Jim, 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? Unfortunately, it is not so simple. Each customer buys a fractional share of a particular model of aircraft, so the company generally must serve each customer with the respective model of aircraft in which the customer purchased a fractional share. Note, also, that each FAA type of aircraft must have a separate pool of flight crews to fly it and technicians to service it. Here, the FAA "type" roughly corresponds to the model of aircraft, excepting that a replacement model often has the same type as the model that it replaces. Thus, a company like NetJets that offers fractional shares of similar aircraft from multiple manufacturers is actually managing more pools of aircraft and flight crews rather than more aircraft and crews within the same pool. 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. In the battle between regional jets and mainline jets, the convenience factor is also very significant. Here, the major airlines in the United States have discovered that they will draw more passsengers by offering more frequent service on smaller planes than by offering less frequent service on larger aircraft. Passengers generally have shown a propensity to choose a regional jet at the time that best coincides with their schedules over the larger jet three hours earlier or later. The result is that many intermediate routes now have six to eight flights per day, most of which may be served with regional jets, rather than three or four flights on larger aircraft.But current turboprops offer about the same capacity as regional jets, so they cannot offer more frequent service on smaller aircraft. 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. I rather think that it's simply a question of there not being a European regional airline that has shifted its entire fleet to regional jets, as Comair did here in the states about 2 1/2 decades ago. Once Comair announced that decision here, the other regional carriers pretty much had to follow suit to remain competitive. Are you saying you have flown both aircraft types? or predominantly RJs? and larger aircraft? Sorry, I meant that I flew a "mainline" aircraft and a regional jet in substantially the same airspace no more than a couple hours apart. Basically, I was flying between Boston and either Colorado Springs or Denver with a connection in Salt Lake, thus crossing the Rockies on both legs. The longer segment was on a "mainline" jet and the shorter segment was on a regional jet. I actually have done this several times, in both directions, and the flight on the Canadair Regional Jet was always substantially smoother. 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 have flown turboprops, but not specifically the Q400 models. I avoid them if at all possible. I wouldn't describe the noise of a propeller, or fan as being a thump, thump, sound except perhaps at very low speeds. The problem is not the propeller itself. Rather, the thumping occurs because the airflow from the propeller impinges on the wing or the engine strut when a blade of the propeller passes in front of the respective structure, disrupting the smooth airflow behind the propeller. This produces vibrations at various harmonics of a frequency equal to the product of the rotational frequency of the propeller and the number of blades, with either the fundamental frequency or its first harmonic being the strongest. You can simulate this by holding a tube vertically in front of a window fan; you'll feel the change in pressure on the tube as the blades of the fan pass through the vertical position. 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. But in this case, the cause is impingement of the airflow on the structure (wing or engine strut) of the aircraft that causes the airframe itself to vibrate. A jet does not have this problem because there's no structure either in front of or behind it.Norm.
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