Air Transport World

Keeping up with the jet set. (Saab 2000)

In this Saab story, the high-speed 2000 is generating interest among corporate and regional operators. Embraer and Canadair are taking note.

Linkoping, Sweden - The Swedish newspapers were abuzz with the story of King Carl XVI Gustaf's disparaging remarks about the lazy work habits of the Swedish people. He couldn't have been referring to the workers at Saab Aircraft, who are busy preparing for production of the Saab 2000, the 400 mph, 50-passenger follow-on to the 340 commuterliner. ATW had returned to the plane maker's facilities after less than a year to see what progress was being made on the 2000. A lot.

Last January, when Robert Crandall, chairman of AMR Corp., was here to take delivery of American Eagle's first of 50 Saab 340Bs, the company had just broken ground on new facilities to handle the 2000 and increased production of the 340B. Since then, Saab has built a new facility and an add-on to an existing site here, plus erected a new facility at Malm6, a port city on the southern tip of the country to handle some of the manufacturing tasks for the 340 and 2000. Also, all engineering drawings have been completed and released, and all of the vendors for the Saab 2000 have been chosen since ATW last was here ATW, 3/90). Major component assembly has begun and most of the rigs will have been completed and will be operational by next month.

High-speed tests

Five low-speed wind-tunnel tests, one performed in a high-pressure tunnel, and three high-speed tests on a 1:5.7 scale model have been completed. The tests verify the basic characteristics of the aircraft, says Saab. Additional aerodynamic tests have begun.

As for the power plant, General Motors' Allison Gas Turbine Division, which was selected to provide power for the 2000 in July, 1989, has completed flight-clearance testing of a GMA 2100 prototype engine and flight tests are under way aboard a P-3 aircraft near Chico, Calif. in August, the entire GMA-21 00 propulsion system will be shipped to Sweden. …

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