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Hi Norm, in response to your last post. As usual, I agree with most of what you said, but here are a few points that come to mind in reading what you wrote:

"Fractional jet share operators have to factor in the cost of flights to reposition aircraft and crews somehow. Some of it probably counts as usage within the hours allocated to each fractional share, and some of it undoubtedly is mitigated by the fact that one customer will want to go to a location from which another customer wants to depart at about the same time, or at least a location that's close enough so the "dead head" to reposition the plane and the flight crew is short. Also, the wording of the customers' "fractional ownership" contracts can provide flexibility by requiring the customers to specify time windows of several hours in duration rather than specific times."

Yes, according to what I read they employ complex mathematical algorythms in an effort to minimize flights to reposition aircraft still it's a sizeable cost for any fractional jet share operator. It seems to me that the larger the company, the easier it would be able to do this. Would you agree?

If that's the case Netjets would have a definite advantage in terms of its size and number of clients. Last time I looked Netjets still had a whopping 75% marketshare compared to Flexjet and Flight Options sharing the bulk of the remaining 25%.

Me: "You'll see more turboprops in North America if fuel costs rise dramatically in the years ahead."

You: "Not if a significant percentage of passengers refuse to fly on them!"

I see some similarity between this problem and the one seperating regional jets and larger commercial jets. Yes, there will be periods in which these aircraft types experience something of a resurgence in demand, but in other respects they're up against it in terms of having specific advantages and disadvantages.

Fuel prices are one of a number of factors in this equation - with each factor waxing and waning in terms of importance over time. Turboprops haven't died yet, neither have regional jets.

And while it can be difficult to predict where industry trends will take these two commercial aircraft types in the years ahead, the fact that Bombardier apprears to be losing ground in both turboprops (to ATR) and regional jets (to Embraer) isn't encouraging.

As I see this ATR has a distinct advantage in terms of having an edge with european carriers which - due to their particular flying requirements and shorter routes (along with perhaps higher fuel prices) - seem to have developed a greater appreciateion for turboprops.

Embraer's biggest edge, from my perspective, comes in the form of its lower labour costs. Embraer has effectively leveraged this advantage to elbow its way to becoming a major competitor in business jets in recent years.

Just a few years ago it had no product line-up in this category aside from the Legacy, a converted regional jet. Now it's taking a big bite out of Cessna with its cheap Phenoms. And it is in the process of developing new products wich will soon be competing with mid-sized and the larger business jet segments.

Me: ,"Passengers also avoid regional jets due to the perception at least, that they're cramped and less comfortable than larger commercial jet aircraft.

You: "Perhaps, but any passengers who shun regional jets for this reason most assuredly do not choose turboprops instead.

Yes, the fact that flying passengers complain probably doesn't surprise anybody. I'm usually not quite as good-humored as I'd like to be myself on days when I have to fly. And as an old friend here once pointed out it can be a different story when it comes to getting out their wallets to pay.

"I have flown enough to know that the turbulence sometimes occurs at higher altitudes and that the plane needs to get under it. But more fundamentally, some aircraft are a lot more susceptible to turbulence than others, and it has nothing to do with size. The Canadair Regional Jet line has very low susceptibility. I have flown across the Rocky Mountains -- an area well known for bad turbulence -- in both directions within a couple hours, when the actual conditions did not change much, so I'm speaking from personal experience on this."

I understand from this, and what you've indidcated in previous posts over the years, that you've flown a lot. Are you saying you have flown both aircraft types? or predominantly RJs? and larger aircraft?

I you haven't flown turboprops, or haven't flown Q400s frequently enough to make a comparison through varied flying conditions it could be difficult to make a comparison. It can be difficult to make judgements based solely on personal experience since we can't easily measure things like how violent turbulence is to make concise comparisons.

I realize we often have to make some generalizations in life based on our own individual experiences, but we should realizse it isn't very scientific.

"I know that Bombardier advertises that its Q Series of turboprops have some sort of system that cancels noise, and that it is much quieter than the previous series of DeHavilland tuboprops, but I doubt that the noise cancellation system is perfect. Suppression of the "thump-thump-thump" produced by propeller blades passing in front of the wing is exceedingly difficult. In any case, I suspect that the Canadair Regional Jet line, which has a longstanding reputation as one of the quietest aircraft in the skies, is far quieter than the Q Series. Air traffic controllers have long boasted that they could send Canadair Regional Jets "anywhere" -- even on low approaches over residential neighborhoods in the middle of the night -- with no worries that residents would call to complain about noise."

I agree we need to be a little skeptical when it comes to any company's advertising. I don't agree if you're suggesting jets can be considered "QUIET". I'd also point out that noise is a complicated thing. Sound generated at idle on the tarmac and varies as an aircraft accelerates and passes through air currents at varying speeds.

I wouldn't describe the noise of a propeller, or fan as being a thump, thump, sound except perhaps at very low speeds. In fact it is often referred to as "white noise". As such its something many of us relate to in different ways. Many actually like it because it helps the brain block out more intrusive sounds.

Most people don't mind the sound of their own vehicle, but if you're outside near a lot of traffic it can seem like a lot of noise.
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