Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
9 November 2012
5 March 2010
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Description: In the early 1980s Alenia Aeronautica of Italy, a Finmeccanica company, and EADS/Airbus France founded a joint venture company, ATR (Avions de Transport Régional/Regional Transport Airplanes), to compete in the regional market with a new family of twin-turboprop passenger aircraft. The ATR 42 model entered service in 1985 followed by the increased seating capacity ATR 72 in 1989 all together these aircraft cover the range of 40 to 70 seats.
The high-wing ATR 42/72 family of aircraft provides high degree of passenger comfort, operational flexibility, spare parts commonality, and low operating costs while delivering outstanding performance. In 1996, ATR launched the -500 series aircraft which marked the beginning of a new generation ATR 42/72 characterized for savings in terms of training, maintenance operations, spare parts supply and cross crew qualification. In addition, existing ATR 42/72 aircraft can be converted into freighters - ATR 42 F and ATR 72 F - with a cargo door at the front of the aircraft or an optional large cargo door.
As of July 2005, more than 739 ATR 42/72 aircraft have been ordered from 125 operators in 72 countries with around 680 airplanes already delivered. The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100 turboprop engine family is the primary motorization for the ATR 42/72 family with the latest variant the PW127 powering the newest ATR 72-500 aircraft. Wide use of composite in latest models has translated into reduced airframe weight and improved overall performance.
The ATR 42-600 is a further development of the ATR 42 aircraft family encompassing the latest technological enhancements while building upon the proven ATR 42-500 airframe and retaining thus the low fuel burn and operating cost. The -600 series aircraft family was announced early in October 2007 and was projected for delivery in the second of 2010 replacing the -500 series aircraft as production standard. The new airplane will represent a major boost in avionics, engine performance, cabin comfort and LED technology for the ATR 42/72 aircraft family.
The ATR 42-600 turboprop aircraft will feature the Pratt & Whiney PW127M engine with increased power which translates into aircraft's improved performance for hot climate and high conditions. ATR will introduce extensively more durable and energy efficient LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology replacing the lighting systems inside the cabin and external navigation and anti-collision lights as well.
The new avionics suite meant for the -600 series will include a glass cockpit with 5 wide LCD screens replacing the current EFIS system and provided with upgraded avionics instrumentation which encompasses navigation, recording, auto- pilot and communications. ATR project to provide the new aircraft with a multi-purpose computer (MPC) for safer and more reliable operations. In addition to the upgraded performance, the new avionics suite will result lighter, more durable and reliable with a lower energy consumption.
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