What happened to STOL ?(was What happened to the BA146)

From:         BMADDISO@bcsc02.gov.bc.ca
Date:         10 Jun 96 12:22:20 
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In article <airliners.1996.835@ohare.Chicago.COM>
tim@me.rochester.edu (Tim Takahashi) writes:

>STOL seems to have petered out. I always thought that the DASH-7
>was an interesting looking airplane (never have had a ride) but
>doesnt seem to have sold in the way that ATRs and DASH-8 have.

I'm guessing, but wasn't Dash-7 production treminated in favor of
the Dash-8. I don't think they were both in production at the same time.

>What was the rationale? I've heard bits about being able
>to use taxi-ways at major airports, but have never seen
>such operations. Given the short take of run of a non-STOL
>commuter plane, like a BaE Jetstream 31, a DASH-7 must
>be amazing.

It is. Before the Dash-8, the Victoria-Vancouver services were
mainly DHC-7 operated. Words like 'stately' and 'sedate' come
to mind when trying to describe riding in them. Take-off and
landing were very slow and very short, and seemed to be accomplished
with no changes in power settings (obviously an illusion).

Cruise speed was something else, almost an oxymoron. Still on a 20
minute segment, who cared ?
I was very sorry when the last DHC-7 left.

>It seems that most of the major airports have installed
>runway extensions and the like to handle modern jets.
>Presumeably, 737-500s and F100s dont have the take-off
>run of a DC-8-61 either. Does anybody know the reason
>why STOL died?

The DHC-7 aimed at a merket which never really materialized.
In the early 1970s 'STOLports' were supposedly going to be the
future of air travel. AFAIK only two were purposely built, LCY
and one in Montreal.
The Montreal experiment faded after a year or so, and LCY has been
expanded to a 'real' airport.

I don't know whether current DHC-7 operators use them because they
must (runway length etc.) or because they are fully depreciated
assets which still do the job. I suspect the latter, with the possible
exception of Wideroes.
Anybody from Piedmont or ASA care to comment ?