ATR says it is finalising plans to launch a variant of its ATR 42-600 twin turboprop with “improved” short takeoff and landing performance.
The new variant, dubbed ATR 42-600S, could takeoff with a full passenger load from runways as short as 800 metres, the Franco-Italian regional aircraft manufacturer announced on Wednesday. Currently ATR quotes a 1,025m takeoff distance for an ATR 42-600 with a max passenger load at ISA and sea level.
“Facilitating the emergence of future traffic as well as maintaining the connectivity of communities is at the heart of ATR’s role,” Christian Scherer, ATR chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“This is why we have decided to further address the challenges of airfield accessibility, allowing growth in air services for remote areas as well. We are now proposing the ATR 42-600S to our operators and we look forward to positive feedback from the market.”
Improving the ATR 42’s airfield performance will help it meet a need to replace some of the nearly 1,200 30- to 50-seat turboprop airliners currently in service worldwide, ATR says.
The Toulouse-based manufacturer says it forecasts market demand for 600 50-seat class turboprops over the next 20 years.
The ATR 42 seats 48 passengers in a typical 30in pitch arrangement.
No ATR 42s are currently in service in Australia or New Zealand, however regional subsidiaries of both Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand operate the larger 70-seat ATR 72-600.