Digital Audio Tape - a method of storing audio in a digital format on a magnetic tape in cassette form. The encoding can be at 32kHz, 44.1kHz (which is equivalent to a cd), 48kHz and some support 90kHz recordings as well. I use DAT primarily as a medium of going from field to cd. The tapes have a longer capacity than cd (coventionally 74 minutes versus 2 hours but the most on a cd I've seen so far is 80 minutes and the longest DAT tapes I've seen are 3 hours). Additionally DAT tapes are well protected and are not prone to things such as scratching. However the shelf life of a DAT is much shorter than that of a CD. After 5 years, archiving onto another DAT or CD is recommended.

Originally set up as Delta Air Transport in 1966 to service feeder routes into Brussels for Sabena international flights, the airline now known as dat (in trendy lower case) was relaunched in October 2001 as a smaller-scale successor to Sabena after the latter went bankrupt in the wake of the collapse of its partner Swissair following the World Trade Center attack. DAT was to service Sabena's former European short-haul routes from Brussels (around thirty destinations to start with), using aircraft formerly owned by Sabena (having previously had a fleet of only 32 small planes itself). Additional finance was an issue for the new company, particularly following disputes with the receivers handling Sabena's other subsidiary companies, and the airline was accused by other European carriers of receiving unfair subsidies from the Belgian government to allow for some fairly generous launch offers.

At the time of writing, it appears likely that dat will merge or at least form a very close partnership with Virgin Express who have taken a large stake in the company and also use Brussels as a base of operations. The company has a website at

Update 2002-02-23

Presumably in order to avoid having to spend so much of their limited resources on repainting tailfin logos and to distance itself from its humble origins, DAT has now rebranded itself as SN Brussels Airlines, serving 35 European destinations from Brussels National Airport (BRU).

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