DALLAS – The ATR 42-600S, a Short Take-Off and Landing variant of the ATR 42-600, took to the skies this week from Francazal Airport (LFBF) in Toulouse, France.
The ATR 42-600S 30-50 seat turboprop aircraft is being designed to be able to use 800m runways (2,625ft). According to ATR, this will allow the ATR 42-600 to operate 500 more general aviation airstrips.
Because of the shorter runway choice, the ATR 42-600 is a viable option for operators of smaller aircraft at a greater number of regional airports. The ATR 42-600S has received 20 orders from the French/Italian aircraft manufacturer.
The ATR 42 first flew in 1985, and various updates were made to the aircraft over the years before the current -600 series was delivered in 2007. The STOL variant will be certified by ATR next year.
The crew onboard performed a number of tests to measure the performance of the upgraded aircraft systems during the two-hour and fifteen-minute flight from Francazal Airport.
The next phase of ground and flight testing for the aircraft will include the MFC-NG (Multifunctional Computer New Generation), followed by the Autobrake, Ground Spoiler, and improved take-off rating systems.
ATR says the aircraft will enter its final configuration at the end of the year with the addition of a new larger rudder.
ATR is a Franco-Italian aircraft manufacturer headquartered on the grounds of Toulouse Blagnac International Airport in Blagnac, France. It was formed in 1981 as a joint venture between Aérospatiale of France and Aeritalia of Italy.
Featured image: ATR 42-600S STOL. Photo: ATR