Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) announced early last month that it is launching new versions of its ATR 42 and 72 to be known as the “-600 series.” The aircraft will be “progressively introduced” during the second half of 2010.
Franco-Italian turboprop builder Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) has launched a so-called aging structures program for its ATR 42 and ATR 72 family to extend the airframes’ design life from the original 70,000 cycles to 105,000 cycles. The upgrade, scheduled to take effect early next year, would equate to an “economic life” of more than 40 years per airframe, assuming an average use of 2,500 flight hours annually.
The governments of Russia and Ukraine have so far managed to prevent Western manufacturers from penetrating their countries’ markets for regional aircraft in the hope that local producers could develop competitive products. But officials have warned that prohibitive import taxes will not hold forever, particularly as Russia pushes ever harder for accession into the World Trade Organization.
At a ceremony last month marking the delivery of a newly overhauled Dash 8 to Honolulu-based Island Air, ExelTech announced that it secured C$7 million in new contracts this year from five regional airlines from as far afield as French Guyana to perform heavy maintenance at its facilities in Montreal.
CMC Electronics (Hall 3, Stand D7) is introducing a so-called “portable mission display” for military aircraft called TacView that will do for armed-forces pilots what electronic flight bag (EFB) portable computers do for civilian fliers.
In one of his first appearances as new chief executive of ATR, a somewhat hesitant Stéphane Mayer announced new orders from Berjana Airlines of Malaysia (for four ATR 72-500s) and from Total Linhas Aereas of Brazil for three ATR 42-500s, two 72-500s and five options.
Regional turboprop maker ATR has picked CMC Electronics’ class-2 electronic flight bags (EFBs). These will be available both as an option on new ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft or for retrofit on in-service ones. CMC’s EFBs feature 8.4-inch, high-resolution XGA displays. They provide up-to-date aircraft documentation, checklists, approach charts and real-time weather information–among other features.
Avions de Transport Régional has completely renovated its dedicated pilot training center at its Toulouse, France headquarters and is establishing new training sites in India and New Zealand. These are intended to complement its existing joint venture facilities with FlightSafety International in Miami, Florida, and Thales in Bangkok, Thailand.
Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) is sharing in the booming regional market and the upswing in orders for short-haul turboprop aircraft, with this year already proving fruitful after two record years.
Accident investigators have determined that Tunisian mechanics replaced a faulty fuel gauge in the ATR 72 that crashed off the northeast coast of Sicily on August 6 with the wrong model, a mistake that apparently led the doomed airplane’s pilots to upload less fuel than they needed to complete their trip from Bari, Italy, to Djerba, Tunisia.