(Washington, October 2, 2007) -- The European turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR reached an important new milestone today with the announcement of the launch of the "-600 series", the newest version of its family of aircraft. This was announced by Stephane Mayer, ATR CEO, on the occasion of a Press Conference held in Washington, D.C.
The new ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 will feature the latest technological enhancements while building upon the well-known advantages of the current aircraft, namely its high efficiency, proven dispatch reliability and low fuel burn and operationing cost. The "-600 series" ATR aircraft will be progressively introduced during the second half of 2010.
Compared to the current "-500 series", the main developments of the "-600 series" ATRs comprise:
New Avionics Suite:
The "-600 series" ATR aircraft will feature an enhanced cockpit, equipped with upgraded avionics instrumentation. This includes the latest and most accurate computing systems for navigation, recording, auto- pilot and communications. An outstanding flight deck - Glass Cockpit - with 5 wide LCD screens will replace the current EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrumental System). In addition, a multi purpose computer (MPC) will further enhance Flight Safety and operational capabilities. The new avionics will also provide CAT III and RNP capabilities. All these main improvements will provide advantages and performance improvements in terms of weight reduction, reliability, energy consumption and durability.
The ATR 42-600s and ATR 72-600s will include the new PW 127 M as standard engine. This enhanced version of the ATR engine will allow an increased power rating for the ATR 72-600 that will provide improved performance for hot and high conditions.
Additional weight increase:
Compared to the current optional Design Weights, the new ATR 72-600 will have as standard an additional weight increase of 300 Kg on MTOW (Maximum Take Off Weight) and MZFW (Max Zero Fuel Weight), plus optional weight increases of an additional 200kg. This will improve the payload and performance to cope with increasing demands of passenger weights and baggage.
Cabin Comfort and LED technology:
The -600 series will include all the existing and future cabin improvements developed by ATR to provide the high level of comfort and low interior noise for which the existing -500 series is recognized. It will also have the latest in Light Emitting Diode lighting inside the cabin, and this LED technology is also being incorporated both for external navigation and anti-collision lighting in order to further reduce costs and increase life span, while also upgrading the visibility of the aircraft. LED represents the lowest weight and energy consuming lighting technology, with a dramatically extended service life.
Stephane Mayer declared: "The "-600 series" ATRs are the result of our continuous product improvement strategy in order to meet the demands of the market. The new ATR is vastly different from the earlier versions of the aircraft, with many innovations and developments resulting from the operators' experience and the newest available technologies. These developments allow ATR to provide state-of-the art technology and environmentally-friendly aircraft with high reliability, superior comfort, and the lowest cost per seat among regional aircraft".
He added: "The '-600 series' underlines the strong "family concept" of ATR, with two aircraft that are extremely similar, providing common airframe, common engines, common cockpit and the same pilot type rating. The compromise between simplicity and effectiveness of the design is one of our key goals".
And he concluded: "The next ten years forecast for the turboprop market is for a requirement of over 1,400 aircraft. This provides a solid basis for ATR to continue its investment in improvement and developing our very successful product".