Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR officially launched its latest version of the 42-600, the 600S, on October 9. The S stands for ‘Short Take-Off and Landings’ and includes modifications that make the aircraft even more suitable for remote airports with limited runway length.
ATR announced the new model at June’s Paris Air Show, when customers placed orders for 20 aircraft. They included Elix Aviation Capital for 10, Air Tahiti for 2 and 8 for undisclosed customers. ATR used the last months to finalize to technical specifications of the 600S, which is expected to enter service soon after its certification in the second half of 2022.
The 42-600S’ Pratt & Whitney’s PW-127M turboprops have higher 2.750 shaft horsepower ratings at take-off, a bigger rudder in the vertical fin for increased control al lower speeds, flaps that go to 25 degrees for increased lift, and spoilers that act as lift dumpers. They can also be deployed on the ground to improve braking characteristics on the ground. Also new on the S is an auto-braking system that assists in full braking situations.
Combined, these modifications give the STOL-version the capability to take-off from 800 meter-long runways. ATR says some 500 airports around the world qualify for these specifications, as they have runways 800-1000 meters long. This should open up the market to some 25 percent extra potential customers who now operate other turboprops, while at 30-50 seats offering more capacity.
ATR has constantly updated its turboprop-family, which now includes the basic 42-600, the -600S, the 72-600 and the 72-600F. Not only cockpit systems have evolved, but the latest generation flies with up-to-date and lightweight seats with an optional inflight entertainment system. The turboprop family booked 52 orders in 2018, including 20 42-600s. The airframer sees a market for some 3.000 turboprops until 2037.