Thu, Jun 21, 2012
Sole Manufacturer Of 50-Seater Regional Aircraft Continues To Invest In This Niche Market
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the ATR 42-600, a new member in the family of turboprop airplanes manufactured by ATR. This certification, prior to the aircraft's entry into service and for the plane's new equipment, marks the end of a series of ground and in-flight tests which were performed on the ATR 42-600 prototype. It demonstrates ATR's willingness to continue investing in the 50-seater aircraft segment, a niche market for which it is the lone manufacturer.
Within the framework of the test campaign, the ATR 42-600 benefited from its similarity to the ATR 72-600, which was certified in May 2011. As with the ATR 72-600, all of the tests on the ATR 42-600 were used to validate that the new systems and equipment installed on board operate correctly, especially the new “glass cockpit” avionics suite with 5 LCD screens, new communication, navigation and monitoring systems, flight management system (FMS), automatic pilot, alert management and multi-purpose computer (MPC, which integrates aircraft maintenance and protection functions in particular).
Since the launch of the “-600” program in October 2007, ATR has already received orders for a total of 250 ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 aircraft. Entry into service of the new ATR 42-600 is scheduled for summer 2012. The ATR 72-600, it has been in service since August 2011 and is currently operated by 7 airlines worldwide.
“We are very pleased to see that the entire ATR “-600” family is now ready to operate for our customers," said Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR. "Today we are the only manufacturer of 50-seater aircraft in the world and we estimate that, over the next twenty years, there will be a substantial potential market in this category. Therefore, we must offer the market an aircraft equipped with all the latest technology and the highest levels of comfort."
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