The Dash-8 was designed as a smaller quiet STOL commuter aircraft to follow on from the successful Dash-7. Large area trailing edge flaps, fowler flaps, and spoilers; along with slow turning 4m (13ft) 4-blade props helped achieve this. The prototype first flew in June 1983, with deliveries beginning in September 1994. The original -100 model has been stretched (56 pax) and provided with increased power (2,380shp) as the -300.
New Zealand's first Dash-8s (model DHC-8-102) were imported by Newmans Air - ZK-NEY in December 1986 and ZK-NEZ in January 1987. A new airline with shareholding by Ansett Transport Airlines (50%) Brierly Investments (27.5% and Newmans (22.5%), started operation on July 25, 1987 as Ansett New Zealand. This airline utilised the Dash-8s, along with 3 Boeing 737s. Ansett have imported a number of other Dash-8s (including ZK-NEV (c/n 151), ZK-NEW (c/n 101), ZK-NEX (c/n 105)), some on short term lease. One aircraft has been lost in service. On June 9, 1995 ZK-NEY (c/n 55) crashed near Woodville on approach to Palmerston North Airport, resulting in a number of fatalities.
The current Ansett New Zealand Dash-8 fleet (all DHC-8-102) is:
ZK-NES (c/n 125) 'City of Palmerston North' (Mar 96)
ZK-NET (c/n 197) 'City of Nelson ' (Feb 96)
ZK-NEU (c/n 218) 'City of Invercargill' (Dec 95)
ZK-NEZ (c/n 60) 'City of Hamilton' (Jan 87)
Last Update:- 8 September, 1999
© 1997-99 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved