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 ATR Assembly of Members has named Stéphane Mayer, 44, CEO of the company effective June 1. Mayer succeeds Filippo Bagnato, whose three-year mandate expired at the end of May and who now serves as chairman of the board of directors.
Two EADS CEOs have swapped places–almost. Stéphane Mayer, who since 2003 was CEO of aerostructures and light aircraft specialist Socata, has moved to regional turboprop manufacturer ATR as its new CEO. Meanwhile, Jean-Michel Léonard, who was a former ATR CEO and used to be head of Airbus’ center of excellence in electric systems, has been appointed CEO of Socata.
Alenia Aeronautica and Xian Aircraft Company (XAC) of China yesterday announced an agreement for the production of a section of the ATR turboprop’s rear fuselage section in China. XAC, part of the China aviation consortium AVIC I, will supply the piece, called Section 18, to Alenia for the ATR aircraft starting later this year.
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.
Italian civil aviation authorities suspect fuel starvation or contamination for the crash of a Tunisian ATR 72 off the northern coast of Sicily on Saturday. The accident claimed at least 13 of the 39 occupants, three of which remain missing.
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.