09/30/2010. First details of the 340 twin-turboprop regional transport aircraft, then called Saab-Fairchild 340, were announced in January 1980 and the go-ahead on joint design, development, manufacture and marketing was given in September 1980. Saab took complete control of the program in November 1985 and Fairchild continued as a subcontractor until 1987, when the designation was changed to Saab 340.
The first prototype, registered SE-ISF c/n 340A-001, made the first flight on January 25, 1983. The fourth 340, the first production 340A, flew on 5 March 1984 with the test registration SE-E04 c/n 340A-004). Ten European nations and the USA took part in the joint certification process to FAR/JAR 25, resulting in Swedish certification in May 1984 and virtually simultaneous certification by the other countries in June.
The 340A first went into service, with Crossair, in June 1984 and the first in the USA entered service in August that year. The first corporate 340A was delivered in November 1985. From mid-1985, power of the General Electric CT7-9B turboprops was increased from 1,630 shp to 1,735 shp and propeller diameter was increased, while earlier aircraft were retrofitted. An improved cabin with new lining and larger overhead bins, plus improved fittings, was introduced in mid-1988.
The 340B hot and high version was announced in late 1987 and replaced the 340A on the production line from c/n 160. It was certificated on July 3, 1989 and the first aircraft was delivered to Crossair in September 1989. The 340B is powered by Electric CT7-9B turboprops with automatic power reserve (APR). Tail plane span is extended, operating weights increased and range with maximum payload improved.
The pictured aircraft was produced in 1990 and first flew registered as
SE-F92. It was sold to Metroflight in the USA, where it was registered as N591MA on June 9, 1990, being reregistered to American Eagle on December 22, 1992. It was registered to British Midland Airways as G-GNTJ on February 26, 1997, being cancelled on November 21, 2001; the aircraft returned to the USA, where it was registered as N192JE two days later. On August 8, 2002 it was registered to Loganair as G-LGNF, and still is as of this day.