ATR has started ground tests on the ‘-600 series’ pre-series aircraft. The aircraft manufacturer started testing the functioning of the electrical systems and the equipment of the New Generation Avionics Suite, while integrating the first software package provided by Thales. The achievement is in line with the original development plan scheduled for the ‘-600 series’ ATRs.Commenting on this important milestone, Luigi Lombardi, ATR SVP Operations, said, “We are proud of starting the ground test of the aircraft, which represent the result of a very strong work done in the last months, in partnership with Thales. We congratulate our teams, which are working around the clock.”
Alain Boursier, Thales Vice President, in charge of Regional and Business Aircraft added, “The development of this new generation avionics suite represents a key improvement of the new aircraft. It will provide clear benefits to the airlines, by substantially improving the navigation capabilities and the performance of the aircraft, while reducing its operating and maintenance costs.”
The new ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 aircraft will feature the very latest technological enhancements, including a totally renewed avionics suite, new PW 127M engines and additional 300 Kg on MTOW (Maximum Take-off weight and MZFW (Maximum Zero Fuel Weight), while building upon the well-known advantages of the current “-500 series” aircraft.
The ATR ‘600 series’ pre-series aircraft, configured as an ATR 72, will do its maiden flight in summer 2009. The entry into service of this very last member of the ATR aircraft family is scheduled for the beginning of 2011.