When transporting cargo which aircraft is better, Saab 340 or Beech 1900?

Saab 340 interior in cargo configuration

The Saab 340 and Beech 1900 are both popular choices in the twin-engine turboprop category for cargo, and operators often want to know which one will prove to be the best decision for their company. Our experts recently compared the two aircraft and offer their reasons below for why the Saab 340 wins when it comes to saving operator’s time and money.

First, the clear advantage: the payload for the Saab 340 is 8500 lbs. The payload for the Beech 1900 D is 5500 lbs. However, it’s important to note that when it comes to the B1900 D specifically, operating costs are within $100 per hour of the Saab’s operating costs, but with only 65% of the cargo capacity of the Saab 340. Meaning: you can move less with the B1900 D, but it costs nearly as much as the Saab 340A.

“The payload range of the Saab 340 is vastly superior to the Beech 1900,” says C&L SVP of Aircraft Sales Fred Dibble. “The Saab 340, with its higher payload and equal operating costs saves operators time and money.”

The Saab 340 is designed as a FAR Part 25, as opposed to the Beech 1900’s FAR Part 23 design, which should be considered a major deciding factor for operators who are comparing the two aircraft for the same mission. A FAR Part 25 designation means the Saab cargo modification is meant for commercial operation and built to the highest regulation for longevity and safety. The modification for the Saab 340, which is a Class E cargo compartment, also includes a barrier net that is not available on the Beech 1900. The standard configuration of the Saab cargo door will allow for a 4’x4’ pallet.

“The Beech 1900 will not take a standard-sized pallet, and that is a serious limitation for some operators potentially wanting the flexibility of more than a bulk load aircraft,” Kamenz says.

A Saab 340 cargo conversion is a relatively simple and efficient process. At C&L, the conversion takes about 3 weeks. For operators who need an aircraft that is ready to go, C&L has two currently for sale: Saab 340A Serial Number 046 has been converted to cargo and Saab 340A Serial Number 135 which is a Saab factory manufactured QC (Quick Change) passenger-to-cargo conversion.

Saab 340 cargo aircraft painted by C&L Aviation Group

C&L also offers Saab aircraft painting, avionics upgrades including ADS-B, maintenance, and parts all from their Bangor, Maine location making them an ideal partner for your Saab 340 operation.

To discuss more about what a Saab 340 cargo conversion can do for you and your company’s operations, call Donald Kamenz today at +1 207 951 6259