READY, JET, GO: Alliance Airlines will use the F70 jet on its Bundaberg-Brisbane service.
READY, JET, GO: Alliance Airlines will use the F70 jet on its Bundaberg-Brisbane service.

DAWN OF THE JET AGE: The new planes coming to Bundy

JET aircraft will service Bundaberg for the first time when Alliance Airlines begins servicing the city in July.

The company will provide the planes under a wet lease arrangement with departing airline Virgin.

Under a wet lease, one company, in this case Alliance, provides planes, crews and maintenance to another, in this case Virgin, which acts as a ticket broker and pays by hours operated, as well as fuel.

Under a dry lease, one company provides only a plane to another.

Jason Rabinowitz, a self-professed aviation geek and contributor at airlinereporter.com, says his flight on a F70 was "quite a comfortable ride".

"With only 47 airframes built, the Fokker F70 was never a popular aircraft," he wrote.

"The F70 is a stubby little aircraft, resembling a Boeing 717 that never quite hit its growth spurt."

 

FLIGHTS ARRIVING: Alliance Airlines will use F70 jets on its Bundaberg-Brisbane route.
FLIGHTS ARRIVING: Alliance Airlines will use F70 jets on its Bundaberg-Brisbane route.

 

Alliance says the F70 is a high quality jet aircraft that provides "excellent field and climb performance and overall fuel burn that is optimal for high cycle operations".

On its website it says the long-range capability enables the delivery of non-stop services from the East Coast to mine sites in Western Australia bypassing Perth, saving time and reducing costs.

According to Wikipedia, the Fokker 70 is a narrow-body, twin-engined, medium-range, turbofan regional airliner produced by Fokker as a smaller version of the Fokker 100.

Both the F70 and F100 were preceded by the first jet airliner manufactured by Fokker, the Fokker F28 Fellowship.

Since its first flight in 1993, 47 F70s, plus one prototype, have been manufactured and 38 are still in active service with airlines around the world.

The Fokker company of the Netherlands started to develop the airliner in November 1992 with an aim to replace its aging Fokker F28 airliner, with a more modern and fuel efficient aircraft.

The Fokker 70's first flight occurred on April 4 1993, at the company's base at Woensdrecht in southern Netherlands, and had a duration of three hours.

The first production aircraft first flew in July 1994.

The development of the Fokker 70 was based on the requirements of some airlines, for which the Fokker 50 or ATR 42 were too small and the Boeing 737 or MD-80 too large.

The development consisted in cutting various sections of the fuselage of the Fokker 100, removing 4.62m (15.2 ft) of the plane's total length but keeping the wings and tail.

With these specifications, total capacity is 80 passengers.

The Fokker 70 is powered by two Rolls-Royce Tay 620 turbofans placed at the back of the fuselage, with 61.6 kN of thrust.

The last Fokker 70 was delivered in April 1997, when the production line closed following Fokker's bankruptcy the previous year.

Over the 70's short production life, 47 were built.

Although official production of the Fokker 70 is completed, Rekkof (Fokker spelt backwards) has, since 1999, tried to negotiate the reopening of both the Fokker 100 and Fokker 70 lines.

CURRENT OPERATORS

As of October, 45 aircraft were still in service with eight airlines and two governments:

  • Air KBZ (2)
  • Air Niugini (7)
  • Alliance Airlines (11)
  • Austrian Airlines (5, all to be sold to Alliance Airlines)
  • Fly Allways (2)
  • Insel Air (5)
  • KLM Cityhopper (13, all to be retired by October this year)
  • SKA Group (1)
  • TransNusa Air Services (1)
  • Dutch Government (1, operated by KLM Cityhopper)
  • Kenyan Government (1)

CAPACITY

  • 85 (1-class, maximum at 76 cm (30 in) seat pitch)
  • 79 (1-class, typical at 81 cm (32 in) seat pitch)
  • 72 (2-class, typical at 91 cm (36 in) and 81 cm (32 in) seat pitches)
  • Length: 30.91 m (101 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 28.08 m (92 ft 2 in)
  • Width: 3.30 m (10 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 8.5 m (27.89 ft 11 in)
  • Empty weight: 22.673 kg (49.985 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 x Rolls-Royce Tay 620, 61.6 kN (13.850 lbf) thrust each

PERFORMANCE

  • Cruising speed: 845 kmh
  • Range: 3.410 km
  • Service ceiling: 11.000 m (36.089 ft)


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