ATR’s “green” demonstrator aircraft has made its first flight as part of efforts to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
ATR 72 prototype F-WWEY took off from Toulouse Airport on Wednesday at 0718 local time according to flight tracking website Flightradar24 and was in the air for a little under two hours.
The purpose of this first flight test campaign was to look at new composite insulating materials and vibro-acoustic sensors that were in a large crown panel of the turboprop’s forward fuselage section.
There were also tests on new generation optical fibres designed to improve identification of micro-cracks and make maintenance easier.
The initiative is part of the European Union’s Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative (CS JTI).
“The objective of such advanced technologies, developed by ATR’s shareholder Alenia Aermacchi, is to reduce the aircraft weight, fuel consumption, CO2, NOx emissions and noise level,” ATR said in a statement.
ATR said a second test flight campaign would take place later in 2015 to look at improvements to the electrical distribution, energy dispersal and the air conditioning systems.
“The ATRs already enjoy a worldwide reputation for the low gas emissions due to its low fuel consumption and structural efficiency with large use of composite material on primary structures,” ATR senior vice president for engineering Carmine Orsi said in a statement.
“Today, we are going further by using one of our aircraft to test the fruit of several years of joint work with the researchers, which should enable us to be even greener in the future”.