ATR's first ever purpose-built regional freighter ATR 72-600F takes flight
ATR, the world number one regional aircraft manufacturer, on September 16, announced the successful first flight of its new purpose-built regional freighter aircraft ATR 72-600F. The flight took off at 14:00 from its Saint-Martin site and lasted two hours. During the flight, crew onboard performed a number of tests to measure the new aircraft’s flight envelope and flight performance. The first delivery of this aircraft will be to FedEx Express, the world’s largest cargo airline and express transportation company, who placed a firm order for 30 aircraft, plus 20 options, in November 2017. The arrival of this new freighter further cements ATR’s leadership position in the regional freighter market where ATR cargo aircraft already represent a third of the in-service regional freighter fleet.
The brand new straight-from-factory cargo aircraft will offer a number of unique advantages to operators. With a Large Cargo Door included as part of the original design and the same wide cross section as all ATR aircraft, the freighter will be able to accommodate bulk cargo and industry-standard pallets and containers. The ATR 72-600F has a bulk capacity of 74.6 cubic metre, and when in ULD mode, can accommodate up to seven LD3 containers, or five 88” x 108”, or nine 88” x 62” pallets. The aircraft is also equipped with new reinforced floor panels. The aircraft will also provide operators with the very latest avionics suite, which can be continuously upgraded. This effectively futureproofs the -600F’s state-of-the-art cockpit by allowing cargo airlines to take benefit from future innovations, which will further enhance the aircraft’s efficiency.