Archive: Bombardier Q400

The noisy plane once dreaded by flyers is now a quieter, quicker ride--and more efficient than jets for short-haul travel

Karen Moskowitz for TIME

The prop of an Horizon Air Bombardier Regional Aircraft Q400 is seen at a hanger at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday, August 3, 2007.

Road warriors grown accustomed to regional jets on commuter hops flinch at the idea of a turboprop. Perhaps it's that sensation of being crammed into a flying matchbox while a man inside your head uses a jackhammer to tunnel his way out.

But airlines' changing dynamics mean that you are going to be seeing more propellers from your window seat. Relax, the ride is getting a lot better. A new breed of six-bladed turboprops like Bombardier's Q400--jet fast but even quieter--is leading a revival. Carriers are taking advantage of the new turbos' more efficient fuel burn, reduced cabin noise, increased capacity...

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