June 09, 2022

The Dash 8 is one of the most requested aircraft by PlaneTags collectors and it’s no surprise why. One look at it and you’re instantly intrigued. Read more about the DeHavilland DHC-8-100 and follow one plane’s journey.

What is Dash 8?

The De Havilland Canada DHC-8, also known as the Dash 8, is a family of twin turboprop aircraft. First developed by De Havilland Canada in 1983, and later by Bombardier Aerospace, they were designed to operate from smaller regional airports, including short unpaved runways in more remote areas. That, along with their versatility in many situations and lower operating costs, made them a favorite of short haul regional carriers. The Dash 8’s unmistakable appearance, with its wings and horizontal stabilizers placed high above the fuselage, also lend to its economical performance.

Dash 8 Family

  • DHC-8-100 (later Bombardier Dash 8-100):     First flew in 1983, seated 37 to 40
  • -200 (Bombardier Dash 8-200): Introduced in 1995, an upgraded Dash 8-100 featuring new engines which were used on the Q-300, longer range and faster speed than its predecessor.
  • DHC-8-300 (later Bombardier Dash 8 Q300): Introduced in 1989, featured a longer fuselage, more powerful engines, seated 50 to 56    
  • -400 (Bombardier Dash 8 Q400): Introduced in 2000, featured active sound and vibration dampening systems which all Dash 8 models were now equipped with (thus the Q), a longer fuselage, powerful new engines, and modernized equipment and electronics, seated 68 to 90 seats. Production ceased on the Q400 during the pandemic, but resumed temporarily in 2021 to fulfill past orders. 


De Havilland DHC-8-100

The DHC-8-102A variant, which entered service in 1986, carried 37 to 39 passengers and an increased 34,500 lb take-off weight. 299 8-100s were built, with some still in use today performing a variety of jobs in regional and cargo operations, firefighting and evacuations, patrols, and even one serving as a hybrid-electric propulsion testbed.

DHC-8-100 Specs

Dash 8-100 drawing


Manufacturer: De Havilland Canada
Tail #: N831ph
Crew: 3 (2 Pilots, 1 Flight Attendant)
Seats: 37 Passengers
Wing Span: 84 Ft 11 In
Length: 73 Ft 0 In
Height:  24 Ft 7 In


Range: 1,125 Nm
Cruise Speed: 268 Kts
Ceiling: 25,000 Ft
Empty Weight: 22,600 Lbs
Max Takeoff Weight: 34,500 Lbs
Rate Of Climb: 1,475 Ft / Minute
Engine: Pratt & Whitney Canada Pw120a Turboprops


Horizon Air Dash 8

Horizon Air Industries was founded by Milt Kuolt and a group of venture capitalists, and established in September 1981, celebrating its 40th birthday last year. They are a part of Alaska Airlines , with their main hub at Seattle Tacoma International, and a base at Portland International. Over the years, Horizon has operated 108 Dash 8 family aircraft, including 24 -8-100 series. According to planespotters.com they currently have 30 De Havilland Canada DHC-8-400s in service, as well as 30 Embraer ERJ-175.  

At the beginning, Horizon Air’s meatball livery featured a beach and sunset. Some Dash 8-100s were emblazoned with city names, such as “Great City of Portland” or “Great Cities of Seattle/Tacoma”. They later changed to a similar livery to Alaska, after being acquired by them in 1986. In 2011, Horizon retired its public brand and adapted Alaska’s style, but continues to keep a smaller Horizon logo on its all new dark blue color scheme. 

From the Horizon Air (QX) system timetable - June 7, 1993

As of last year, Horizon operated 147 routes for Alaska Airlines, with the busiest being the 224 mile Seattle, Washington to Spokane, Washington route, followed by several more routes from Seattle to other parts of the Pacific Northwest, including Portland, Boise, and Missoula. 


DHC-8-100 PlaneTags

Photo by Pierre Gillard, used with permission

N831PH, built as a DHC-8-102A, rolled out of De Havilland Canada’s Downsview, Toronto, Ontario plant in May 1992. Later that month, it was delivered to Horizon Air and christened “The Great City of Billings”. ‘831 flew for Horizon until 2001, when it was withdrawn from service and stored. It was owned by Mellon Financial Services Corporation beginning in 2001 until sold to Three Points Aviation in 2006. Over the years, it was partially dismantled and sold for parts, before making its way in 2009 to the École nationale d'aérotechnique, the largest college-level institution for aviation technology in Canada, where it was used as a ground instructional airframe.

Dash 8

Photo by Pierre Gillard, used with permission


École nationale d’aérotechnique (ÉNA) 

École nationale d'aérotechnique (ÉNA) is the largest college-level aeronautical educational institute in Canada, and trains technicians in aircraft construction, aircraft maintenance and avionics. It was founded in 1964 and has since established itself as a respected aerotechnical institute worldwide. With the exceptional knowledge from its instructors and faculty, as well as close industry partnerships, students receive a top-notch education in aerospace engineering, aircraft maintenance, and in avionics, in state of the art facilities using many types of aircraft for practical experience. Many of the aircraft they study and work with include planes donated by the Canadian government or aircraft manufacturers, such as surplus Coast Guard helicopters and Bombardier C class aircraft to name just a couple. 

See their video on Aircraft Maintenance Technology:



In addition to teaching, ÉNA has donated various obsolete aircraft they previously used in training to the Quebec Aerospace Museum . Please enjoy the following information in PDF form about the QAM and and N831PH (see page 12, in French but translated to English in part below) generously provided to us by Pierre Gillard, Professeur, AME, CPL(H), Département d'avionique at ÉNA. Mr. Gillard also allowed the use of his photos of N831PH. 


Pierre Gillard carefully removing electrical wires from the floor of the fuselage carcass of the DHC-8 MSN 328 (Photo by Pierre Ménard, from PDF brochure).

Translated text from PDF brochure: 

The fuselage of the De Havilland Canada DHC-8-102A MSN 328 (ex-N831PH) arrived at the École nationale d'aérotechnique in 2009 and was used for various practices carried out by the students. Fallen a little outdated in recent years, it was decided to scrap it. However, before leaving Saint-Hubert airport for good, a specialized company came to cut pieces of the aluminum fuselage skin in order to subsequently produce souvenir keyrings of this aircraft. 

Having noted that components, mainly electrical, could still be recovered from what remained of this DHC-8 before it was scrapped, we therefore asked the management of ÉNA if the Museum of Aerospatiale du Québec could collect them, which was accepted. This is how on Saturday, November 6, 2021, Pierre Gillard and Pierre Ménard recovered electrical wire of different gauges, coaxial cable, connectors, two electrical panels, fasteners, junction modules as well as a wooden platform that was on board the fuselage and which will look great once repainted in "MAQ yellow". These components will be used as parts and equipment both for aircraft restoration projects and for the production of modules or exhibition models that the MAQ intends to develop in the coming months. Recycling, we believe in it!

Photo by Pierre Gillard, used with permission


MotoArt's Dash 8

DHC-8-100 PlaneTags


In 2021 ÉNA donated the fuselage skin of N831PH to MotoArt, before it went to scrapping. “We were very fortunate to be able to save parts of this Dash 8-100 for PlaneTags,” says MotoArt owner Dave Hall. Over the years, the Dash 8 has been a much requested aircraft by the PlaneTags community and the team was glad to be a part of preserving this one in particular. 


Dash 8 MotoArt PlaneTags

Dash 8

De Havilland DHC-8-100
Dash 8 gift




Dash 8 PlaneTags


The De Havilland DHC 8-100 PlaneTags are numbered in a series of 5,000. The will initially be offered in the following variants: white, maroon, and combinations of white/maroon and white/red. Each will come attached to a colorful display card, showing the plane and its history. PlaneTags make the perfect pilot gift, especially when engraved. PlaneTags collectors will certainly appreciate this one in their collection. They are available now on planetags.com and on the PlaneTags app (both Google Play and Apple )


Dash 8 PlaneTags