ATR 42

Air Littoral ATR 42

The ATR story began in 1979 when Aeritalia (now Alenia) of Italy and Aerospatiale of France, each announced they were developing a new family of turboprop regional airliners. In 1980 the companies decided to pool their efforts and formed a new company, Avion de Transport Regional (ATR).
The ATR-42 was the consortium's first aircraft and it’s designation was derived from the new company name and the intended number of seats (42).

The ATR 42 features a high-set wing, mounted above the fuselage so that the carry-through structure does not reduce 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.  Between 42 and 50 passengers can be seated in the pressurised cabin. Alenia designed and manufactured the fuselage and tail, with the final assembly being made in Toulouse.

ATR 42-200
The ATR 42 was launched in October 1981 with an order from Air Littoral (France).
The first of two ATR 42-200 prototypes lifted off on its maiden test flight from Toulouse, France, on 16th August 1984 and type certification was received on 24th September 1985, in both France and Italy.

ATR 42-300
Air Littoral received the fourth production aircraft, dubbed ATR 42-300 for customers, and put the ATR 42 into revenue service on 9th December 1985, performing the first commercial flight on the French airline's Béziers-Paris-Béziers route.

The basic -300 version is powered by PW120 turboprops driving four-blade Hamilton Standard 14 SF propellers and features greater payload range and a higher takeoff weight than the prototypes. It was joined, in 1987, by the ATR 42-320, with more powerful PW121 engines for improved 'hot-and-high' performance. Both versions were phased out of production in 1996.

The ATR-42 Cargo, with reconfigurable cabin and cargo door, is a quick change freight/passenger version of the 42-300.

ATR 42-400
On 12 July 1995, the ATR 42-400 made its first flight, powered by PW121A engines fitted with six-blade props. This model entered service with CSA in March 1996, but it proved only to be an interim development.

ATR 42-500
The go-ahead of the ATR 42-500 was annouced at the Paris Air Show in June, 1993, and the baseline production model became the ATR 42-500 (service designation ATR 42-512), which flew on September 16, 1994.
This new-generation version ATR features more powerful PW127 engines, driving six blade propellers, has a reinforced wing and fuselage, new brakes, and strengthened landing gear allowing higher operating speeds and weights.
Internally the flight deck is upgraded with a Honeywell EVZ-820 EFIS cockpit (Electronic, Flight Instrument System or “glass cockpit”), and the passenger cabin has been completely reworked and extensively soundproofed.

Certification of the ATR 42-500 by the British and French airworthiness authorities was awarded in June 1995.
First deliveries were made to Italy's Air Dolomiti who received one aircraft in October 1995 and two -500s were delivered to Transportes Aeromar (Mexico) in November. The first -500 sold in the USA was to Continental Express, in May 1996.
German airline Eurowings became the largest ATR operator in Europe with a fleet of 27 ATRs, when they took first delivery of 5 ATR 42-500s on October 21, 1997.

In January 1996 ATR joined with the regional-aircraft arms of British Aerospace (Avro and Jetstream) to form a partnership, Aero International (Regional), to undertake joint marketing and the development of future designs. Unable to reach agreement on a future strategy for regional aircraft (jet versus prop), the company was dissolved in mid 1998.

By September 5th, 1997 - the 500th ATR had been delivered (to American Eagle), just 12 years since its introduction.

ATR continued development of their regional turbo-prop producing further variants  including; ATR 42F, military freighter with air-opening side door; ATR 42L, lateral cargo door freighter; ATR 42 Calibration, for navigational aid testing; ATR 42MP, maritime patrol aircraft in service with Italian customs service; and SAR 42 proposed surveillance/rescue version.

The ATR is becoming increasingly popular on feeder routes where it’s proving to be very economical; ATR aircraft are recognised as the most fuel effiecient aircraft in their category.
With more than 600 aircraft in operation and over 100 operators worldwide, ATR is the world’s most successful large turboprop aircraft family.

May 24, 2002 - The worldwide ATR aircraft fleet (ATR 42 and ATR 72) in operation reached the 10 million flight hours mark. This represents a cumulative distance of approximately 4 billion kilometres (2.5 billion statute miles). Roughly 450 million passengers have flown with an ATR aircraft.

Country of origin

France and Italy

First Flight

August 16 1984

Entered Service

-300: Air Littoral, 9th December 1985

-400 entered service with CSA in March 1996.

-500 Air Dolomiti in October 1995


By late 2000 ATR had delivered over 360 42’s to just under 100 customers.


-300: two 1,800-hp (1342-kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PW-120 turboprops driving four blade Hamilton Standard propellers

-400: Pratt & Whitney Canada PW121A engines fitted with six-blade props

-500: two 2,160-hp (1610-kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127E turboprops


-300: cruising speed 269 kt (498 km/h); service ceiling _,000 ft (___ m); maximum range with reserves 1,050 nm (1944 km)

-500: cruising speed 304 kt (563 km/h, 350 mph); service ceiling 18,000 ft (5485 m); maximum range with reserves 1,000 nm (1852 km, 1,151 miles)


-300: operating empty 22,674 lb (10285 kg); max take-off 36,817 lb (16700 kg)

-500: operating empty 24,802 lb (11250 kg); max take-off 41,005 lb (18600 kg)


300/500: span 80ft 7in (24.57 m); height 24ft 11in (7.59 m); length 74ft 5in (22.67 m); wing area 586.65 sq ft (54.5 m2)


two (flight deck) max 50 passengers, standard layout for 42 4-abreast seats with central isle.

ATR-42 Cargo - Nine containers with a 4000kg payload.

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