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Saab 340A Performance Questions

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I am curious about the Saab 340A after having flown the LES model a bit - which is really great and I like it a lot. It's a bit of a quirky aircraft, based on my observations

  • From a utilitarian perspective, does it not seem well suited for small runways? I know the published optimal flap runway requirement is ~4300 feet - that doesn't get you into and out of some small dirt strips and outposts for a puddlejumper. The ATR-42-500 seems to have a higher MTOW yet can can operate into even smaller runways. Of course, to really get you into and out of small airstrips you have to drop weight and drop down to a Beech 1900D or similar...
  • It's easy to see performance-wise why CRJs and ERJs quickly outpaced the Saab 340s. Similar capacity, faster, etc.

It begs the question what was the segment that this was targeted for.

Also, can you take off at flaps 20 to decrease runway length requirements? A lot of the documentation mentions 'optimal flaps' - is there a good indication of what optimal flaps are for takeoff at small fields?

Edited by John G
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