ATR announced the successful first flight of the partially configured STOL variant (for Short Take-Off and Landing) of its ATR 42-600 aircraft. The flight took off at 10:00 from Francazal airport and lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes. The crew onboard performed a number of tests to measure the upgraded aircraft systems’ performance.
Following the successful completion of this first flight, new functionalities will be tested one at a time, starting with the MFC-NG (Multifunctional Computer New Generation), followed by the Autobrake, Ground Spoiler, and increased take off rating systems. The aircraft will enter its final configuration at the end of the year with the addition of a new larger rudder and move on to the certification phase in 2023.
To-date, ATR has recorded 20 commitments from airlines and lessors for this ATR 42-600S.
There are currently close to 500 airports around the world with a runway length between 800 and 1,000 meters (2,625 to 3,281 feet) that could welcome the ATR 42-600S. This new STOL variant will help passengers benefit from an increased regional connectivity.
ATR recently announced as well an agreement for the acquisition of two ATR 72-500 freighters from its asset management portfolio to GIG Aviation, a subsidiary of GIG Group. The ATR 72-500s will initiate GIG Aviation journey as a freighter airline. The ATR freighters will help GIG Logistics expand its network in Africa to meet the rapid growth of e-commerce in the country and strengthen the connections between communities from the different regions and sub regions.