Jan. 5, 2015: Conventional wisdom suggests that turboprops are making a bit of a comeback because these remain far more efficient for routes up to 400 miles than jets, particularly at high fuel prices.
Even though oil prices have plunged to a seven year low, few expect that long-term prices will remain at today’s levels. While fuel between $50-$60bbl breathes new life into aging regional jets, there remains efforts in several corners to develop a new generation of turboprops.
ATR wants to launch a new, 90-100 seat turboprop.
Bombardier launched a high-density, 86, seat version of its Q400 but appears cool to a new design.
China offers its indigenously built turboprop.
India and Indonesia are exploring a new design.
Pratt & Whitney, GE, others are developing the next generation engine.