ATR late in August announced that the ATR 72-600 regional turboprop made its first flight on July 24 in Toulouse, France, seven months after the first power-on test. The test program calls for 150 flight hours, and certification is pegged for next year. The maiden flight of the ATR 42-600 has slipped into 2010. It will mark the start of a 75-hour flight-test campaign for the smaller version. ATR claims to have received orders for 59 ATRs of the -600 series and plans to begin deliveries in 2011.
The -600 series features Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M engines for better hot-and-high capabilities. Max takeoff weight and max zero-fuel weight each increase by 1,100 pounds, while the flight deck receives a makeover from Thales. In the cabin, passengers will benefit from 30-percent larger overhead bins.