View Full Version : Let's all kick the [email protected] of the Metro thread

23 Metros In a Row
1st Sep 2005, 13:47
We have all heard the names and snide remarks.

San Antonio sewer pipe, Death Pencil, Meatro …… yeah yeah

However, a better more suited aircraft for the Australian regional market I cannot find.

Yes, a Q400,Q300, even Saab 340B et al are reasonable gear for a 30 seat port, but the 19 seat operators have a bone yard cemetery full of aircraft types that well just could not cut the job out like my namesake.

The Metro has carried more Australians to and from regional centres than any other aircraft. Moved more mega TNT tones of boxes than any other. All done (not so) quietly and efficiently with a minimum of fuss.

And all without a death that can be reasonably be attributed to the aircraft, its certification or ability. Australian Metro deaths have come from poor judgement of the smallest of small minority who fcked up bigtime.

No failing crankshafts. No “self” destructing props. No poorly designed fuel system.

Ah yeah-as, then the Heckle and Jeckle of Dunnunder, Gaunty and swh will scream the certification boogy man will hang, draw and quarter all the passengers who dare to look the beast between the eyes! Well, they have more words than Tolstoy and a better grasp of life saving certification requirements than the FAA and JAR put together (hell they tell the FAA and JAR how to certify). But all their commentary is grounded by the proof in the pudding………..aviation survival.

And Before You Start……. I am not the “God” referred to in other posts. V1 cuts in Metros are for clowns. A mate of mine proved that to us all years ago.

It has been suggested in another thread that we (in jest) kick off a lets kick the crap out of the Metro thread.

Well in Jest maybe, but I know for a fact that some want the free kick.

Well I say…………………BRING EM ON. Your “we hate the Metro’s harka” does not scare me.

Go ahead, have a swing. Go on, I dare you. You soft belly Beech/”M”Braer boofheads. Swing at me. Have a go you mugs……………..

The Chef
1st Sep 2005, 14:13
I am with you 23 metros, great aircraft that has stood the test of time and continues to perform to a great standard. If the metro is so bad, then where are all the replacements???

The Chef

1st Sep 2005, 14:49
Well you might be surprised to hear that I absolutely agree.

I don't recall ever saying the Metro was a "bad" aircraft, there is rarely such a thing.
I've said it here before the test of a "good" aircraft should not be, as some ego's would have it, that it takes a "real man" to fly it, my old granny will do just nicely thank you.
It was a product of its time and does the job for which it was intended.
Its just that it's reached the end of its product cycle and inevitably, is being replaced by new technology.

Over 1003 produced at the last count, can't argue with that even got up to FAR23 Amendment 34 I think.

It can stand proudly in line with the DC3, Convairs, F27s and the like.

But like it or not the sun is setting and it's time to move on with more efficient types.
Its really simple, were they not so cheap in capital terms in the marketplace relative to more modern types they would not now be economic. The "megatonnes of TNT freight" is a damning with faint praise.

Your regional customers will not thank you if you do not.

1st Sep 2005, 15:05
23 Metros In a Row
However, a better more suited aircraft for the Australian regional market I cannot find.

Ever heard of an aircraft called Raytheon 1900D? Given he choice I doubt any punter would want to fly the noisy, bend ya head towards the middle, “pencil d1ck” in lieu of a 1900D, seeing we are talking 19 seat aircraft. Just my 2 cents.
Cockpit from the stone age, the noisest aircraft i have ever heard, cant even stand up inside, i could go on forever. junk!:yuk:

1st Sep 2005, 15:13
the noisest aircraft i have ever heard,

Clearly Mr Angle has never done a coastal surveillance run from Cairns to Weipa in a BN3!

1st Sep 2005, 15:28
Clearly Mr Angel hasnt heard a RAAF 707 take off outta Richmond at midnight when its peaceful.

1st Sep 2005, 15:42
The J31/32 kicks the crap out of the Metro.

Stand-up cabin, much stronger, much more stable aerodynamically, etc etc etc.

Ever wonder why the scrapyards are full of Metros, whilst the J32 soldiers steadily on?

The Metro (or more accurately, the Merlin from which it was developed) was designed for speed, not strength or longevity. They are fast, but you pay for it eventually.

Personally I would far rather have the stand-up cabin, toilet and galley that the Jetstream comes with.

Ding ding... round two... ;)

1st Sep 2005, 23:17
Well personally I hate Metro's but then I have good reason to.

But putting that aside from a passenger's point of view and having flown on them to Merimbula in the past, they are noisy, uncomfortable and I think they should be used for freight only!

It also disturbs me that Metro's from countries such as Mexico end up flying RPT in Australia.

Fiona Norris

2nd Sep 2005, 00:42
My comments come from one who has been lucky enough NOT to fly a Metro, how ever I have been unfortunate enough to be a passenger in one, and a worst aircraft for passengers I cannot think of.

Prior to this post I had been wondering which aircraft had been involved in more fatalities in Australia, and I reckon the Metro would be right up there.

choices in that range??
B1900, E110, Metro, J31/32, Twin Otter(a bit specialised to really compare)

2nd Sep 2005, 00:46
I loved flying the Metro(23).
It is a challenge, and a rewad when you are flying it properly. It will kick the [email protected] out of a J31/32, will outclimb a Saab or Dash, is cheaper to run than the 1900, and lets not even talk about piston a/c!

Insofar as freight goes, the "Spider net" system works well, and if packed properly, can uplift 1900kg SYD-BNE!

Pax wise ??? OK. they might be a bit small, but at least you get a window AND an aisle seat. Rarely did we have to leave baggage behind , even with 19pax!

Do you REALLy need a galley if you don't have a F/A ??? or does the poor old F/O have to do yet ANOTHER role ? A toilet on board a plane like the M23 or J31? No thanks!

And insofar as a pax point of view - let's face it, Every a/c they turn up to they whinge about!

The best thing about the M23 being noisy ??? well you can't hear the two ladies in row 1 yakking and yakking and yakking... all the way thru check in, boarding, briefing, climb, cruise ,descent, landing and disembarkation! and some of them women can talk!!!

The only thing it needs is a DECENT aircon system, and pax who don't make stupid comments when they board :)

Merlins Magic
2nd Sep 2005, 00:56
This arguement needs to be looked at from 2 different perspectives.

1 - The passenger

2 - The operators and crew.

I am sure we would all agree that from a passenger comfort point of view, the Metro is lacking. In this regard the J31 and B1900 are far superior.

But from an operating point of view, the reliability, operating costs, speed, payload, by far outway that of any other type in the same class.

From a pilot's perspective, the Metro is a great aircraft to fly. It does what you tell it to do when you tell it to do it. Apart from being a bit of a ground hog, the performance is second to none, especially on a cool day. Not many others can climb out at MTOW at 3000-4000 fpm.

The proof (as per AA 9/2005) - Aircraft numbers in Australia. 8 B1900C/D's, 6 J31/32's, 62 M2/3/23.


2nd Sep 2005, 02:39
Iwas just about to make the same comment , comparing the numbers of each aircraft in Oz. Pax will whine no matter what aircraft turns up at the gate, especially in regional centres. In my experience pax seem to compare every aircraft to a 747 or 767, I have heard pax complain about 737's, the comment being "oh no not the small one again" . Metros do a brilliant job, they can carry max payload up to about 700nm (metro23), yes they can be noisy and no you cant stand upright, however over a 1 hour flight how many of you really need to get up and walk around, use the toilet etc etc (if you cant hold your bladder in that time something is wrong -metros were designed for short sectors up to an hour maybe an hour and a half, even though they can stretch this quite easily). The older metros , ie 2's and 3's, maybe be getting a bit ragged around the edges however the 23's which are only 10-15 years old still have alot left in em(young for australian aircraft).


23 Metros In a Row
2nd Sep 2005, 06:27

"The sun is setting on the Metro".

Captain, the sun might go down over Rotto each afternoon, but 'twill shine on the Metro on regional 19 seat ops for many more moons, and still be there in the golden morning sun getting ready for another run.

Can't be replaced, because there is nothing (in your words) more efficient that can replace it. Noting on the drawing board either.

The Beech babies and GenX J32ers are gone from production together with the peace pipe.

But oil prices will stay high and the Pratts even emptied the deep tight pockets of SQ!

Unless we see a liquidation of Raytheon's fleet at reasonable prices, the Beech will not get a look in.

Regional centres who currently have a Metro cannot support a Bras or Saab......both of which, too, are out of production and as old (generally) and safe as the Metro in the hands of our next generation.

Then again, Meeka or Birdsville might have population explosions......but then again, not.

As for the others,
Not many Metro's come from Mexico, not that it is relevant. Not sure why Mexico gets a kick in this regard.

Passenger's perspective ..... yeah so you can stand up when you get in and out in the Beech. But you cant stand up during take off or landing, Metro or Beech. More relevantly, passengers want an air service........all of the routes the Beech were on, well they're not anymore. It is the same argument as putting a Bras or Saab into a port with five paying nothing backsides.....It is only temporary. Then hey presto no service or back to the Metro.

How many deaths (pax or crew) is the Metro responsible for in Australia.............none. Pilots are TOTALLY responsible for them not the aircraft.

J31/32 in service and metro's in the bone yard.............wrong china. Other way around. And don't start me on 31's. Poms could never do anything that made money in aviation....

F/O Bloggs
2nd Sep 2005, 07:56


Far Canard
2nd Sep 2005, 08:40
The Metro is the king of the 19 seaters based on fuel burn. With the price of fuel heading for orbit these aircraft will be here until there is no more fossil fuel to pump. Those PT6 powered aircraft need the soot washed off them every night. Those stand up cabins just add drag and make the aircraft look stupid. The only truly 19 seat Jetstream the Poms made is the 41. The rest are junk and have the reliability / performance that goes with it. Never get caught in a Metro departing behind a J31.

2nd Sep 2005, 09:28

Once again you may be surprised to hear that I absolutely agree.

Like most pilots you seem make the mistake of believing that this business is about flying aircraft and how far, fast, difficult "pilot" stuff, about how can I run a service that will give me a job.
It's actually exactly around the other way.

You see the notion was never about the "aircraft", Metro, Jetstream (we actually placed an order for some of those in the late sixties when they were powered by Aztazous, :rolleyes: weren't we lucky they went broke), Beech 99 yet, Cessna 404, B1900 etc.

It is about a pragmatic certification status that was born out of expediency at the time.

Noting (sic) on the drawing board either you can bet your bippy on that and why do you think that is so.:)

By the time you meet all the current requirements in this modern world (or the past for that matter) the economics demand that you wind up with either the Dash 8/ATR42 types or small regional jets breaking out all over.
That is an equation the manufacturers have never been able to satisfactorily resolve. Swearingen/Fairchild may have come as close as any to it.
They even studied a "stand-up body" but the inexorable and immutable laws of certification economics said if ya gunna do that you need to start from scratch and if ya gunna do that the ultimate market is not there in that seat range at the sort of dollars required.

You dont need to be a rocket scientist or do the numbers to know that it doesn't cost all that much more to build a 30 pax airframe as a 19 pax one.

And if we were talking in the world of real costs the modern efficient 30 paxer can happily service routes down to break evens of maybe 10 pax.

Now it aint gunna happen over night, but it will happen, who's gunna pay for it remains moot.
The next five years will pass in a blink.
I really dont care what they use in freight as long as they aren't sacrificing young pilots.
Neither do I care if you choose to ignore my advice.

If you are a big time Metro operator (any sort really) and have your "profit" :rolleyes: predicated on the low capital costs of any of these types, IMHO you've got maybe 5 years at the best to get your revenue up to the point where you can afford to replace them with the new types or you plan your exit strategy on very high operating profits for the period, there wont be any realisable capital assets.

I would also be talking carefully and quietly to the Government about the return of subsidy to those areas that cannot hope to support modern equipment.

It used to be the way and remote areas recieved relatively equitable and state of the art services, but somewhere along the way some really clever operators :rolleyes: convinced the Government that by using written down, no longer economically viable or surplus equipment they could do without subsidy.:rolleyes: Really clever businessmen these guys?

Well that bird is coming home to roost.

2nd Sep 2005, 10:35
Here's my breakdown:

Metro: Cheap to buy; passenger appeal zero; good speed but with handling issues. Payload range first class, but with light airframe that turns to junk ; economic fuel burn. Cheap to lease/buy

J31/2: passenger appeal high; Speed good; airframe built like brick-sh1t house and resultantly payload range with limitations, particularly for Aussie market; just behind Metro on fuel burn. Cheap to lease buy

B1900C: Fast, but passenger appeal zero; high fuel burn; mid price to buy/lease

B1900D: Fast, passenger appeal good just behind J31/2; high fuel burn; costly to buy/lease

So whatever you operate you end up with a compromise. My choice would probably be for the J32; with nobody building pressurised 19-seaters any more the J32 has the longevity of airframe that I would want.

3rd Sep 2005, 00:59
I guess it's too slow and not pressurised, but cheaper than a caravan

3rd Sep 2005, 06:16
Fairly respectable second segment too, but the 14,000 max operating level is a bit of a worry.

Looks like a great aircraft for rattling around Eastern Europe over 100-150 mile sectors.

I suspect you'd find anything beyond ISA would be a real test. WAT gets em every time. But they were designed for the conditions ISA+20 has half the population in hospital with heat stroke while we're just taking our cardies off. :)

3rd Sep 2005, 09:45
I saw a metro load up with the local basketball team on charter once. Poor buggas, I could only see their knees in the windows. :rolleyes: Should have put them horizontally in a cargo version instead.

3rd Sep 2005, 10:27
from a customer service point of view the m23 was a workhorse during my 5 yr stint at KD during the 1990's. cant remember how many times we sent a m23 to BWT instead of a U/S sf3. also working at an outport I never left a bag or cargo behind even with 19 pax in the middle of summer with deduced payload. from MEL-MGB i still prefer the m23 over the j31 even though the cabin is slightly larger on the j31. the seat pitch on the m23 is good, i am 6ft and have no worries during my 10yrs as a staff pax. a couple of probs with the m23 are the p.a. system which is diffucult to hear and the aircon.... a bit slow.

Night Watch
4th Sep 2005, 18:36
Have flown the Metro (2500 hrs), the B1900 (2000 hrs), the 340 (1000 hrs) and the ATR42 (300). Although most of my turboprop time was on the Metro, i have to say it was the best. It did the job time after time, and even though at times it was a bitch to start, once going..... it was a joy to fly.

Now when flying an aircraft that is fly by wire, I still enjoy it..... but I enjoy it more when the guy/girl next to you has flown the mighty Metro, because it (like PNG), is a topic that one can reminisce about on a 14hr trip. This particular type has the habit of reminding us what it was like to fly a real aeroplane. One that was built like a brick and (especially in icing) flew like one.

El Oso
5th Sep 2005, 00:22
The metro is the most popular 19 seater - why?

Lower fuel burn (2/3rds of the B1900D), lower price, versatility (very quick to turn it into an excellent freighter) and reasonable speed. Last time I looked most commutter CEO's were not complete idiots and they bought nearly 1100 of them.

I flew Metro 3 / 23's for 5 years, and Twatters, Bandits, Saabs etc before moving onto jets. And have heard many Metro jokes but must admit the old pencil is still a force in the market, while the J31, Bandit are all but gone and Saab is fading fast.

No they are not perfect, a bit noisey (for a 19 seater but same as a jokestream) and the engines require mechanics with a few clues. But quite simply they are a success and as another poster said - the 23 will be around for a long time yet...

J31's are all but in the scrap yard (About the price of a nice Chieftain)and were never comparable (slow, a pain to load, inadequate boot space, etc) and the J32 still has those probs but is a couple of knots faster than the 31 (ie still gets licked by metros). Pommie crap! The only 19 seater that ever beat it was the B1900D but at such a high price (both purchase and operating) that many operators don't consider them an option.

Quite simply the SA227 (especially 3H & 23) has: range, payload, versatility, lower costs and reasonable speed.

"Nightwatch" I agree, I also now fly FBW jets and when I look back I must admit the Metro could be a handful, but very satisfying once you got it nailed (and not everyone could). Rather like an old sportscar. I will always have respect for experienced Metro CPT's, especially for those flying them into short fields or icing condx.

Sales figures might indicate something...


6th Sep 2005, 02:40
The ONLY reason that the Metro is popular is that it is CHEAP.

The J31/32 is far from gone, look beyond the boundaries of Australia. Whilst you are doing that, stop to consider why there are virtually no Metros in Europe.

It's easy to go fast if you build your aircraft light and with a small frontal area. That is why lots of Metros really are scrapped when they reach the end of a relatively short career - they are lightly built and don't last the distance (ISTR that most if not all of Air Nelsons Metros were cut up when they replaced them).

You also sacrifice pax comfort by making the fuselage so small. You can stand up in a J31/32.

Sales figures only tell you that airlines in OZ and the US buy aircraft based solely on cost. Other airlines buy on the basis of quality and comfort, because over a one hour sector, the difference in speed is pretty much meaningless.

You can keep 'em... uncomfortable and fragile. No thanks. At least the Brits build their aircraft to last (which is why you won't find many J31/32s in scrapyards, keeping all the Metros company).

It is also interesting that Fairchild were seriously considering doing a Metro with a "stand-up" cabin, but discovered that as soon as you do that, you lose all the advantages and end up with an aircraft less capable than the J31 or B1900. They stopped building all Metros instead.

And finally, well-designed aircraft (in this class) are not hard to fly. If they are, then a design failure has occured. The Metro is aerodynamically wanting. It really needs a bunch of extra surfaces on it, like the 1900. Needing an AoA indicator in an aircraft of this class is ridiculous.

6th Sep 2005, 03:59
Got about 2000 hours in Metros.

Hated every minute of it.
What a noisy, ill-handling, and uncomfortable POS.

23 Metros In a Row
6th Sep 2005, 13:59

We are talking about Australia, Australian conditions and Australian markets.

Thats why no consideration is given to Eastern Block equipment.....cause it does not work here.

As for your comment, that "because over a one hour sector, the difference in speed is pretty much meaningless" clearly demonstrates your business knowledge is lets say a little thin.

On sectors over an hour, Speed is everything.......operator and passenger.

Air Nelson did not cut up all their Metro's. I do know that for a fact.

The only Metro's in the scrap yards are Metro II's. Again, I do know that for a fact. Not too many Metro III or '23's in boneyards....well not that I can find.

J31/32 might have a use in parts of the aviation world. But mate, it is a bit like a macintosh and bowler hat, not much good down 'ere where it don't rain much and it is more than 15.5 degrees on a summers day.

And no, Fairchild did not can the Metro because it could not justify a stand up cabin. For the full explaination of the cessation of Metro 23 production (and B1900D and J32 and.......) we can refer to the Gospel according to Gaunty.......

6th Sep 2005, 15:58
Yes well there is a difference between sectors of an hour, and sectors over an hour. What do you think the difference is over an hour? With the Metro II or III there is little difference. With the 23 there is a 30 knot difference, so over an hour that is 30 nm, at cruise speed that takes about 8 mins. Add traffic into the equation and the difference in sector times could favour either aircraft. One thing is for sure, if the Metro takes off behind the J32, it will never get past it if they are both going to the same destination - not enough time to get the required separation, even using different levels.

If you think that the aforementioned 8 minutes makes any commercial difference, it is your business knowledge that is somewhat lacking. The ability to stand up in the cabin without being bent over, and the provision of a toilet and a galley, are far more commercially attractive than a few minutes off the flight time, particularly when that time advantage may very well be nullified by terminal area congestion.

BAe did design a variant on the J32 for hot climates, it used water meth to enhance takeoff performance and is still used in parts of Africa. In recent years, BAe have offered the EP package which further improves hot and high performance.

Anyway, it is clearly your favourite plane, so just carry on with your defence of the very cramped little commuter. Whatever floats your boat.

6th Sep 2005, 16:38
MOR..good man!!!..at least 23 didnt take a pop at the 146..or it could've been pistols at dawn!:p

Seriously though..they dont call them fright tubes for nothing now do they...and to be honest I cant remember the last time a J31/32 broke up in flight (lost a good mate in the Air Post crash):mad:

Anyway..what would I know..(dont answer that)

6th Sep 2005, 17:05
haughtney old bean...!!

Maybe you know about fumes incidents in 757's... was having a fun time with that in R&N until it all got "moderated" out of existence.

The main problem with the Metro is that it was designed by Ed Swearingen purely for speed. He was prepared to live with all sorts of design compromises in the quest for that goal. His approach was similar to that of John Thorpe, who designed the Fletcher ag planes. He took the view that an aircraft design should start out just strong enough to keep the rain out, and that strength should then be added to the areas that fail during testing. You end up with a structure that is just strong enough to do the job.

The Brits, on the other hand, don't tend to build their aircraft to a "life" (or to a price, which is what it really is). That is why very few (modern) British aircraft have ever been lost to structural failure, which is relatively common in some US designs.

Anyway... pointless argument. We know better, right...??? :ok:

Night Watch
6th Sep 2005, 18:21
Look it all comes down to the facts....

There are 68 Metros in Oz (II's, III's and 23's), 8 1900's (C and D) and last of all the wost selling of the lot (word wide) the J31/32..... brace yourself because it's a huge number...... 6!!!

The numbers speak for themselves....

El Oso
6th Sep 2005, 23:45
"Night Watch" I agree. It goes beyond mere figures...

Not much problem to sell / lease a good used Metro 3H / 23 but BAE tries all sorts of deals to shift J31/32's. There are reasons for that... (IMHO perhaps its that they are operationally shite and were rejected by the market.). The B1900D is a great 19 seater except for one BIG thing - too expensive to be profitable in most scenarios and last time I looked aviation was a business...

Some poster claimed the Metro was "lightly built". Strange given the J32 and Metro 23 have very similar EW and MTOW and the high hours they reach in service in a variety of environments. Besides having flown various 19 seaters (inc Metro) for many years I know LAMES who worked on both Jokestreams and Metros, they felt the J31/32 was crap. A Hanger Queen and difficult to work on. Hardly surprising - ever worked on a Mini, Maxi, Landrover? (Should have downed tools after the Spitfire?) Same poster claims in 1 hour a Metro won't catch a J31/32 - bollocks! I did so many times in NZ. Its not just CRZ speed where a Jokestream gets wasted by a Metro. As for his "23 knots" difference between a 3 and 23 - again rubbish (having been both a M23 and 3 CPT for years). But then this same guy told me in a post I didn't get an NZ to OZ ATPL without exams! (could have fooled me!).

Reminds me of those who defended the DH Dragon Rapide against the dominance of the DC3 years ago out of nothing more than anachronistic UK loyalty. What a joke!


23 Metros In a Row
7th Sep 2005, 00:04
Sorry MOR, but a few points need consideration.

Eight minutes (on your numbers) per sector does not make a difference???? What the?

Consider that 8 minutes per sector is around 15%. So arguably one type is 15% more or less efficient than the other.

Considering the margins regionals must operate within, 15% is somewhat relevant.

Eight minutes per one hour sector. Or 30 nm per one hour sector (again on your math). Average regional 19 seat turboprop operates some 1500 hours per annum. That could be 1500 one hour sectors (again on your math). Based on 8 minutes per sector, that’s a DOC saving of 12,000 minutes (200 hours), or 45,000 nm. Of course that’s the utopian regional model, but factor that by 50% and then factor its resultant by a 70% efficiency and you still have a 70 hour annual saving.

Of course the argument must follow that the B1900 (and maybe the 31/32....then only maybe) would load and yield higher for RPT operations because of its customer comforts, which is indeed true.

But in regional airlines where cash is king, yields and loads in 19 seat regional RPT markets are on the slide, downward pressure on value perceptions from low "fair" trunk carriers, the numbers on the Metro stack up on a risk profile that makes the B1900/J32 look a sick puppy.

The 19 seat survivors are using Metro equipment, and managing RPT/charter income with inversely respective revenue. Examples include Skippers, Air North, [email protected], Transair, Brindabella and now even Rex (metro contract/RPT mix to regional NSW), among others. Those that struggle to achieve 19 seat viability are focused solely on RPT ops, as a direct result of the vagaries of RPT revenue management.

The Poms have NEVER, read NEVER manufactured a tear away commercial success aircraft. Technologically clever in some cases maybe, but commercially viable, most definitely not. Just because they have a Royal Warrant, does not translate to international quality and applicability. Bring on the republic!

Mr. Ed might not look pretty to some, and may make a racket, but the Metro can make a quid where the J31/32, B1900 C/D, EMB110, have all failed to achieve.

Transition Layer
7th Sep 2005, 02:04
Next time any of you blokes are on the DOM 3 apron at Sydney, have a look at the Big Sky Express Metro 3 (bucket of sh1t) parked next to Airlink's 1900D and tell me what the punters would rather get on!

If you can make it more attractive for the punters, hence get more bums on seat every sector, the higher operating costs will look after themself.


7th Sep 2005, 02:53
Aha! Finally, somebody who gets it! Well done, Transition Layer

23 Metros

Why do you think it is that Fairchild no longer make the Metro? Simple - because nobody wants it any more!
If it was the cure-all that you are suggesting, the regionals would be lining up to buy them, but they aren't.

As far as your analysis of cost savings go, I can tell you that 70 hours is neither here nor there when viewed as part of the big picture. The only cost implication is the hourly maintenance rate (if you are on power by the hour), and that can easily be offset be using the greater pax appeal of the J32 to adjust prices by the tiny percentage necessary to bridge the gap.

If "yields and loads are on the slide", one way to fix the problem is to offer a better product. You can't do that with the Metro, but you can with a J32. Of course, it is likely that the reason that yields and loads are on the slide in the first place is the uncomfortable nature of the aircraft being used.

The only reasons that the 19 seat survivors are using Metros is that 1) they are cheap as chips and 2) commonality rules in small fleets.

The Brits never built a successful commercial aircraft? Leaving aside for a minute the simplistic nature of that statement - let's look at the list of Aussie aircraft that have been successful shall we...

7th Sep 2005, 07:42
J32s are expensive, slow, unreliable, bad lifters (they really are 16 seaters) and have never got the job done in Oz.

Hmm well that's interesting, your mate El Oso seems to think that they are about the same price as a Chieftain. He's wrong, of course, but the J32 is certainly not expensive - particularly if you lease them.

Unreliable? How do you work that one out? Engines are the same as the Metro, avionics are substantially the same as the Metro, most hydraulic components are from the same factory as the Metro, as are most of the electrical bits. What, exactly, is unreliable on a J32?

I just checked my logbook, after 2300 hours on a J32, only tech twice. Once was a birdstrike, the other a broken HP fuel line. The same HP fuel line that you will find on a Metro.

So, basically, when it comes to reliability you are talking out of a hole in your nether regions. Overall fleet reliability is well over 99%.

Bad lifters? Not if you use the one designed for the job (with water meth and the EP mods).

Slow? Only significantly slower than the 23, and as we have seen, that makes little practical difference.

They only made 380 odd (must have been frustrating to them that the world didn't think as much of them as you do).

If you knew anything at all about the subject, you would know that the decision to end J31/32 production was a political one, not a commercial one. There was a significant order book when production ceased at Prestwick (I was there at the time).

The J32 ultimately failed for two reasons. The first is the same reason that the Trident was never a competitor for the 727, the 1-11 was never a competitor for the DC9, and so on - political interference on behalf of the national carrier. The aircraft themselves were more than a match for their American counterparts, and would have been competitive had they been built with the correct number of seats.

The second is the same reason that we never got the RJX, and Concorde was grounded; interference from Airbus. They didn't want any turboprops other than the ATR in the turboprop regional sector. BAe had a choice; buld half the Airbus, or build Jetstreams. It wasn't even a close decision. I was at Prestwick the day the cessation of production was announced... nobody could believe it.

Mate, please tell me you are taking the piss! Even an Ansett bean counter could pull apart that one!

Only because Ansett bean counters (like most airline operators in Oz) have never learned to think outside the square.

I used to fly a J32 for Sabena (yes, the Belgians). We essentially established a route on the basis of a niche market and a very high quality service. We always carried at least one cabin crew (sometimes two), and offered a standard Sabena hot meal service, which was particularly lavish - china plates and cups and so on. Our service was profitable to the end, despite Sabena's overall failure.

But no Oz operator could ever be that imaginative, so I guess you will all remain stuck with the San Antonio Sewer Pipe.

Lucky old you.

7th Sep 2005, 08:23
MoR and Co your arguments have been consistently blown out of the water.

Evidence speaks volumes and no matter how hard you try and twist your perceptions on the Jetstream the Metro still comes out far in front as fast, economical and reliable.

If the Jetstream really did have an advantage over the Metro there would be 68 of them in Australia too.

It would be interesting to compare the many more millions of hours operation that Metros have flown in this country (and continue to do) compared to the Jetstream over the last 15 years. Then you will have an idea of the reliability a machine has.

The older 19 seat regional commuter turboprop may be crying out for a suitable replacement at this point in time, but history will always show that the Metro was the regional workhorse of the 90s and will probably be around in various roles for quite some time yet.

7th Sep 2005, 09:28
On the point about using a J31 for a premium service... Correct me if I'm wrong, but most of the operators running Metros on regional routes do fly in/fky out and mining/rural area type flying, don't they?

Stands to reason that what they want is getting their employees from A - B to do their 6 weeks on, 2 off (or whatever their rotation is), not pampering them with cabin crew and china cups! As if a mining company is going to pay that for x thousand amount of workers bar their top honchos going out to site for the occasional look-see.....

Tech twice in 2000+ hours?? Must have been a fluke :p Most Boeings go tech more than twice in that many hours...

Okay. Leaving now... I know when I'm out-experted by you lot. (V interesting thread, by the way) :cool:

El Oso
7th Sep 2005, 10:06
MOR could you perhaps read more carefully, I quoted a J31 (not J32) as being about the same price as a nice Chieftain and that is fairly accurate. Look at the trade-a-plane, ASO.com or call BAE OZ. Considering the size and systems differences thats saying something about marketability. (But then it came from the same place as the Austin Maxi and Reliant Robin - he he he).

In your adopted Kiwi homeland OP's owners started off with J31's because they were CHEAPER than Metros (Who when they grew started operating Metro's). An Air Nsn CPT I spoke to who switched camps for a promotion later vouched for it - by comparison Jokestream's are gutless, slow and a pig to load! I must thank BAE though as they were a good source of fun for us reeling them in and passing them even on short sectors (BTW in M3's not M23's). Their CLB and CRZ performance was truly dismal by comparison. Perhaps someone is basing their Metro speeds out of a woefully inaccurate book and has little idea of what they actually do.

As for your "cheap" being the only reason for Metro sales; eh what? When the M23 was still being made its book price was almost as much as a B1900D. And Metro 3's have been worth more than a J31 for many years, and M23's more than J32's; cheap? NOT! Jetstreams were and still cost less to buy (Or adopt; like an incontinent, blind old dog perhaps? He he he) than the competition,(when they can find a buyer). FOR GOOD REASON!

Most 19 seat drivers are big enough to admit the B1900D is the creme of the crop (I'll admit that as an ex Metro TRE/ GI) but the industry success story was the Metro 3 /23. The J31/32 never made it and were dumped by most of the few significant operators who got lumbered with them. And yes thats it - most of us aren't claiming the Metro is the best at anything - just that your Jokestream was just that, and a failure by comparison. I'll even admit to an ATR pilot that the Saab 340 wouldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding, and I loved em when I first got on type. (Its called facing reality)

Give it rest - next you'll be telling us the Comet or Bristol Brabazon were successes too!


God defend the Queen (& BAE?) - coz no one down under will!


Ibex I agree - I have finished with this thread. It is pointless arguing against BS. Later dude!

7th Sep 2005, 10:56
In your new homeland Origin Pacific's owners, who knew the Metro well from running Air Nsn, (Poor kiwis - but then according to MOR they are retarded), started off with J31's as they were CHEAPER to buy than Metros - FACT.

No, it isn't a fact. It is completely wrong.

One of the original aims of OP was to offer a high quality alternative airline service in NZ. I know that because the then-MD told me so. They knew that the J31 was the best choice because a) the alternative Metro is not a comfortable aircraft, and b) it came with a family of regional turboprops - hence the eventual implemetation of the J41. A deal was done with BAe that involved both types.

Anyway, it is a pointless argument. You just carry on believing the Metro is the best thing since sliced bread. I'll continue my ambition of never setting foot on one of the horrible little things. Give me an aircraft that is actually built to airline standards, is aerodynamically benign, and that you can stand up in. A J32, in other words. I really don't care if the flight takes an extra few minutes, I'll be comfortable - and besides, I like flying.

God defend the Queen (& BAE?) - coz no one down under will!

That's OK, they beat the crap out of you in the Cricket (and we did it in the rugby) so I'm sure the Queen is quite unmoved.

7th Sep 2005, 11:28
I have never had any experience in operating Metros so I cannot comment on their economics. As a passenger they are not the most attractive, having the unfortunate experience of using them to regional destinations.

What the issue I can comment on though is, what the passenger wants. I have extensive knowledge of regional Australia through both family connections and business and I am very confident in expressing what they want.

1 Affordable airfares (cheap???)
2 Cheaper still Airfares
3 safety perception ( a problem with low cost)
4 creature comforts.

put a cabin class up against a metro at the same price then they will go with it. Charge a little more and they will drive.

Sydney - parkes $90 1 way, ok. $150 50% will drive, $225 and 90% will drive. There is not a lot of disposable income in many regional areas.

7th Sep 2005, 11:47
Maaaate - Mr Oso.

Reliant Robins - yeah! I especially liked the duck egg blue ones that Mr Bean takes the pi** out of. What are you up to these days?

MOR - RI & NS (OP's bosses at the start) were my prior fearless leaders at Air Nsn. Told me that while there was a package re future J41 the big reason was the offer was VERY AFFORDABLE (ie cheap).

Pretty hard to find a champion for the Jetstream down here. But if you want company there are several flights every day I hear...

Maybe you can tell your Queen you are so fond of.


7th Sep 2005, 12:34
Told me that while there was a package re future J41 the big reason was the offer was VERY AFFORDABLE (ie cheap).

Ever wonder WHY they were affordable? Because of the promise of the J41's.

Maybe you can tell your Queen you are so fond of.

Not my Queen, I'm not from there.

It is pointless arguing against BS.

Certainly is. I'll leave you to it.

7th Sep 2005, 23:56
J31/2 just about to have structural life extended to 67,000 cycles. With a lot of the aircraft in the desert going back to the banks now, with BAE or the banks off-loading them at fire-sale prices there are going to be a quite a few of these around for a while.

OWE M23 approx 9500lbs
OWE J32 approx 10600lbs

That is 1100lbs difference which is quite a difference from a structure point of view.