Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New Airline for Toronto

Today (September 26, 2006) Porter Airlines of Toronto received its AOC (Operating Certificate) and also scheduled service approval. Jazz was formerly the only airline servicing Toronto City Center but they ceased operations into CYTZ back in the spring. Now Porter Airlines flying Dash 8 Q400 will commence service sometime in mid October starting with 10 daily flights to Ottawa. They had a big promotion in Ottawa and I got to snap a few quick shots of the plane before they left.

This picture is taken from Flight Aware and on-line flight tracker which is amazing. Here it shows the radar track from Ottawa back to Toronto Island. The maximum altitude for this routing is usually 16,000 feet so in order to keep with the flow of traffic in and out of Ottawa they have to do a bit of two different preffered routings. They started off as if they were headed to YYZ (Toronto Pearson) or westbound high level. Then in order to flow with traffic near Toronto Pearson they had to fly south overhead Trenton and then step down to keep under departures out of Pearson.

Now I was curious to see how this airplane performs and this is the track log function on Flight Aware. Basically this aircraft was climbing at 3000 feet a minute up to flight level 220 (22,000 feet). Now if anyone knows how fast a Dash 8 100 to 300 climbs and even cruises at the performance figures shown here show you that this aircraft shares the Dash and the 8 part but is in a league of its own ! There was about a 45-50 knot headwind so this plane was truing out at 360 kts ! Thats insane for a turbo prop ! I got to go in for a tour of this aircraft and the spaciousness and the seat pitch is huge and way more comfortable then a regional jet and not much slower either. The cockpit is all CRT screens but looking at the overhead panel it looks like it was taken from an old Dash 8 aircraft with a few new items. Commonality is a good thing though and its nice with all the technology to have remnants of what inspired the design and broke ground for this aircraft to come into existence.

Planes are objects I know but isn't it a thing of beauty ! To stand at the front and look down the long clean fusealage is amazing. I will try and get some of those shots soon. It seats 70 people and has all leather seating. Truely amazing and I can't wait to take a ride on one.

To read more on Porter go to their web site at FlyPorter.com

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