We have brought a part of the West Coast to the rest of the world. Our Alaska Q400 was a perfect release for our 10th project, just being retired in early 2023 and being the first Q400 in the Tag market.
The De Havilland Dash 8 series of aircraft are a family of turboprop regional airliners which were developed from the Dash 7s and were first introduced in 1984 with the Dash 8-100. Throughout the 1970s, De Havilland Canada invested large amounts of resources into their Dash 7 program. The Dash 7 was a four-engine turboprop aircraft with STOL capabilities designed for regional routes and smaller airports. Unfortunately for De Havilland however, only a handful of carriers ordered the Dash 7. Most airlines would rather opt for the favorable operating costs of a two-engine turboprop, than the short-field performance of the four-engine Dash 7. In the early 1980s, De Havilland addressed these demands, modifying the Dash 7 to utilize two stronger turboprop engines. The result was the Dash 8, an extremely versatile aircraft that would go on to become one of the most successful regional aircraft of all time.
Unlike the previous Dash 8 ‘s which could only carry a maximum of 68 passengers, the new cabin of the Q400 allowed up to 90 passengers on board.
During the mid-1990’s the race was on for new turboprops that would soon change the game. De Havilland Canada, already one of the leaders in the turboprop industry had revolutionized the game by releasing the Q400 which stands for “Quiet 400 series” and it was. No aircraft manufacturer had ever produced a turboprop that could fly that long, fast, high, and do all of that while being quieter than comparable regional jet aircraft. Not only that but they had designed the aircraft to adapt a much longer cabin as well as adding much more powerful engines that were twice as powerful as the ATR-72. While being much quieter on the outside, it was also much more comfortable for passengers and crew. This was thanks to the Active Noise and Vibration System.
Edition 10 is made from several components of N416QX, including the Wings and Fuselage. Anytime the Plane Chains team is given the opportunity to work with the wings of an aircraft we are amazed by how many rivets there are to help with the load the wings have to support. Our one-of-a-kind Tags are one of the few out there that include all three of Alaska's colors airlines color into one keychain.
The Q400 as versatile and reliable as it is and was modified to play different roles including water bombing, maritime petrol, freighter, and even a combi configuration. As of 2019, there were 587 Q400S delivered, as this statistic is outdated there are definitely many more flying.
Our N416QX started her life at the Toronto Downsview factory (YZD) in January of 2004 where she was then delivered to Horizon Air where she flew with them up until January of 2011. In January of 2011, she was transferred to Alaska Airlines still holding her ‘N416QX” registration. After safely transporting hundreds of thousands of passengers she Sadly flew her last flight in October of 2018. Unfortunately, 5 years later Alaska Airlines decided to retire its whole fleet of Q400s in favor of the ERJs. Our crew at Plane Chains are just as enthusiastic as many of you collectors and we knew how the news of the retirement of the Alaska Q400 was a sad end to an era.