Turboprop startup speed question (long)

Date:         27 Jan 97 02:45:55 
From:         "McElravy" <cpa1@penn.com>
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On New Years Eve day I had an interesting experience, and I've been
thinking about it ever since. I was on the observation deck at the
Youngstown, OH regional airport (YNG) battling with myself over just how
much I enjoyed watching aviation. It was 6:30 in the morning and there was
a wind chill of well below zero, but I still remained on the very cold,
very outside rooftop observation deck. Beneath me were three turboprops: on
the far left a United Express ATP, in the middle a USAir Express Beech
1900D, and on the far right a Northwest Airlink Saab 340.

As I watched, numb, passengers came out of the terminal and boarded the SF
340, a full house it looked like. The flight was the 6:40 to Akron-Canton
(or AkCan as it's affectionately called) and then on to DTW. After all the
passengers were on board the plane started its #2 engine. After a few
throttle and prop adjustments the captain fired up #1. A few more
adjustments. After a while the plane was finally on its way. It crossed the
ramp and proceeded to the runup area where it puttered around for a little
longer. Finally the plane was off the ground and on its way.

While the Saab was leaving the 1900D was loading and got on its way, but I
want to discuss that last, for reasons you'll see.

The last plane to leave was the ATP, which was also going to AkCan then on
to ORD. After my deadbeat relative got on board the aircraft, it fired up
its #2 engine. Holy cow! My ears rang as the 6 bladed prop sliced through
the air. After the longest time, the crew finally started the #1 engine. As
the decibels doubled I became more concerned with the noise than the bitter
cold. After more puttering, whining, and adjusting, the plane finally began
to taxi to the runway holding point. The runup was long and drawn out. But
finally my relative was in the air on his way to Austin.

Now back to the 1900D. After the door was closed the captain started the #2
engine. Then it started the #2 engine. Then it taxied away. Then it took
off towards Pittsburgh. Snap*Snap*Snap*Snap. Just like that.

Now here is my question: is the time of the performance that each of these
aircraft puts on related to the size? The shortest performance, by half,
was the 1900D with 19 passengers. Next was the Saab with 30 passengers.
Longest of all, double the Saab, was the ATP with 60 some passengers.

The reason I was so amazed at the whole little show (which lasted only
about 12 minutes; you don't often see that at a small airport) was that I
had partially forgotten the time that it took to start a turboprop. All of
my commuter flights in several years have been on speedy USAir Express
1900Ds. My last ride before that was in a Shorts critter, 3 years ago. The
startup time on it (I am considering startup time the time from the closing
of the hatch to the rotation of the aircraft) seemed to be similar to that
of the Saab. Both aircraft are roughly the same size, which reinforces my
theory. (I wish I'd had my stopwatch)

So: turboprop people, what's the word? (I'm sorry my message was as long as
the ATP startup, but I was trying to make a point.)

	Evan McElravy
	cpa1@penn.com
	http://users.penn.com/~cpa1/gallery.htm (Airliner Photo Index - NEW!!)