The DHC 8 is more usually referred to nowadays as the Dash-8 and although it is often thought to have been an original Bombardier aircraft, it actually has its design and production roots in De Havilland Aircraft Company of Canada. 


Therefore, the purpose of this web page is designed purely to chart the early history of this iconic and successful aircraft.

De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 C-GGPJ
The 4th DHC-8 Dash 8 Series 102 (C-GGPJ) at Farnborough.
The De Havilland Aircraft Company of Canada DHC-8 or 'Dash 8' is a twin turboprop regional transport passenger aircraft which places its design concept on high performance and low operating costs.  Its twin-engine configuration brings very economic maintenance, which is especially true when compared with the Dash-7, its four engine predecessor.  
Initially designed to carry 36-39 passengers (Dash 8-100), subsequent variants  such as the 200, 300, 400 and Q400 models have stretched seating capacity up to 78 passengers (model numbers prefixed by ‘Q’ indicate that cabin noise suppression equipment is fitted). 
De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 200 G-JEDX
De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 201 G-JEDX takes off from Jersey Airport.
The prototype DHC 8-100 (C-GDNK) flew for the first time on 20th June 1983 and entered service with NorOntair on 23rd October 1984.  Its elegant appearance is highlighted by the High T-tail, which avoids the effects of propwash, and its elongated engine nacelles which also accommodate the rear-folding undercarriage. 
The 100 was followed by the Dash 8-200 which had the same seating capacity, but featured a much higher all-up weight and more powerful PW123 engines, which extended its cargo and baggage capacity. The Dash 8-300 flew in May 1987 (50 seats) and then the stretched Dash 8-400 flew in January 1988.
In 1986, the Canadian Government privatised De Havilland Aircraft Company of Canada, selling the aircraft production facilities and product range to Boeing. Boeing were themselves in direct competition with the fast-emerging European aircraft manufacturing company Airbus and it simply used the De Havilland Canada name to strengthen its relationships with shared product customers.
However, when Air Canada announced their intention to purchase Airbus aircraft and amidst various accusations, Boeing reacted by placing De Havilland Canada for sale.
Bombardier Aerospace of Montreal eventually acquired De Havilland Canada in 1992, incorporating the aircraft into their portfolio of feeder airliners.  It further expanded the Dash 8 with the introduction of the Q400 which proved highly popular on city airport routes due to its low noise footprint on arrival and departure.
Eventually, all De Havilland Canada Type Certificates were purchased by Viking Air who successfully put the aircraft back into production.
De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 400 VH-QOH
QANTAS De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 400 VH-QOH landing at Canberra, ACT in a cancer-awareness colour scheme.
The Dash 8 family has been very successful, with more than 1,200 delivered and can still be seen on regional and feeder-liner routes world-wide.
De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 400 G-ECOB
C-ECOB is a De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 Srs402 seen on the approach to Machester Airport.
Total production of the 100, 200 and 300 series was 671 aircraft whilst production of the 100 ceased in 2005.  It was followed by the 200 and 300 in 2009.  Up to the end of September 2017, a total of 1,232 aircraft of the DHC-8 family have been delivered, with the Q400 continuing in production.


  Dash 8-100 Dash 8-200 Dash 8-300 Dash 8-400
Powerplants Two 1,800shp PW120 Two 2,150shp PW123 Two 2,380shp PW123 Two 4,850shp PW150A
Span 84ft 11in 84ft 11in 90ft 0in 93ft 2in
Length 73ft 0in 73ft 0in 84ft 3in 107ft 8in
Maximum Weight 34,500 lb 36,300 lb 43,000 lb 67,200 lb
Capacity (pax) 37 37 50 - 56 78 - 90
Cruise speed 310 mph 334 mph 328 mph 414 mph
Range (miles) 1,174 1,065 968 1,567


Variants and Numbers built

DHC 8-100 Series      37–39 passenger version that entered service in 1984. Powered by the 1,800 shp PW120A; and later PW121. 299 built
DHC 8-101 1984 variant with 33,000 lb take-off weight
DHC 8-102 1986 variant with 34,500 lb take-off weight
DHC 8-103 1987, PW121 engines, can be modified to 35,200 lb max weight
DHC 8-106 1992, further max take-of weight increase to 36,300 lb
DHC 8M-100 Two aircraft equipped for maritime pollution monitoring
CC-142 Canadian Forces transport deployed in Europe
CT-142 Canadian Forces navigation trainer variant
E-9A Widget US AF range control aircraft equipped with AN/APS-143(V)-1 radar 
DHC-8-200 Series Series 100 with 2,150 shp PW123 engines. 105 built 
DHC 8-201 1995 variant powered by two PW123C engines
DHC 8-202 Powered by two PW123D engines
DHC-8-300 Series 50–56 passenger version that entered service in 1989, stretched 11.3 ft over the Series 100/200, powered by the 2,380–2,500 shp PW123, 123B or 123E. 267 built
DHC 8-301 1989, powered by two PW123 engines
DHC 8-311 1990, powered by two PW123A engines with revised landing gear 
DHC 8-314 1992, powered by two PW123B engines
DHC 8-315 1995, powered by two PW123E engines
DHC-8-300 MSA Upgraded maritime surveillance aircraft
RO-6A US Army designation of DHC-8-315
DHC-8-Q400 Series 70–78 passenger version that entered service in 2000. Powered by 4,850 shp PW150A engines. 561 delivered to end September 2017, production continues with orders for a total of 610 received by the same date.
DHC 8-400 Maximum of 68 passengers
DHC 8-401 Maximum of 70 passengers
DHC 8-402 Maximum of 78 passengers
Q400 NextGen Updated cabins, landing gear. Extra Capacity variant accommodates a maximum of 86 passengers. From 2016, offered in a 90-passenger high-density variant.
Q400 MR Two aircraft adapted to water bombing role
DHC-8 MPA-D8 2007, maritime patrol version
DHC-8-402PF 2008, pallet freighter variant
Q400-CC 2015, combi-passenger freight, 50 seats plus 8,200 lb cargo


The Dash 8 is in widespread service and the Q400 variant remains in production.

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