European turboprop aircraft manufacturer, ATR, has launched the 600 series, the latest addition to its family of aircraft. The 600 series will be progressively introduced during the second half of 2010.
The new ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 will feature the latest technological enhancements, even as they build upon the advantages of high efficiency, proven despatch reliability, low fuel burn and operational cost already offered by its existing models.
Compared to the current 500 series, the new 600 series will boast of the following enhanced features:
New Avionics Suite: The 600 series ATR aircraft will feature an enhanced cockpit, equipped with upgraded avionics instrumentation, including the latest computing systems for navigation, recording, autopilot 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.
These features are expected to provide additional advantages and improved performance in terms of weight reduction, reliability, energy consumption and durability.
New engine: The new P&W 127M will power the ATR 42-600s and ATR 72-600s, and will be the standard engine for these aircraft. 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 300kg on MTOW (Maximum Take Off Weight) and MZFW (Max Zero Fuel Weight), plus optional weight increases of an additional 200kg. This is expected to improve aircraft payload and performance allowing it to cope with increasing demands in passenger weight 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 already recognized. It will also have the latest in Light Emitting Diode lighting inside the cabin. The LED technology is also being incorporated for external navigation as well as anti-collision lights, which will increase the visibility of the aircraft. LED represents the lowest weight and energy consuming lighting technology and dramatically extends service life.
According to Stéphane Mayer, ATR CEO, "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."
"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," Mayer added.