340: 2 flightdeck +1 jumpseat; 30-37 passengers, 34 at 30cm seat pitch.

2000: 2 flightdeck +1 jumpseat; 58 passengers max (50 standard)

Related Links

Saab 340QC 1987 was a busy year for Saab, as they oversaw another development of the basic model, a quick-change variant first delivered to Finnaviation. Links were finally severed between Fairchild and the Swedish company, and the formers name was dropped.

Saab 340B In 1987 the SF 340 became the Saab 340A and Saab announced another round of improvements resulting in the Saab 340B. Featuring uprated engines combined with a larger span tailplane this increased MTOW further still. Saabs sluggish sales were rejuvenated and the launch customer was again Crossair. Saab received a major boost when commuter airline American Eagle, an existing Saab customer, placed an order for 100 aircraft.  Optional wing-tip extentions improved hot-and-high and short-field performance enhancing the MTOW by a further 1,200 lbs.

©John Davies. Click picture to see larger version.

Saab 2000 December 1988 witnessed the launch of Saabs latest development, the fifty seater Saab 2000, backed with orders for 25 (plus 25 options) from loyal customer Crossair. Experience with the 340B had convinced Saab that there was a market for a advanced, high-speed regional airliner that could match jet performance and block times over a range of sectors. Saab seeked partners to share development costs and risks and sought agreements with Westland (UK) to build the rear fuselage, Casa (Spain) to manufacture wings, and Valmet (Finland) to produce the tail unit and elevators. Avionics were supplied by Collins and Allison produced the engines. Saab assembled the rest on their production line in Linkoping.

©Chris Sheldon. G-GNTI. Click picture to see larger version.

©Peter Frei. Saab2000 click to view larger picture.

The prototype first flew on 26th March 1992 and a fleet of four aircraft completed all the flight testing which met or surpassed all of Saabs requirements and set a new time-to-climb record of 29,527 ft (9,000m) in 8 minutes and 8 seconds, a 430 kt dive was attained without any adverse effects either. The Saab 2000 had a faster maximum cruise speed than expected but unfortunately suffered from high-speed longitudinal stability (porpoising) which required a new Powered Elevator Control System (PECS). Incorporating these changes set the programme back 18 months. Deliveries were completed before this however by redesigning the elevator spring tab, PECS was added at a later date. Crossair accepted the first delivery on 30th September 1994, Deutche BA received their first airframe on 17th March 1995.

A major design aim was to reduce cabin noise and an active noise reduction system was developed which broadcasts a sound (waveform) which is equal and opposite to the sounds being produced by wind and vibration during flight. The result of this alongside the six bladed slow-revving swept propellors is a 'silent' cabin. The passenger doors were made compatible with standard jetways, eliminating the need for the passengers to cross the tarmac.

Saab 340B Plus The active noise reduction system along with other cabin advances made with the 2000 were added to all late-production 340B's. These 3rd generation aircraft were dubbed with the 'Plus' designation.

End of the runway Saabs assembly line ceased production in 1998. Sales, which were always slow, all but stopped as the demand for regional turboprops dropped off dramatically in the face of emerging regional jets, the last two 340B's were sold to Hokkaido Air System and Japan Air Commuter on 21st May and 4th June 1999 respectively whilst a 2000 airframe destined for the Japan Maritime Safety Agency lay uncompleted on the shop floor.

Saab 340

Saab 2000

UKDirect operate 5 Saab 340B's acquired from different sources over a relatively short period, in somewhat of an emergency manner. They were intended as a stopgap measure primarily to replace the then recently purchased/leased ATR-42's which were proving very unreliable, unsafe and even scaring passengers away from the airline (well, we were operating on a shoestring!). The Saab's arrival did much to placate passengers and pilots alike. Three models are wet leased from Saab Aircraft Leasing, the other two were purchased from Air Midwest.

The Saab fleet's weekly schedule

G-UKDP "Belle of Bon Accord" based at Jersey (Channel Islands)

  • Route # Dep - Arr times Flight details
  • UKD408 0645-0730 Jersey to Southampton
  • UKD450 0800 from Southampton to fly a round robin trip to Guernsey and LFRC before returning home at 1030
  • UKD451 1600 from Southampton, route as 450. Return to Southampton at 1830
  • UKD409 1915-2000 and remains at Jersey overnight for maintenance

This is a daily routine except for Saturday night where the plane remains at Southampton. Saturdays UKD409 and Sundays UKD408 are not flown.

G-DAUK "Bethany" based at Stansted Eurolink hub (London)

  • Route # Dep - Arr times Flight details
  • UKD350 0830-0920 from Stansted to Maastricht, Belgium.
  • UKD351 1000-1050 start of return leg for the 50 minute sector.
  • UKD300 1130-1240 after a 40 minute turn-around Bethany takes off for Newcastle
  • UKD301 1320-1430 another quick turnround and its time for the 70 minute hop back to base
  • UKD320 1500-1600 only half an hour on the ground and its time to visit Jersey of the Channel Islands
  • UKD321 1640-1740 again 40 minutes downtime and then 1 hour flying home.
  • UKD330 1820-1910 Stansted to Exeter connects the capital to the Southwest
  • UKD331 1950-2040 Bethany flies home for a rest and her pilots record another 10 hours flying in their logs

This routine is flown 7 days a week