Commercial Aviation: the Avion de Transport Régional ATR-42 & 72, Images by Wernher Krutein and PHOTOVAULT®

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About the ATR 42 Regional aircraft development was the impetus behind the union in October 1981 of Aeritalia (now Alenia) and Aérospatiale of France. This capable consortium set out to develop a whole new family of high-wing, twin turboprop aircraft that would be optimized from the start for efficiency, operational flexibility and passenger comfort. The ATR 42 designation was derived from Avion de Transport Régional (the new company name) and the intended number of seats (42) though it has the capacity to seat passengers ranging from 42 to 50 people depending on the cabin configuration chosen by each respective airline. The first prototype ATR 42 flew on 16 August 1984, and type certification was received on 24 September 1985 in France and Italy. It first entered service in 1985.

The aircraft features a high-set wing, mounted above the fuselage so that the carry-through structure does not reduce the cabin height. The tailplane is mounted near the top of the swept-back fin, while the undercarriage is housed in sponsons on the fuselage side. Main access is via a door on the rear port side with an integral stair. The space between the flight deck and passenger cabin is used for baggage stowage, with additional capacity at the rear of the cabin.

The various ATR 42 versions are:

The ATR 42-300 -- This is the basic version, fitted with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW120 engines rated at 2,000 shp. each. It has become a workhorse of regional operators big and small, and has the lowest operating costs of any aircraft in its size category.

The ATR 42-320 -- Identical to the ATR 42-300, this version is fitted with more powerful PW121 engines rated at 2,100 shp. each. The ATR 42-320 was developed for increased hot-and-high performance.

The ATR 42-400 -- This version meets airline requirements for a higher level of passenger comfort and better payload capabilities while retaining the low operating costs of the basic ATR 42. Improvements include a new-look interior with new acoustically-absorbent materials and overhead bins with 40 percent more volume, six-blade propellers and associated electronic controls, and improved insulation of parasitic noise sources from sources such as outflow valves and hydraulic pumps.

The ATR 42-400 carries 48 passengers and baggage over a distance of 800 nautical miles. This translates into a better multi-hop or out-and-return operating capability without refueling.

The ATR 42-500 -- With a cruise speed of over 300 kts., the ATR 42-500 is equipped with PW127E engines rated at 2,400 shp. that power new six-blade propellers optimized for low noise and vibration. The aircraft's payload is increased to 5,450 kg., with increased range. The new-look interior is used for the passenger cabin with improved soundproofing and the larger overhead bins.



The versatility of both the ATR 42 and ATR 72 has been put to good use with the development of several specialized versions. Specific applications -- including in-flight inspection, quick-change from passenger to freighter and corporate transport -- are possible with the aircraft.

For quick-change operations, the ATR 42/ATR 72 standard front cargo door allows the aircraft to be rapidly converted from a passenger layout
to freighter. In the freighter configuration, an ATR 42 can carry 9 containers with total containerized volume of 25.2 cubic meters (891 cubic feet), while the ATR 72 carries 13 containers with a volume of 26.4 cubic meters (1,287 cubic feet). Additional bulk freight is accommodated in the aft cargo zone.

The ATR 42F is a multi-purpose type equipped with a rear door that can be opened in flight. It is suited for various missions, including paratroop drops and medivac operations. Airline-type seats can be installed for passenger transport.

For maritime patrol missions, the ATR 42MP carries search radar and SAR equipment, with mission times up to 10 hours at minimum cost.

The ATR 42 has proven to be an excellent platform for flight inspection duties. Fitted with avionics racks, it can perform complete tests of both landing and en-route navigation aids. This version can be reconfigured for passenger transport.

The ATR is an attractive corporate transport as a result of its overall cabin architecture. A typical corporate version has a luxurious sofa accommodating five persons, two comfortable swivel armchairs, two cupboards and one table.

PHOTOVAULT ® AVIATION Museum contains a collection of historical photographs starting from the 1940's. Many pictures of airlines and types of airplanes. The following are links to most of the major existing commercial aircraft types: Airbus: A-300, A-310, A-320, A-330, A-340, A-380, Airspeed: Ambassador, Antonov: An-2, An-24, An-124, Avion de Transport Régional: ATR 42, ATR 72, British Aerospace: BAC-111, BAe/AVRO-146, BAe 748/ATP/Jetstream 61, BAe Jetstream31, Beech 1900, 99, Boeing: B-247, B-307, B-377, B-707, B-717, B-727, B-737, B-747, B-757, B-767, B-777, B-787, Breguet: 761 Deux Ponts, Britten-Norman: Trislander, Islander, Canadair: Regional Jet CRJ, Convair: 240 thru 680, 880 and 990, Curtis-Wright: CW-20, de Havilland: DH89, DH104, DH106 Comet, Dash-7, Dash-8, DHC-6 Twin Otter, Caribou, Trident, DinfiaI: A-50 Guarani, Dornier: 228, 328, Embraer: Bandeirante EMB-110, Brasilia EMB-120, ERJ-145, Fairchild: Metroliner, Fokker: F-27, F-50, F-28, F-70, F-100, Ford: Trimotor, Grumman: Goose, Ilyushin: Il-14, Il-18, Il-62, Il-86, Lockheed: Constellation, Electra, L-1011, L-100, Martin: 404, McDonnell Douglas (Boeing): DC-3, DC-6, DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, MD-80's, MD-90's, MD-11, SAAB: 340 & 2000, Short: 330 and 360, Sandringham, Sikorsky: VS44, Tupolev, Tu-104, Tu-134, Tu-154, The Concorde SST, SUD Caravelle, NAMC YS-11, Vickers: Viscount, Yakovlev: Yak 40, VFW-614

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