Saab 340 & Saab 2000
Saab and Fairchild together responded to the need for a 30-35 seat commuter aircraft and developed the SF340. Later Fairchild withdrew from the project, leaving just Saab, and the aircraft simply became known as the Saab 340. The familie was joined by the larger, 50 seat Saab 2000. The Saabs are best recognised by the pointed nose with four cockpit windows (not much unlike those on the DHC-8), a big dorsal fin and low mounted horizontal stabilisers with a significant dihedral.
The different versions of the Saab 340 and 2000 can be identified by:
- the length of the fuselage
- the shape of the engine nacelles
- the number of propeller blades
- the width of the horizontal stabiliser
The Saab 340 is the smallest of the family. Its engines have four bladed propellers. The nacelles have oval main air intakes, and several small other inlets all over the cowlings. The span of the horizontal stabiliser is smaller than that of the Saab 340B.
Saab 340B & Saab 340B plus
This version is externally the same as the Saab 340A, except for the wider span of the horizontal stabiliser. This is only evident when looking closely.
The Saab 340B plus has some improvements carried over from the Saab 2000, especially in the cabin. Some aircraft have extended wing tips, 65 cm on each side.
In Swedish military service the transport/VIP version of the Saab 340B (plus) is designated Tp100C. The Tp100A is a Saab 340 modified for Open Skies duties.
Saab 340F & QC
These are marketing names for converted Saab 340s, either to a full freighter or a quick change variant. The full freighter version has its cabin windows replaced by metal plugs which are painted over. For an example see the heading photo.
Saab 340 AEW&C
Multiple Saab 340s have been fitted with an Erieye radar on top of the fuselage. It is placed in a large beam, so easily recognisable. The Swedish military designation for these aircraft are S100B and S100D Argus, depending on the radar type used.
The Saab 2000 is the stretched version of the Saab 2000. Apart from the length most other differences are in the props (six bladed) and engine nacelles. The latter have a more bean shaped air intake and a single but bigger secondary below the main one. For the rest, the nacelle look more 'clean' than those of the Saab 340.
Saab 2000 AEW&C
Like the Saab 340 the Saab 2000 can be outfitted as airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft by placing an Erieye radar on top of the fuselage,
Confusion possible with
Although a bit smaller than the Saab 340 the Jetstream 41 is still a potential source for confusion. The Jetstream has six cockpit windows, oval (almost round) cabin windows and a cruciform tail to name a few distinctive features.
The Saab 340 is hardly comparable to any other aircraft, but you might confuse the Saab 2000 with a British Aerospace ATP. The ATP is a bit bigger though, has a wider fuselage, six cockpit windows and a horizontal stabiliser with no dihedral.
Another aircraft of similar size and same basic configuration is the Gulfstream I. However the big oval windows already provide an easy way to not mix it up with a Saab.