The ATR 72 is directly derived from the ATR 42 with a fuselage stretched by 4.5 m, an enlarged outer wing made of carbon fiber, and a high degree of commonality with its smaller brother. A stretched version of the ATR42, the ATR-72 has a longer fuselage, increased wingspan and increased weights. Seating is for 64 to 72 passengers. The initial series, the ATR72-200 is equipped with two PW/124 engines, driving four blade Hamilton Standard 14SF-11 propellers. The ATR72-210 version, powered by the PW127F powerplant, has increased hot-and-high and short-field performance capabilities. It also features improved passenger cabin and enhanced noise treatment and upgraded air conditioning. Initial deliveries started in December 1992. From May 1998, the PW127F powered series 500 became the standard model. Offering a standard capacity of 68 seats, the ATR72-500 is identified by its advanced six-blade propeller, new cabin interior and higher design weights, extending the payload and range capabilities.
The ATR72 freighter conversion was launched in 2000, with Swiss charter cargo company Farnair the launch customer in 2002. Full freighter useable volume is up to 75.5m3 while the payload is around 8.4 tonness / 18,500 lb. Aeronavali (a subsidiary of Italian firm Alenia) offer two types of ATR-approved conversions: a) ATR Bulk Freighter Conversion ("Tube"): Obtained by (i) stripping the whole passenger layout, (ii) reinforcing the floor and (iii) installing a class E cabin, window plugs and cargo nets. Costs ranging from $400,000 to $600,000 depending on the aircraft's original configuration. Conversion time is around 1.5 months. b)ATR Full Freighter Conversion ("Tube and Cargo Door"): Includes the installation of a 116" x 71" cargo door. Costs range from $1.5 million to $1.7 million. French firm Aeroconseil also offer an ATR72 Bulk Freighter conversion as do ExelTech / Comtek Advanced Structures.Worldwide Aircraft Services offer an ATR72 conversion for $320,000 plus options. The conversion includes a modification of the standard airstair door into an upper hinged cargo door and interior modification to create ten loading zones divided by 9G nets. Conversion time is around five weeks.M7 Aerospace offer ATR42 conversions into Bulk Freighters and were awarded an STC for the ATR72 in November 2005. The conversion includes a modification of the standard airstair door into an upper hinged cargo door and interior modification to create seven or eight loading zones (depending on aircraft serial number) divided by 9G nets. Conversion time is around five weeks.
The ATR 72-500 is the latest development of the ATR 72. It draws from the in-service experience of more than 700 ATR aircraft flying worldwide, with a proven average dispatch reliability of more than 99%.
The ATR 72-600 is a further development of the ATR 42 aircraft family encompassing the latest technological enhancements while building upon the proven ATR 72-500 airframe. It was announced early in October 2007 and was projected for delivery in the second of 2010 replacing the -500 series aircraft as production standard. It will feature the Pratt & Whiney PW127M engine with increased power, a maximum take-off weight increase of 300 kg, more durable and energy efficient LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology and a glass cockpit with 5 wide LCD screens. List price (2008) is $19,500,000.
ATR is committed to a continuous process of improvement of its aircraft to meet the market needs and passenger appeal. According to this principle, the new ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 feature the latest technological enhancements while building upon the well-known advantages of the '-500 series' ATRs, namely their high efficiency, proven dispatch reliability and low fuel burn and operating cost. Compared to the -500 series, the main developments of the -600 series ATRs comprise: New Avionics Suite: the "-600 series" ATR aircraft will feature an enhanced cockpit, equipped with upgraded avionics instrumentation. This includes the latest and most accurate computing systems for navigation, recording, auto- pilot and communications. An outstanding flight deck - Glass Cockpit - with 5 wide LCD screens will replace the current EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrumental System). In addition, a multi purpose computer (MPC) will further enhance flight safety and operational capabilities.
Compared to the current optional Design Weights, the new ATR 72-600 will have as standard an additional weight increase of 300 Kg on MTOW (Maximum Take Off Weight, from 22,500 Kg to 22,800 Kg) and on MZFW (Maximum Zero Fuel Weight, from 20,500 Kg to 20,800 Kg), plus optional weight increases of an additional 200kg. This will improve the payload and performance to cope with increasing demands of passenger weights and baggage.
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