The European Aviation Safety Authority has granted type certification for the ATR 42-600, clearing the way for the first customer deliveries of the 50-seat turboprop.
The certification of the smaller aircraft comes after the larger ATR 72-600 received its type certification in May 2011, and effectively ends the development program for the -600 ATR variants.
“We are very pleased to see that the entire ATR -600 family is now ready to operate for our customers,” said ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato. “Today we are the only manufacturer of 50-seater aircraft in the world and we estimate that, over the next 20 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.”
Compared to the previous -500 variants, the ATR 42-600 gains a new Thales integrated avionics suite, new communications, navigation and monitoring systems, new flight management system and has as standard the upgraded Pratt & Whitney PW127M engines, which are able to provide better field performance from hot and high airstrips.
Since the launch of the -600 program in October 2007, ATR has received orders for a total of 250 ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 aircraft. Locally, Skywest Airlines will become an ATR 72-600 operator later this year, flying the aircraft on behalf of Virgin Australia.
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