Qantas shows off Q400
TEST pilot Manny Garyfalakis loves performing tricks at air shows but yesterday he was playing it safe.
Mr Garyfalakis piloted Qantaslink's newest aircraft, the Bombardier Q400, into Coffs Harbour as part of a tour of the east coast.
He then flew a plane load of invited guests around the city to show off the aircraft's capabilities.
"The Q400 is my favourite of the Q series and offers jet speed at turboprop economy," he said.
"It is ideally suited to Australia's long distances."
The 72-seat turboprop aircraft will join the Qantaslink fleet next year and is likely to replace the Dash 8-Q300 on the Coffs Harbour to Sydney route.
Built in Canada, the new aircraft provides 20 extra seats and promises to cut flying time on the route by 10-15 minutes.
Qantaslink has ordered seven Q400s and has an option on another 10.
"It is very quiet and uses 30 per cent less fuel than a jet," said, Tony Romano, Bombar- dier's international sales director.