At the European Regional Aviation Conference ATR Aircraft formally announced that they would formally launch the ATR 42-600S – the Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) variant of the smaller ATR turboprop aircraft.
The ATR42-600S will not replace the standard variant (ATR42-600) and will be offered on sale alongside it.
The STOL capabilities of this new aircraft should allow the new type will allow take-off and landing capabilities on runways as short as 800m with up to 42 passengers on board.
To-date, ATR has already recorded 20 commitments from operators and lessors for this variant, including Elix Aviation Capital (10 aircraft) and Air Tahiti (two aircraft) which were announced at this year’s Paris Air Show.
The certification of the ATR 42-600S is expected for the second half of 2022, with the first delivery expected immediately after.
There are physical differences between the ATR42-600 and 600S – with the ATR42-600S having a larger rudder for increased control of the aircraft at lower speed. It will be able to symmetrically deploy its spoilers to improve braking efficiency on landing and will come with an autobrake system, to ensure that the full braking power occurs immediately upon landing.
There’s a market. Who is going to buy?
With around 500 airports with a runway of 800-1000m, there certainly is room for the ATR42-600S in the market. As usual, the trick is to convert the offering into sales. And that has to be done the old fashioned way – by building networks and looking for opportunities with smaller communities that may have limited air service at the moment.
Whilst 20 commitments is not a lot, its a starting point for the type – one that can be built on.
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