ATR presents the first ATR -600 series' aircraft
Today, ATR officially presented the first aircraft of its new ‘-600’ series. The aircraft, an ATR 72-600 prototype, was unveiled during a ceremony, which took place in Toulouse, under the patronage of Dominique Bussereau, Secretary of State for Transport, represented by Patrick Gandil, General Director of French Civil Aviation.
Launched in October 2007, the new ‘-600’ series follows its development phase according to the schedule planned for the two models, the ATR 72-600 and the ATR 42-600, of which the first commercial aircraft will enter into service in 2011. To date, ATR has recorded orders for 59 of these aircraft (5 ATR 42-600 and 54 ATR 72-600).
The ATR 72-600 presented today, which started its flight test campaign in July 2009, is fitted with new Pratt & Whitney 127M engines. These new engines provide 5% additional thermodynamic power at takeoff, thus improving performance on short runways, in hot weather and on high altitude. The incorporation of the “boost function” enables use of this additional power as needed, only when called for by the takeoff conditions. Consequently, maintenance costs and fuel consumption are minimized. In addition, these new engines allow the aircraft to increase the single engine altitude by 1000 feet (300 meters).
This first ATR 72-600 is also the first to be fitted with the new, latest generation avionics suite, specifically developed for the ‘-600’ series. These new avionics comprise the very latest computer systems for navigational aids, flight data recording, automatic piloting and communications, entailing a better flight interface. The new cockpit, which integrates 5 LCD screens, is also fitted with a new multi-purpose computer (MPC) enabling optimized integration of all systems and better and faster computing capability. This new MPC will also facilitate aircraft maintenance operations. The ATR 72-600 avionics integrate an autopilot which will be CAT IIIA certified.