Avions de Transport Regional - or ATR - is a joint French-Italian aircraft concern started in the early 1980s to provide short-to-mid-range solutions for global air carriers. The company is well-known for its series of high-winged, twin-turboprop airliners and transports and has produced well over 1,300 examples to date. Its primary products, fitting the aforementioned mold, are the ATR 42 and the ATR 72 series aircraft (the former being the focus of this article and the latter being detailed elsewhere on this site). Their model numbers loosely correspond to the number of seats available in each design (42 and 72).
ATR was originally formed by the partnering of Aerospatiale of France and Aeritalia of Italy. Aerospatiale has since fallen under the Airbus brand label (after it merged with EADS in 2000, EADS then being absorbed by Airbus) with Aeritalia having merged with Selenia in 1990. As such, today (2018) its parent companies are Airbus and Leonardo, each owning a 50% share stake in the company. All ATR aircraft assembled at the French Toulouse facility.
The ATR 42-600 was brought online in October of 2007 with PW127M series turboprops offering a slight boost to performance as well as an all-digital, all-glass cockpit for two (Thales avionics). Again the passenger cabin was refined for the better.
Both the ATR 42-500 and ATR 42-600 models held a cruising speed of 300 knots with a range out to 715 nautical miles.
All versions of the ATR 42 featured an operating crew of two with maximum seating for forty-eight. Overall length became 74.4 feet with a wingspan of 80.6 feet and a height of 24.10 feet.
Beyond Italian military operation of the ATR 42 series, other military operators include the Nigerian Air Force (which operates two maritime patrollers) and the Myanmar Air Force (which has two ATR 42-320 models in inventory - 2018). Civil operators range from Japan to Pakistan though some carriers (as well as some military operators such as the Columbian Air Force) have since retired and sold off their ATR 42 fleet.
Due to the early market success being encountered by the ATR 42, the follow-up ATR 72 program (which shares the ATR 42's design, components and production lines) was launched a short time later, on January 15th, 1986. Deliveries of this enlarged form began in September of 1989.
The ATR 42 continues to be actively operated around the world today (2018). Total production has yielded over 475 units with an average per-unit cost of nearly $20 million USD.
- VIP Transport
74.31 ft (22.65 m)
80.54 ft (24.55 m)
24.93 ft (7.6 m)
22,708 lb (10,300 kg)
37,479 lb (17,000 kg)
311 mph (500 kph; 270 kts)
ATR 42 - Base Series Designation
ATR 42-200 - Prototype models with PW120 engines of 1,800 horsepower.
ATR 42-300 - Initial production model; PW120 engines of 2,000 horsepower.
ATR 42-320 - Upgraded -300 with PW121 engines of 2,100 horsepower; improved Hot-and-High performance.
ATR 42-400 - Modernized -320 with six-bladed propeller units.
ATR 42-400 "Surveyor" - Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) based in the -400 series model.
ATR 42-500 - Modernized model of 1995; new powerplants with revised internals and increased performance with increased MTOW; PW127E engines of 2,400 horsepower.
ATR 42-500 VIP - VIP passenger transport.
ATR 42-600 - Model of 2007; PW127M engines of improved power output; all-glass cockpit.
ATR 42-600SF ("Short-Field") - Proposed short-field variant of the ATR 42-600 model.