The turboprop is an ideal aircraft option for short hops of one to two hours. There are many negative myths about turboprops that need to be cleared up.
Turboprops VS Jets
Both turboprops and jets use turbine engines. The key difference between the two types of aircraft is that jet aircraft have their turbine engines encased with fan blades while turboprops have a propeller on the outside.
The turboprop mechanism is actually more efficient and burns less fuel than the jet mechanism, which is why turboprops have a lower hourly rate than a similarly-sized jet aircraft. However, turboprops were designed to be flown at a lower altitude and speed and therefore are not appropriate for long distances. But if you are doing a short hop, like from Los Angeles to Las Vegas or Miami to the Bahamas, a turboprop is a cost-effective and safe solution.
Another thing turboprops have going for them is their short-field take-off and landing capabilities. This means that they are able to use shorter runways which gives them access to those smaller, regional airports at hard-to-reach destinations.
When it comes to comfort, the interior of many turboprops are equally as luxurious as any light jet. In fact, the baggage hold of many turboprops are more spacious than their light jet counterparts which makes them a better option when you are carrying bulky items such as skis or surfboards.
How Safe is a Turboprop?
As far as safety, turboprops and jets both use a turbine engine, meaning their operation is very similar. They both use similar technology including radar, GPS navigation and advanced avionics. To date there is no data demonstrating that turboprops are any less safe than jets and in fact, in certain conditions, like with short runways and steep approaches, turboprops are safer than jets because they can stop more quickly and their propellers add extra drag. Lastly, in bird strikes, a turboprop engine is less likely to be damaged due to their inertial separator mechanism.
Lots of people confuse turboprops with piston aircraft and it must be clear that piston aircraft do not match the safety or comfort of a jet which is why we choose not to use them at ClickJets.
Another fallacy that exists regarding turboprops is that a dual engine turboprop is safer than a single engine turboprop. This myth has been disproved by safety statistics pulled from the FAA and NTSB. Modern turbine engines are extremely reliable, and the reality is engine malfunction is rarely the primary contributor to an accident or incident.
The take away today? Turboprops are a safe, often luxurious and definitely economical option for your short hops of one to two hours.
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