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  • AirAsia X to launch Kuala Lumpur-Tokyo Narita service

    Date: 08/22/2019 04:16 PM

    AirAsia X to launch Kuala Lumpur-Tokyo Narita service [email protected] Thu, 08/22/2019 - 14:16

    Malaysian LCC AirAsia X will introduce new direct service from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo Narita starting Nov. 20.

    AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail announced the route via social media, writing the new route will allow passengers the ability to access Tokyo “either through Narita Airport or Haneda Airport, giving them more flexibility on flight times and connectivity ... these new services are in response to overwhelming consumer demand and ahead of what will be a big year for Tokyo tourism in 2020.”

    The 4X-weekly Tokyo Narita flight will complement AirAsia X’s existing daily flight to Tokyo Haneda and will add 156,000 seats to the route annually. The Haneda flights depart the Malaysian capital in the afternoon while the Narita flight departs at midnight.

    “Operating from two airports in Tokyo with different flight times will also entice more fly-thru guests connecting from other cities within our global network, whilst at the same time, providing Malaysians more flight options to travel to Japan’s capital and largest city,” Benyamin added.

    The airline did not specify if the route will use the new Airbus A330-900. Its Thai affiliate AirAsia X Thailand operates 3X-daily flights to Narita, with one of the daily flights using an A330-900, of which AirAsia has 66 on order.

    “AirAsia recently took delivery of the airline’s first Airbus A330neo aircraft, which flew its maiden flight from Bangkok’s Don Mueang [International Airport] to Narita on Aug. 15,” AirAsia X told ATW. “Future deliveries of additional A330neo aircraft to be based in Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur will be announced in due course.”

    Chen Chuanren, [email protected]

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  • Selected U.S. Military Contracts for the Week of March 6 - March 10, 2017

    Date: 03/15/2017 02:41 AM

    Selected U.S. Military Contracts for the Week of March 6 - March 10, 2017 [email protected] Wed, 03/15/2017 - 01:41

    Selected U.S. military contracts for March 6, 2017

    U.S. ARMY

    Blue Storm Associates Inc., doing business as Pemdas Technologies and Innovation, Alexandria, Virginia, was awarded a $49,500,000 order dependent contract for the Atmospheric Sensing and Prediction System. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, is the contracting activity (W911NF-17-D-0001).

    Selected U.S. military contracts for March 7, 2017

    U.S. AIR FORCE

    Kelly Aviation Center LP, San Antonio, has been awarded a $1,001,978,024 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for KC-10 engine contractor logistic support. Contractor will provide engine teardown and overhaul, on-wing support/contract field teams, and engine parts and logistics. In addition, the contractor will provide all support required to fulfill this requirement, including but not limited to labor, materials, tools, equipment, parts, and transportation. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity (FA8105-17-D-0002).

    U.S. NAVY

    Avian LLC, Lexington Park, Maryland, is being awarded an $11,402,443 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide support for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Integrated System Evaluation Experimentation and Test Department (AIR-5.1). Services provided will include flight test engineering, programmatic, administrative, design, execution, analysis, evaluation, and reporting of tests and experiments of aircraft, unmanned air systems, weapons and weapons systems. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00421-17-C-0049).

    Selected U.S. military contracts for March 8, 2017

    U.S. NAVY

    Sierra Nevada Corp., Rancho, California, is being awarded a $30,995,905 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00174-09-D-0003) to extend the ordering period and exercise Option Year 6 for the procurement and support of the transmitting set, countermeasures AN/PLT-5, to support explosive ordnance disposal personnel.  The AN/PLT-5 is a man-portable system in support of the Joint Service Explosive Ordnance Disposal Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare program. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, Indian Head, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

    Vector Planning and Services Inc., San Diego, is being awarded a potential $17,910,070 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide cyberspace science, research, engineering, and technology integration. Support includes innovative technology assessment and development; rapid software development and prototyping; enabling capability training; security engineering; and cybersecurity risk management.  This is one of four multiple-award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period.  The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, is the contracting activity (N66001-17-D-0117).

    Selected U.S. military contracts for March 9, 2017

    U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY

    Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, California, was awarded a $53,052,807 competitive cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a 36-month period with no options for the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle Technology Risk Reduction (TRR) effort. This contract represents part of the Missile Defense Agency’s technology risk reduction strategy to improve performance and reduce risk for a gimbaled seeker assembly, integrated avionics assembly, component integration and testing, and an advanced seeker. The Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, Alabama, is the contracting activity (HQ0147-17-C-0002).

    U.S. NAVY

    ViON Corp., Herndon, California, is being awarded a $34,790,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide Capacity as a Service support to Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (Spawar) Headquarters, Spawar System Center Pacific and Spawar System Center Atlantic. The Capacity as a Service acquisition model allows Spawar to more accurately scale, up and down, its information technology (IT) infrastructure to meet evolving mission requirements. Savings are realized through no up-front costs and a “pay as you go” acquisition model, reducing waste usually associated with overbuying of IT equipment to eventually meet an expectation of mission requirement. Under this contract, ViON is responsible for providing on-demand, on-premise computing, networking and storage solutions for a variety of systems and applications for the command’s research, development, testing and evaluation core infrastructures, laboratory and data center environments. This contract includes options, which if exercised, would bring the maximum contract value to $49,990,000. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, is the contracting activity (N00039-17-D-0003).

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  • Product Realization Pop Quiz

    Date: 04/18/2016 07:42 PM

    Product Realization Pop Quiz [email protected] Mon, 04/18/2016 - 17:42

    How well do you understand Product Realization?
    Aerospace and Defense companies such as yours are looking for ways to gain insight into program decisions that impact cost, timing and quality. To effectively compete and achieve program execution excellence, you need to make manufacturing a core part of the development process.

    Put your Product Realization knowledge to test with this pop quiz. Complete the short quiz and be entered to win one of two $50 Amazon gifts cards!

    To help you with the answers, please download the white paper Product realization facilitates a collaborative approach.

     

  • Airbus A320neo

    Date: 06/22/2022 11:17 PM

    Airbus A320neo [email protected] Wed, 06/22/2022 - 21:17

    Launched by Airbus in 2010, the A320neo (new engine option) series of airframes is the next generation of the European manufacturer’s narrowbody airframe. As the neo name implies, the primary change made to this second generation of A320-series airliners is the replacement of CFM International’s CFM56 and International Aero Engines’ (IAE) V2500 engines with a pair of more advanced engines. Those engines come in the form of CFM’s LEAP-1A, as well as Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G-JM geared-turbofan (GTF) engine, both of which provide substantial improvements in comparison to the engines that they replace. Those improvements include reduced emissions, engine noise, fuel burn and operating costs, as well as additional range and payload. Another standard feature of the A320neo series—which was formerly an option on the A320ceo (current engine option) series—is Airbus’s drag-reducing and lift-increasing winglets, devices that are dubbed Sharklets. Despite the differences between the A320ceo and A320neo variants, Airbus promotes the latter as having “95% airframe commonality” with the former. Regardless of any upgrades made to the A320neo series, the common type certificate for all current and new engine option variants of the A320 series is held by Airbus S.A.S. in Blagnac, France.   

    Airbus announced the completion of assembly of the first A320neo on July 1, 2014, with the first flight of that airframe—a PW1127G-JM-powered A320-271N registered as F-WNEO—taking place on Sep. 25, 2014, from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France, the site of one of the A320 production facilities. Eight months later, on May 19, 2015, a LEAP-1A26-powered A320neo—an A320-251N variant registered as F-WNEW—made its first flight from Toulouse, marking the first flight of a LEAP-1A engine on the A320neo. The Pratt & Whitney and CFM-powered -271N and -251N were certified in that order, with the first example of the former variant delivered to Lufthansa on Jan. 20, 2016. The German carrier placed that variant into service between Frankfurt and Hamburg five days later on Jan. 25, 2016, with those two cities selected because of the presence of Lufthansa maintenance facilities that were able to support the airframe’s new GTF engines. The first LEAP-1A-powered A320neo was delivered roughly five months later, on Jul. 19, 2016, to Turkish operator Pegasus Airlines.

    In contrast to the engine sequence of the A320neo, the next A320neo-series airframe to be certified, the A321neo, made its maiden flight under the power of LEAP-1A engines. That event took place on Feb. 9, 2016, from Hamburg-Finkenwerder Airport, while the first flight of a PW1135G-JM-airframe occurred exactly one month later on Mar. 9, 2016. Delivery of the first A321neo—a LEAP-powered variant that was registered as N921VA—took place on April 20, 2017, to Virgin America.

    The third variant of the A320neo series, the A319neo, made its first flight—also from Hamburg-Finkenwerder and also powered by a LEAP-1A variant—on Mar. 31, 2017. The LEAP-1A-powered variants of the A319neo, the -151N and -153N, were certified in December 2018 and May 2019, respectively. Following the testing and certification of those variants, the first flight of an A319neo powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines—MSN 6464, registered as D-AVWA, the same airframe that performed the LEAP-powered A319neo’s first flight—took place from Toulouse on April 25, 2019, with the A319-171N variant certified in November 2019. In contrast to the first deliveries of the A320neo and A321neo—which went to airline customers—the first deliveries of the A319neo were corporate-configured ACJ319neo airframes.

    The first flight of an A321LR—performed by airframe MSN7877, registered as D-AVZO—took place on Jan. 31, 2018, from Hamburg-Finkenwerder, with the A321neo variants marketed as the A321LR receiving European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification in March 2018. Following the certification of other modifications that distinguish the A321LR from the standard A321neo, the first A321LR was delivered to launch operator Arkia Israeli Airlines in November 2018.

    In addition to the A321LR, Airbus launched the A321XLR on June 17, 2019, at the Paris Air Show. The second upgraded version of the A321neo airframe, the A321XLR is described as being “the next evolutionary step” of the A321neo family, with this variant planned to further extend the range of the airframe. Orders for the A321XLR at the 2019 Paris Air Show came from Air Lease Corp. (ALC), American Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Saudi Arabian low-cost carrier Flynas, Indigo Partners (for Frontier Airlines, JetSMART and Wizz Air), International Airlines Group (IAG) (for Aer Lingus and Iberia), JetBlue Airways, Middle East Airlines, Qantas Group and Saudi Arabian Airlines. The first A321XLR airframe—MSN 11000, registered as F-WXLR and powered by LEAP-1A engines—made its “approximately” 4-hr. 35-min. first flight from Hamburg-Finkenwerder on June 15, 2022. Airbus stated that the first flight evaluated the engines, flight controls and flight-envelope protections—at both “high and low speed”—and main systems. In addition to MSN 11000, three other airframes will be involved in the test program, including a “standard A321neo”—MSN6839—that performed “early test flights” in advance of the A321XLR’s first flight. The other two flight-test airframes will be A321XLR, with MSN11058, which is expected to make its first flight in the third quarter of 2022, being identical to MSN11000—outfitted “with the same heavy flight-test equipment installed in the cabin”—except for its Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines. Comparatively, the third flight-test airframe—MSN11080—will be powered by CFM engines and feature a “full passenger cabin.” Although the first delivery had been expected to take place in late 2023, a “longer than expected” certification process means that the delivery of the first A321XLR is now expected in “early 2024,” following the completion of a year-long test campaign that will include “1,000 flight hours.”

    A319neo Variant

    Type Certification Date

    A320neo Variant

    Type Certification Date

    A321neo Variant

    Type Certification Date

    -151N

    Dec. 14, 2018

    -251N

    May 31, 2016

    -251N

    Mar. 1, 2017

    -252N

    Dec. 18, 2017

    -252N

    Dec. 18, 2017

    -153N

    May 20, 2019

    -253N

    Feb. 5, 2019

    -253N

    March 3, 2017

    -271N

    Nov. 24, 2015

    -271N

    Dec. 15, 2016

    -171N

    Nov. 29, 2019

    -272N

    Oct. 17, 2018

    -272N

    May 23, 2017

    -273N

    Jan. 30, 2019

    -251NX

    March 22, 2018

    -252NX

    -253NX

    -271NX

    -272NX

    Cabin Configurations and Dimensions

    Despite the fact that the A319neo, A320neo and A321neo have differing cabin lengths—78 ft., 90 ft. 3 in. and 113 ft., respectively—all three airframes share a common maximum cabin width of 12 ft. 1 in., a dimension that is promoted by Airbus as giving the A320 series the “widest single-aisle cabin.” In order to accommodate the maximum passenger capacities noted below, a denser configuration and/or modifications are required, with the A319neo requiring the “optimized use of cabin space and increased exit limits” in order to be configured for the 160-passenger maximum capacity. In a “typical two-class” configuration, Airbus advertises the A319neo as having a capacity between 120 and 150 passengers, while the middle-of-the-range A320neo is noted as being able to seat 150-180 passengers in the same type of configuration. The 195-seat maximum certified capacity of the A320neo—which is also noted as requiring cabin optimization and exit limits increases—is possible when the cabin is configured in a high-density configuration.

    Another A320neo-series variant that is marketed as having increased exit limits and optimized cabin space is the A321neo, with that airframe also incorporating “a new cabin door configuration” that is promoted as the “Cabin Flex” option [also known as Airbus Cabin Flex (ACF)]. Changes beyond the new passenger door configuration—which involves the removal of the pair of doors located just forward of the wing and the addition of “new overwing emergency exits in the center section”—include a “new rear section” that has also been introduced with this A321neo option. The first delivery of an A321neo featuring these changes was made to Turkish Airlines in July 2018, with that operator choosing to configure the airframe to accommodate 182 passengers, divided between 20 in business class and 162 in economy class. From “around 2020,” the Cabin Flex configuration will transition from being an option on the A321neo to being the standard configuration.

    According to Airbus’ “Aircraft Characteristics Airport and Maintenance Planning” document, beyond the maximum certified capacities, the standard seating capacities of the A321ceo (A321-100 and -200), A321neo and A321XLR include a 185-seat single-class capacity, as well as a 202-seat capacity for A321neo that incorporate the ACF modifications. The same document states that a 244-seat configuration is possible for A321neo that incorporate the ACF modifications in a single-class, high-density, all-economy cabin in which the seats have a 28-in. pitch. Additionally, the typical configuration of a two-class A321neo that has the ACF modifications includes 16 business-class seats that have a 36-in. pitch, as well as 190 economy-class seats that have a pitch of 29 in. or 30 in., for a total accommodation of 206 seats.

    Another cabin feature that will be available from 2020 on the A320neo series is the Airspace by Airbus cabin that was launched on the A330neo and which is also included on the A350. The features of the Airspace cabin on the A320neo series include increased passenger comfort, larger overhead bins, light-emitting diode (LED) lighting technology and updated lavatories. The Airspace cabin’s overhead bins, which are marketed as the Airspace XL bins, are promoted for their capacity to accommodate “60% more bags.” Operator and passenger benefits of the larger bins, which are capable of “[a]ccommodating bags up to 24 X 16 X 10 in. on their side,” include faster turnaround times, increased volume and reduced crew workload. Indeed, the volume is increased by 40%, while the Airspace interior’s overhead bins are up to 132 lb. lighter than “smaller pivoting solutions.” Passenger comfort in the Airspace cabin is promoted as being enhanced by “new, ergonomic sidewalls” that give passengers “more personal space and improved visibility,” while the A320 series’ cross section allows for 18-in.-wide seats to be a standard feature in the economy cabin. Finally, according to Airbus, A320neo-series airframes equipped with the Airspace interior will also feature lavatories that “are updated to match” what is found on the A330neo and A350.

    As is the case with the A321LR, the cabin of the forthcoming A321XLR will be able to be configurated to include “long-haul, full-flat seats,” while also capable of accommodating 180-220 seats in a typical dual-class configuration that includes economy-class seats that are 18-in. wide. The previously mentioned A321 aircraft characteristics and planning document states that the 206-seat layout of A321neo airframes that feature the ACF modifications is also possible on the A321XLR, with a maximum passenger capacity of 244 possible in a single-class configuration. In keeping with the current A321neo variants, aspects of the Airspace by Airbus cabin—including the aforementioned ceiling and LED lighting, new sidewall panels and lavatory design and overhead bins that have a 40% increase in volume—will be incorporated into the cabin of this variant when it enters service.

    Cargo Capacity

    Beyond the space in the cabin, all three of A320neo-series airframes have three cargo compartments, with the aft compartment the largest and the rear (bulk) compartment the smallest. On the A319neo, those three cargo compartments have usable volumes of 301 ft.3, 421 ft.3 and 255 ft.3, respectively. Of those compartments, the aft cargo compartment has the highest certified maximum load at 6,660 lb., a figure that is decreased to 5,000 lb. in the forward compartment and 3,300 lb. in the rear (bulk) compartment. In that underfloor cargo space, the A319neo is also able to accommodate four LD3-45W containers or up to four pallets. The larger A320neo and A321neo also have the same three cargo compartments, with the former airplane increasing the respective volumes of the forward and aft compartments to 469 ft.3and 645 ft.3, while the volume of the bulk compartment is decreased to 208 ft.3. Although the maximum certified capacities of the A320neo’s forward and aft compartments are increased in comparison to the A319neo—to 7,500 lb. and 10,000 lb., respectively—the rear (bulk) compartment has a smaller volume than the comparable compartment on the A319neo and retains the same capacity as that variant. The cargo capacity of the A320neo also includes the ability to carry seven LD3-45W containers or pallets. Airbus’ characteristics and planning document, despite the fact that the A321neo has a single set of cargo compartment volumes—806 ft.3 in the forward compartment, 813 ft.3 in the aft compartment and 208 ft.3 in the bulk (rear) compartment—the maximum capacity of the latter compartment varies based upon the A321neo variant. To that end, the maximum load of the forward and aft compartments for all A321neo variants is 12,500 lb., with the rear (bulk) compartment retaining the aforementioned 3,300-lb. capacity of the A319neo and A320neo on the A321-251N, -252N, -253N, -271N and -272N variants. On the A321-251NX, -252NX, -253NX, -271NX and -272NX, the capacity of the rear compartment is reduced by nearly half to 1,764 lb. The number of LD3-45W containers and pallets is increased on the A321neo to 10.

    A320neo vs. 737 MAX Seating Comparison

    A320ceo Variant

    Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

    737 MAX Variant

    Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

    A319neo

                160           

    737-7

    172

    A320neo

    195

    737-8

    189

    A321neo/A321LR/A321XLR

    244

    737 MAX 200

    210

    737-9

    220

    737-10

    230

    Mission and Performance

    Much like the A320ceo series of airframes, the A320neo series has the range, passenger capacity and economics to perform a variety of missions for airlines and other commercial operators. The primary competition for the series is Boeing’s 737 MAX series, with the specific comparisons noted below.

    Comparison: A320neo and 737 MAX Specifications

    A319neo

    A320neo

    A321neo

    A321LR

    737-7

    737-8

    737-9

    737-10

    Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

    160

    195

    244

    172

    189

    220

    230

    Maximum Range (nm)

    3,700

    3,400

    4,000

    3,850

    3,550

    3,300

    Engine

    CFM International LEAP-1A

    CFM International LEAP-1B

    Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM

    Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

    166,449

    174,165

    206,132

    213,848

    177,000

    181,200

    194,700

    197,900

    Wingspan

    117 ft. 5 in.

    117 ft. 10 in.

    Length

    111 ft.

    123 ft. 3 in.

    146 ft.

    116 ft. 8 in.

    129 ft. 8 in.

    138 ft. 4 in.

    143 ft. 8 in.

    Height

    38 ft. 7 in.

    40 ft. 4 in.

                       

    With reference to performance limitations, the A319neo, A320neo and A321neo all share the same maximum operating limit speed (MMO) as the A320ceo series—0.82 Mach—while the maximum operating altitude varies by airframe and whether certain modifications have been made. Without any of those modifications performed, all A319, A320 and A321 variants—both current and new engine option—are limited to a maximum operating altitude of 39,100 ft. However, all three airframes are able to increase that limitation to 39,800 ft. with the incorporation of certain modifications, with the ACJ319neo and A320neo able to increase it another 2,000 ft. to 41,000 ft. For the A319, the 39,800 ft. (pressure altitude) maximum operating altitude limit is possible with the incorporation of modification 30748, while A319-153N variants configured as ACJ319neo airframes can increase that limitation to 41,000 ft. when the changes included in modification 163216 are performed. According to the EASA type certificate data sheet (TCDS) for the series, a 39,800-ft. limitation is approved on the A320 and A321 once the changes embodied in modification 30748 are performed, with the further increase in maximum operating altitude to 41,000 ft. possible on the A320 with modification 162744.

    Variants

    Comparison: A320ceo and A320neo Specifications

    Commercial Designation

    A319ceo

    A320ceo

    A321ceo

    A319neo

    A320neo

    A321neo

    A321LR

    A321XLR

    Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

    156

    180

    220

    160

    195

    244

    Maximum Range (nm)

    3,750

    3,350

    3,200

    3,700

    3,400

    4,000

    4,700

    Engine

    CFM International CFM56

    CFM International LEAP-1A

    International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500

    Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM

    Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

    168,653

    171,961

    206,132

    166,449

    174,165

    206,132

    213,848

    222,667

    Wingspan (ft.)

    117 ft. 5 in.

    Length (ft.)

    111 ft.

    123 ft. 3 in.

    146 ft.

    111 ft.

    123 ft. 3 in.

    146 ft.

    Height (ft.)

    38 ft. 7 in.

    A320neo Series Engine Variants

    A319neo Variant

    Engine Variant

    A320neo Variant

    Engine Variant

    A321neo Variant

    Engine Variant

    -151N

    CFM LEAP-1A24

    -251N

    CFM LEAP-1A26

    -251N/-251NX

    CFM LEAP-1A32

    -153N

    CFM LEAP-1A26/

    -1A26E1

    -252N

    CFM LEAP-1A24

    -252N/-252NX

    CFM LEAP-1A30

    -171N

    PW1124G-JM

    -253N

    CFM LEAP-1A29

    -253N/-253NX

    CFM LEAP-1A33

    -271N

    PW1127G-JM

    -271N/-271NX

    PW1133G-JM

    -272N

    PW1124G1-JM

    -272N/-272NX

    PW1130G-JM

    -273N

    PW1129G-JM

    CFM LEAP-1A Engine

    When compared to the “best” CFM56-series engines that equip the A320ceo-series airframes, the LEAP-1A variants that are certified for the A320neo series improve fuel consumption by 15%. The components of the LEAP-1A engine—which is described as being a high-bypass turbofan engine—include an twin annular pre-swirl (TAPS II) combustor, multi-stage compressor and two-stage high-pressure turbine (HPT), with the coaxial front fan/booster driven by a multi-stage low-pressure turbine (LPT) and the engine itself controlled by a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system. According to CFM International, the TAPS combustor reduces nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions, in comparison to the Committee of Aviation Environmental Protection’s CAEP/6 standards, by 50%. Promoted as able to generate between 24,500 lb. and 35,000 lb. of thrust at altitude, the takeoff static thrust ratings of LEAP-1A variants certified to power A320neo-series airframes—based on sea-level altitude—range between 24,010 lb. for the LEAP-1A24 (which powers the A319-151N) and 32,160 lb. for the LEAP-1A30, -1A32 and -1A33 (which are certified for the A321-252N and -252NX, A321-251N and -251NX and A321-253N and -253NX, respectively). In addition to being approved for the A320neo series of airframes, LEAP engines also power Boeing’s 737 MAX and the Commercial Aircraft Corp. Of China’s (COMAC) C919.

    Pratt & Whitney GTF Engine

    The variants of the Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G-JM that power A320neo-series airframes are described on the FAA’s TCDS as being high-bypass-ratio, axial-flow, dual-spool, turbofan engines that are controlled by a FADEC system. With an 81-in. fan and a bypass ratio of 12:1, other components of the PW1100G-JM variants include a three-stage LPT that drives the engine’s three-stage low-pressure compressor (LPC) and high-bypass-ratio fan “through a fan-drive gear speed reduction system.” Additionally, the engine’s high-pressure compressor (HPC) is driven by a two-stage high-pressure turbine and incorporates eight axial stages. The PW1100G-JM series is marketed as capable of producing between 24,000 lb. and 33,000 lb. of thrust, with the takeoff static thrust—which is also based on sea-level altitude—varying between 24,240 lb. for the PW1124G-JM that is certified to power the A319-171N and 33,110 lb. for the PW1130G-JM (A321-272N and -272NX) and PW1133G-JM (A321-271N and -271NX). According to Pratt & Whitney, the improvements provided by the GTF engines include fuel consumption being reduced by double digits, while reductions in NOX and noise footprint are promoted as being 50% and 75%, respectively. In addition to the A320neo series, the GTF engines also power Airbus’ A220-100 and -300, Embraer’s E-Jets E2—the E175-E2, E190-E2 and E195-E2—Mitsubishi’s SpaceJet airframes.

    Fuel Burn and Environmental Improvements

    Marketed as providing operators with the maximum benefit with the minimum change from the “baseline” A320-series airframes, the combination of improved engines and Sharklets is promoted as delivering a fuel savings of 15% per seat, a figure that has been confirmed by operators since the A320neo entered service. Indeed, on some longer sectors, “fuel-burn savings rise to 16-17%,” which can further increase to “20% or beyond in specific cases.” By 2020, it is anticipated that the fuel-burn improvement will be 20% per seat, while also allowing for an additional 500 nm of range or two metric tons in payload. The positive environmental impact of these improvements in fuel burn is a 5,000-metric ton reduction in the carbon dioxide (CO2) that is “emitted per aircraft annually.”

    In addition to improvements in CO2 emissions, the A320neo series also reduces engine noise by “nearly” 50%, while the NOX emissions are “50% below the current industry standard.” The wingspans noted above include Airbus’s aforementioned Sharklets, which, as was previously described, are standard on all neo airframes. Airbus states that the Sharklets are 7.8-ft.-tall (2.4 m) composite devices which also increase the wingspan by nearly 6 ft. They are promoted as reducing the emission and fuel burn of equipped airplanes by up to 4% “over long sectors,” a reduction that amounts to “around 900 [metric tons]” fewer CO2 emissions per aircraft.

    A321LR

    In 2015, Airbus launched the first upgraded variant of the A321neo, an airframe that uses the A321LR (long range) commercial designation and which is capable of a range of up to 4,000 nm when carrying 206 passengers and using three Additional Centre Tanks (ACT). The A321LR was designed, in part, to be a replacement for Boeing’s 757 on longer-range routes, such as from the U.S. to Western Europe. Indeed, as part of its flight-test program, the A321LR made a transatlantic flight to New York JFK International Airport on Feb. 13, 2018, just weeks after its first flight. In addition to being promoted as “ideally suited to transatlantic routes,” the range and economics of the airframe are also noted as enabling operators “to tap into new long-haul markets that were not previously accessible with current single-aisle aircraft.” Changes made to the A321LR that allow it to have an extra 300 nm of range include the increased MTOW noted above (97 metric tons) and a third ACT. Serving as the basis for the A321LR is the aforementioned Cabin Flex configuration that allows for the accommodation of up to 244 passengers, with the aforementioned Airspace by Airbus cabin also available.

    A321XLR

    The further upgraded A321XLR will have a range that is 15% greater than the A321LR—which itself increased the range of the A321neo by 15%—allowing it to operate to 4,700 nm while carrying “around 200 passengers.” The changes made to the airframe include an increase in the MTOW to 101 metric tons (222,667 lb.), strengthened landing gear and changes to the flaps. That increased weight limitation allows the airframe “to be fitted with a permanent Rear Center Tank [RCT]” that is “conformal” and has a capacity of 3,461 gal. According to Airbus, in comparison to the respective 6,205-gal. and 8,703-gal. usable fuel capacities of the A321neo and A321neo ACF, the A321XLR will have an increased usable fuel capacity of 10,500 gal. The benefits of an integrated RCT are that it “will hold additional fuel volume equivalent to four auxiliary fuel tanks, but will only occupy the space of two [auxiliary tanks] and weigh as much as one of the removable tanks.” Beyond its capacity, the benefits of an integrated RCT include the fact that its weight does not “add unnecessary structural weight [to] the aircraft on shorter missions where the additional capabilities are not required,” while the reduction in space occupied is noted as improving cargo and baggage capacity. Found beneath “the cabin floor” and aft of the wheel bay for the main landing gear, the A321XLR’s RCT occupies space that, on prior versions of the A321neo, represented “part of what was the aft cargo compartment.” An optional feature that is available to operators and which can supplement the RCT is an additional center tank (ACT) that is located in “the front cargo” and which increases the range.

    Changes made to the airplane’s flaps will result in the XLR being equipped with single-slotted flaps instead of the double-slotted flaps that are found on the A321ceo and other A321neos. Although the greater area of double-slotted flaps allows them to provide “slightly better takeoff and landing performance,” single-slotted flaps were chosen for the XLR because of their lightness compared to the “previous design,” with the weight savings deemed “more important than what is described as a minor performance deterioration.” In spite of the changes to the A321XLR’s flaps, its high- and slow-speed characteristics remain “the same.” Another change made to this A321neo variant is the Safran-provided landing gear, as well as the wheels and tires, all of which are new. When compared to “legacy aircraft” which have a pair of shock absorbers, the A321XLR’s landing gear will include only one. Additionally, the flight controls have also been updated with a rudder that is electronically controlled—an “e-rudder”—“replacing the previous system” which utilized cables. When compared to the 757 that it could replace, the A321XLR has the potential to burn 30% less fuel on a per-seat basis, in addition to being promoted as having trip costs that are reduced by 45% in comparison to “modern widebodies.” Assuming an airframe that utilizes the A321XLR’s range on 10% of its “annual trips,” Airbus also markets this version of the A321neo as providing operators with as much as $11 million in “additional profit” (“present value over 15 years”).

    Program Status

    Although the production of Airbus’s widebody airliners occurs solely at the company’s facilities in Toulouse, production of the A320neo airframes is spread between Toulouse and other Airbus facilities in Hamburg, Germany; Mobile, Alabama; and Tianjin, China. The first A320neo-series delivery from Tianjin (an A320neo for AirAsia) occurred in October 2017, while the first such delivery from Mobile (an A321neo for Hawaiian Airlines) took place in June 2018.

    Although operators have reported that the A320neo is either meeting or exceeding its fuel-burn targets, the program has, subsequent to the November 2015 certification of the A320-271N, encountered a number of issues related to the PW1100G-JM engines. One of the issues encountered with the GTF engines is the fact that, when introduced into service, they required an extended start-up time to compensate for a condition called “rotor bow.” This condition, which impacts all engines to some degree and is otherwise known as thermal bowing, “is normally due to asymmetrical cooling after shut-down on the previous flight.” In comparison to the prior-generation of A320 engines—the CFM56 and V2500—this issue required that the time to start both PW1100G-JM engines be more than twice as long. While the V2500 requires around 2.5 min. to start both engines, and the CFM56 takes between 1-2 min., “initially, it took more than 7 min. to start up both [PW1100G-JM] engines.”

    In addition to the issues related to increased engine start times, operators of PW1100G-JM-equipped airframes operating in “humid, hot, polluted and salty” environments have encountered other engine-related issues. Those issues have resulted in a number of GTF engines being removed prematurely, with the impact of those removals disproportionally affecting two airlines that conduct the majority of their operations in such conditions: Indian carriers IndiGo and Go Air. Indeed, the premature removal of PW1100G-JM engines impacted “some of IndiGo’s 17 Pratt-powered A320neos and Go Air’s five” that were operated at the time. The most significant issue that necessitated such removals—28 of them—had to deal with “leakage in an air seal for the No. 3 bearing,” a leak that “allowed traces of metal particles to enter to the oil system, which triggered chip-detector warnings.”

    Beyond problems associated with the engine’s bearings, additional issues have cropped up in the form of “combustion chamber distress” that was caused by “blocked cooling holes in some panels.” The engine manufacturer attributed much of this issue to the operation of the airframe in “coastal environments with saltier air.” Finally, an issue that has impacted far fewer Pratt & Whitney-powered A320neos is fan-blade delamination, which is caused by “improper bonding between the titanium and composite parts” of the blade. Although this issue has not been significant for the A320neo’s first operator, Lufthansa, it was implicated as the cause for a high-speed rejected takeoff of an IndiGo A320neo in Mumbai in January 2017. Despite these issues with the PW1100G-JM, “the fan-drive gear system at the heart of the GTF has been problem free.”

    References

    • AWIN Article Archives
    • EASA TCDS (A320) and FAA TCDS (737, LEAP-1B, PW1100G-JM)
    • Airbus, Boeing, CFM International and Pratt & Whitney Commercial Materials

    Channel
    Commercial Aviation
    Market Indicator Code
    Commercial
    Article page size
    10
    Profile page size
    10
    Program Profile ID
    1091
  • ATR 42/72

    Date: 06/16/2022 12:17 AM

    ATR 42/72 [email protected] Wed, 06/15/2022 - 22:17

    The ATR 42 and ATR 72 are a pair of turboprop airplanes produced by European manufacturer Avions de Transport Regional (ATR). Launched in November 1981 when Aeritalia and Aerospatiale—predecessors to Alenia Aermacchi and Airbus, respectively—“merged their separate, but similar, regional aircraft designs into a single effort.” Those designs, designated the AIT 230 by Aeritalia and AS35 by Aerospatiale, had been under development by the respective manufacturers since 1978. Following the signing of the cooperation agreement that launched the ATR program, the ATR 42 was launched on Nov. 4, 1981, with that type making its first flight on Aug. 16, 1984. The first two variants of the ATR 42, the -200 and -300, were certified in by French and Italian regulators—Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC) and Registro Aeronautico Italiano (RAI)—in September 1985, with French regional carrier Air Littoral receiving the first delivery on Dec. 3, 1985. Additional variants of the ATR 42 were certified in March 1988 (-320), July 1995 (-500) and February 1996 (-400).

    Following the certification and delivery of the first ATR 42, the manufacturer launched the larger ATR 72 on Jan. 15, 1986, with that type making its first flight nearly three years later on Oct. 27, 1988. Eleven months after that first flight, the first two ATR 72 variants—the -101 and -201—were certified by the DGAC in September 1989. A year to the day after the airframe made its first flight, the first ATR 72 was delivered to Finnair on Oct. 27, 1989. Beyond those first deliveries of the ATR 42 and ATR 72, early large orders for the series included an Aug. 21, 1990, order for 100 airplanes—41 ATR 42s and 59 ATR 72s—from U.S. regional carrier American Eagle. Additional variants of the ATR 72 were certified in December 1989 (-102 and -202), December 1992 (-211 and -212) and January 1997 (-212A).

    After the introduction of the first three ATR 42 variants, as well as the first six ATR 72 variants, the “go-ahead” for the -500 series of both airframes was given on June 1, 1993. The first flight of the ATR 42-500—which is uses the same type and commercial designation—took place on Sept. 16, 1994, with that variant subsequently certified in July 1995 and the first delivery being made to Italian regional carrier Air Dolomiti on Oct. 31, 1995. The first updated ATR 72-500 airframe—which is an upgraded ATR 72-212A—made its inaugural flight on Jan. 19, 1996, and was certified in January 1997, with the first delivery, to American Eagle, taking place on July 31, 1997.

    More than a decade after the ATR 42-500 and ATR 72-500 variants were introduced, ATR launched another update for both airframes on Oct. 2, 2007, upgrades that were marketed as the ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600. In contrast to the upgrades that were marketed as the ATR 42-500, the -600 upgrades to both the ATR 42 and ATR 72 were not deemed to be a “new aircraft model or variant,” according to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certificate data sheet (TCDS) that is common to both types. Rather, what is marketed as the ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 are simply ATR 42-500 and ATR 72-212A variants that feature upgraded avionics and which are noted in the TCDS as being the “600 version” of those respective variants. Two years after this enhanced airframe was announced, the first ATR 72-600 airframe—an upgraded ATR 72-500—was unveiled at a ceremony in Toulouse, France, with that airframe making its first flight in July 2009. Powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M engines, the first ATR 42-600 made its inaugural flight from Toulouse on March 4, 2010, a flight that lasted 2 hr. After the completion of a flight-test program that entailed “approximately 75 hr.,” the ATR 72-212A “600 version” received EASA certification on Aug. 10, 2011, with the first airframe featuring the upgraded avionics delivered to Royal Air Maroc. Ten months after the ATR 72-600 was certified, the ATR 42-600—designated the ATR 42-500 “600 version”—was certified by EASA on June 14, 2012, with the first delivery taking place on Nov. 9, 2012, to Tanzanian airline Precision Air Services. 

    In addition to the passenger-only variants of the ATR types, passenger-cargo combination (combi) versions of the ATR 42 and ATR 72 are available, with the ATR 42-200, -300 and -320 able to be operated in such a configuration following the incorporation of the certain modifications. Supplementing the combi versions of the ATR 42 and ATR 72 is a new-build, full-cargo version of the ATR 72-600 that was launched with a 50-airplane order—30 firm orders and 20 options—from FedEx Express. When the FedEx Express order was announced in November 2017, the operator said that it expected the first new-build ATR 72-600 freighter would be delivered in 2020. That three-year timeline was met, with the ATR 72-600F making its first flight on Sept. 16, 2020, from Toulouse, and subsequently being certified by EASA on Nov. 30, 2020. The first delivery to FedEx Express took place on Dec. 15, 2020, in Toulouse, with that airframe—Serial No. 1653—leased to ASL Airlines Ireland, an operator that has flown ATR airframes for FedEx since 2000.

    Despite the differences between the ATR 42 and ATR 72 in terms of avionics, configuration and maximum passenger capacity, engines and weights, both types share a common type certificate that is held by Avions de Transport Regional in Blagnac, France. As a corporate entity, ATR has two shareholders, Airbus and Leonardo, each of which hold a 50% interest in the company.

    ATR42 Variant

    Certification Date

    ATR42 Variant

    Certification Date

    ATR 42-200

    Sept. 24, 1985

    ATR 72-101

    Sept. 25, 1989

    ATR 42-300

    ATR 72-102

    Dec. 14, 1989

    ATR 42-320

    March 4, 1988

    ATR 72-201

    Sept. 25, 1989

    ATR 42-400

    Feb. 27, 1996

    ATR 72-202

    Dec. 14, 1989

    ATR 42-500

    July 28, 1995

    ATR 72-211

    Dec. 15, 1992

    ATR 72-212

    ATR 72-212A

    Jan. 14, 1997

    Cabin Configurations and Baggage/Cargo/Passenger Capacity

    According to the EASA TCDS, the maximum passenger capacity for all ATR 42 variants in a “full passenger configuration” is 60. In the previously mentioned combi configuration, however, that number is reduced to 34. A number of typical configurations for the airframe are promoted by ATR, including a 48-seat layout in which the seats have a 30-in. pitch and a 30-seat configuration that increases the seat pitch to 34 in., with the 48-seat configuration representing the standard configuration of the airframe. Supplementing those all-passenger configurations is a combi configuration option that allows for the cabin to be configured in both full-passenger and combi configurations. Marketed as “Cargo Flex,” a combi-configured ATR 42-600 is promoted as able to accommodate 30 seats and an additional 1,543 lb. of cargo, with that cargo able to be carried in two containers located in the forward portion of the cabin. In addition to those possible cabin configurations, other cabin features available for the ATR 42 include seats that have both weight and passenger-comfort benefits, with two different types of lighter-weight seats promoted as being available. According to ATR, the “lightweight Geven seats” provide operators with “up to [221 lb.] of weight savings,” as well as an “intra-armrest width” of 18 in. Another seat option, described as the “ultra-lightweight Expliseat,” increases the weight savings to 441 lb., while a standalone inflight entertainment (IFE) system—marketed as “Cabinstream”—is also available.

    Beyond the space available in the passenger cabin, two baggage compartments—designated forward and rear compartments in the FAA TCDS—are available on the ATR 42 type, with those compartments on the -500 variant certified to accommodate up to 2,046 lb. and 1,693 lb., respectively. ATR’s marketing materials for the ATR 42-600 promote the airframe as having a cargo volume of 339 ft.3 On previous variants of the ATR 42, the maximum load of the forward and aft baggage compartments varied, with the -200 limited to 2,116 lb. in the forward compartment and 846 lb. in the aft compartment. The next two ATR 42 variants to be certified, the -300 and -320, decreased the maximum load of the forward compartment (2,045 lb.), and increased the amount of weight that can be accommodated in the aft compartment (952 lb.).

    The maximum passenger capacity of the ATR 72 variants is 74, with the exception of the -212A, which is able to accommodate up to 78 passengers when certain modifications are made to the airframe. According to ATR’s marketing materials, the 78-passenger accommodation is possible in a cabin with seats that have a 28-in. pitch. When the capacity is reduced to 72 seats—with that number of seats representing the standard configuration—the pitch is increased to 29 in., while a combi configuration is promoted as having 44 passenger seats and the ability to carry 6,830 lb. of cargo. Furthermore, the lightweight seat options, as well the standalone IFE system, that are available for the ATR 42-600 are also available for the ATR 72-600.

    Despite the fact that the ATR 72-101, -201 and -211 are larger airframes, the maximum load of their forward baggage compartment, at 1,376 lb., is actually decreased in comparison to the ATR 42 variants. The maximum load of baggage in both the forward and aft compartments of all other ATR 72 variants—2,046 lb. and 1,693 lb., respectively—is essentially the same as that of the ATR 42-500; however, there a modification (Mod. 2059) that reduces the maximum load of one of the rear compartments to 1,129 lb. As was the case with the combi-configured ATR 42-600, the Cargo Flex configuration for the ATR 72-600 decreases the cabin’s seating capacity from 72 to 44, while nearly doubling the cargo load and volume. In comparison to the 374-ft.3 cargo volume in a full-passenger configuration, the volume in the combi configuration is increased to 678 ft.3 Similarly, the maximum cargo load is increased from 3,750 lb. to 6,830 lb. As is the case with the ATR 42-600 combi, the increased cargo capacity of the ATR 72-600 is located in the forward portion of the cabin, ahead of the passenger seating. Beyond the additional cargo load and volume, the Cargo Flex configuration is also promoted as giving operators the ability to reconfigure the cabin from a full passenger to combi configuration. According to ATR, that reconfiguration—which removes or reinstalls the front cabin attendant seat, nets, passenger seats and partitions—can be accomplished overnight. In comparison to a combi-configured ATR 42-600, the number of containers that the combi cabin can accommodate is doubled on the ATR 72-600 to “up to four.”

    Another cabin option that is available for ATR airframes is one that adds a galley which is marketed as the “Smart Galley.” The upper portion of the galley has features such as a basin, coffee makers, hot jug and hot cup, ovens and a water heater, while the lower portion contains equipment such as a half-size trolley and waste bin. Operator benefits of this galley addition include the ease and speed with which the cabin can be reconfigured to incorporate it, including the fact that the airframe does not need be returned to the manufacturer, nor does the installation require the performance of “major works.” ATR also promotes the galley’s flexibility and modularity, the former of which allows operators to have the capability to “manage modular configurations with more than 180 potential options.” The operational advantages of the galley’s modularity include the fact that it can be “pre-configured” to the needs of a specific operation, while this installation is also marketed as having environmental benefits such as the elimination of the requirement to destroy or dispose of equipment and structures from the cabin while the installation is being performed.

    Avionics

    As is noted above, what is currently marketed as the ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 are not additional variants of each type, but rather ATR 42-500 and ATR 72-212A airframes that have upgraded avionics. According to the common EASA TCDS for those types, the “‘600 version’ is the designation to identify [ATR 42-500 and ATR 72-212A] aircraft models having received the New Avionic Suite (NAS) modification, also named as ‘Glass cockpit.’” Those upgraded avionics are provided by French manufacturer Thales and include five 6 X 8-in. color displays, two of which serve as primary flight displays (PFD), two as multi-function displays (MFD) and the fifth as an “engine system and warning display.” Those displays are promoted by ATR as able to be “improve[d] over time through regular software upgrades,” while the engine system and warning display is noted as being able to automatically display electronic checklists which “pop-up the procedure needed at the right time.” The information that can be displayed on the MFD includes airport taxi diagrams, a capability that is marketed for its ability to ease ground operations at large airports. Other avionics capabilities of the 600 versions of the ATR 42 and 72 include engine-out standard instrument departures (SID) and temporary flight plans— features that are meant to make pilot decision-making easier—as well as an electronic flight bag (EFB) that contains documentation, navigation charts and performance software. Supplementing the assistance provided to pilots by the technologies noted below, ATR notes that that the in-production ATR airframes also have reactive windshear technologies that are able to identify wind conditions that could impact an airplane’s performance. The avionics found on these most-recent ATR variants allow for the use of a number of different types of performance-based navigation (PBN), including barometric vertical navigation (Baro-VNAV), localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) and required navigational performance authorization required (RNP AR) to 0.3 nm.

    Beyond the avionics improvements that are included on the upgraded ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600, the manufacturer has also developed an enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) that is marketed as ClearVision. The primary component of the ClearVision system, which was designed by Elbit Systems, is a head-mounted display (HMD) that provides a “flight guidance display and runway highlighting,” is promoted as the SKYLENS and which “displays high-resolution” images, information and video on a “high-transparency visor.” According to ATR, the HMD provides decision-making assistance during the takeoff, approach and landing phases of flight, while also “allow[ing] identical operational credits as classic head-up displays” through a reduction in runway visual range (RVR) requirements.

    A number of “advanced vision options” are also available, including the combination of the HMD and a synthetic vision system (SVS) which “generates images of terrain and obstacles from a database,” an enhanced vision system (EVS) that “displays [an] augmented outside view in real-time through the use of a camera” and a combined vision system (CVS) that integrates “both EVS and SVS images.” The combination of the HMD with SVS is promoted as having situational-awareness benefits with respect to terrain while in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), mountainous terrain and during flight at night, while the combination of the HMD and EVS is marketed as enhancing pilot decision-making, improving situational awareness “in harsh weather conditions” and further reducing the required RVR. ATR’s documentation for the ClearVision system states that airframes equipped with the HMD and EVS are able to perform approaches without vertical guidance “down to 100 ft.,” while similarly equipped airplanes performing an approach with vertical guidance can use the HMD/EVS combination “until touchdown and rollout,” with the RVR requirement lowered to 1,000 ft. The first operators of ClearVision-equipped ATRs were Drukair of Bhutan and Guernsey-based Aurigny, operators which took delivery of an equipped ATR 42-600 on Oct. 22, 2019, and an equipped ATR 72-600 on Oct. 25, 2019, respectively.

    Mission and Performance

    While there are no in-production turboprops or regional jets (RJ) that compete with the ATR 42-600, the larger ATR 72-600 can be compared to De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd.’s Dash 8-400 airframe, with some of the specific dimension, passenger capacity and performance figures noted below. With regard to the type of missions that it is capable of performing, ATR markets the larger type as having “proven success” in operations such as cargo—including operators that perform express delivery—inter-island and low-cost. Furthermore, the manufacturer promotes both the ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 for the conditions in which they can operate—cold weather, high altitude and hot temperature—as well as the airports at which they can operate, such as those with narrow, short or unpaved runways. Specific to the ATR 72-600, ATR highlights the airframe’s ability to operate into airports that require steep approaches, while noting that both the larger and smaller ATR airframes are approved for 120-min. extended operations (ETOPS). From a market perspective, both airframes are promoted for their ability to serve “secondary and tertiary airports,” as well as to “create and develop new routes.”

    Comparison: ATR42/72 and Dash-8-400

    Type Designation

    ATR 42-500

    ATR 72-212A

    DHC-8--402

    Commercial Designation

    ATR 42-600

    ATR 72-600

    Dash 8-400

    Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

    60

    78

    90

    Maximum Range (nm)

    703

    758

    1,102

    Engine

    Pratt & Whitney Canada

    PW127E

    PW127F

    PW127F

    PW127M

    PW127N

    PW150A

    Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

    41,005

    50,705

    67,199

    Wingspan

    80 ft. 7 in.

    88 ft. 9 in.

    93 ft. 3 in.

    Length

    74 ft. 5 in.

    89 ft. 1.5 in.

    107 ft. 9 in.

    Height

    24 ft. 11 in.

    25 ft. 1 in.

    27 ft. 5 in.

    In addition to the advertised ranges of the ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600—which are based on the maximum passenger capacity—both the airframes are limited to a maximum operating limit speed and Mach (VMO/MMO) of 250 kt. indicated airspeed (KIAS) and 0.55 Mach, respectively. An additional limitation placed on these airframes is a maximum operating altitude of 25,000 ft. With reference to takeoff and landing performance, the ATR 42-600 has a takeoff distance—based on the airframe’s maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), standard conditions and sea-level altitude—of 3,632 ft. Additionally, despite the fact that it has a maximum landing weight (MLW) that is 9,700 lb. less than ATR 72-600, the smaller ATR 42-600 has a landing field length—based on the basic MLW and sea-level altitude—that is greater, at 3,169 ft., than the comparable figure for the larger 600 series ATR 72 airframe. Assuming the same criteria, the respective figures for the ATR 72-600 are 4,196ft. and 3,002 ft. Based on the MTOW, standard conditions, and sea-level altitude, the rate of climb is 1,851 ft./min. for the current version of the ATR 42, a figure that decreases to 1,355 ft./min. on the ATR 72-600.

    Variants

    ATR 42 Specifications

    Type Designation

    ATR 42-200

    ATR 42-300

    ATR 42-320

    ATR 42-400

    ATR 42-500

    Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

    60

    Maximum Range (nm)

    703

    Engine

    Pratt & Whitney Canada

    PW120

    PW121

    PW121

    PW121A

    PW127E

    PW127F

    PW127M

    Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

    34,725

    37,258

    39,463

    41,005

    Usable Fuel (gal./lb.)

    (1,514/9,921)*/(1,506/10,031)**

    Wingspan

    80 ft. 7 in.

    Length

    74 ft. 5 in.

    Height

    24 ft. 11 in.

    *Normal Refueling with Pre-Selector

    **Refueling up to High-Level Indication

    ATR 42 Specifications

    Type Designation

    ATR 42-500

    Commercial Designation

    ATR 42-600

    ATR 42-600S

    Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

    60

    30-50*

    Maximum Range (nm)

    703

    Engine

    Pratt & Whitney Canada

    PW127E

    PW127F

    PW127M

    Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

    41,005

    Maximum Landing Weight (lb.)

    40,344

    Maximum Payload (lb.)

    11,684

    Usable Fuel

    1,506 gal./ 10,031 lb.

    9,921 lb.

    Wingspan

    80 ft. 7 in.

    Length

    74 ft. 5 in.

    75 ft. 2 in.

    Height

    25 ft. 1 in.

           

    *Seat count

    ATR 72 Specifications

    Type Designation

    ATR 72-101

    ATR 72-102

    ATR 72-201

    ATR 72-202

    ATR 72-211

    ATR 72-212

    Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

    74

    Maximum Range (nm)

    Engine

    Pratt & Whitney Canada

    PW124B

    PW127

    PW127F

    Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

    44,070

    48,501

    Usable Fuel (gal./lb.)

    1,680

    Wingspan

    88 ft. 9 in.

    Length

    89 ft. 2 in.

    Height

    25 ft. 1 in.

    ATR 72 Specifications

    Type Designation

    ATR 72-212A

    Commercial Designation

    ATR 72-600

    ATR 72-600F

    Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

    78

    Maximum Range (nm)

    758

    900

    Engine

    Pratt & Whitney Canada

    PW127F

    PW127M

    PW127N

    Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

    50,705

    Maximum Landing Weight (lb.)

    49,272

    Maximum Payload (lb.)

    16,645

    Usable Fuel (gal./lb.)

    (1,683/11,023)*/(1,700/11,133)**

    Wingspan

    88 ft. 9 in.

    Wing Area (ft.2)

    657

    Length

    89 ft. 1.5 in.

    Height

    25 ft. 1 in.

    *Normal Refueling with Pre-Selector

    **Refueling up to High-Level Indication

    PW120/124/127-Series Engines and Hamilton Sundstrand Propellers

    Promoted for its fuel consumption in comparison to similarly sized RJs, both the ATR 42 and ATR 72 are powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW100 series of engines, which are noted as being three-shaft, two-spool engines. According to Pratt & Whitney, the high and low-pressure compressors of the PW100 series are independently powered by “cooled turbine stages,” while the power turbine is coupled to the propeller “through a reduction gearbox” that is “optimized” to enable maximum engine and propeller efficiency. The EASA TCDS also notes that the engines are controlled by a single-channel electronic engine control (EEC) unit that has a “hydro-mechanical back-up.” Variants of the PW120, PW124 and PW127 are certified to power the ATR airframes, with the mechanical power classes of those engine series being 2,100 shp, 2,400 shp and 2,750 shp, respectively. While the approximate length of all three engines is 84 in., the width is either 25 in. (PW120 engines) or 26 in. (PW123/PW124 and PW127 engines), and the height differs between 31 in. (PW120) and 33 in. (PW123/PW124 and PW127). Although it is certified to power both the ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600, the PW127M engine first entered service on the ATR 72-500 variant.

    On the earlier ATR 42-200, -300 and -320 variants, the Pratt & Whitney Canada engines powered a pair of Hamilton Sundstrand 14 SF-5 propellers, while the -400 and -500 variants are certified to be equipped with that propeller manufacturer’s 568F-1 propellers, a propeller that is retained by the ATR 72-212A. Other ATR 72 variants are also certified to have Hamilton Sundstrand propellers, with the -101/-201 and -102/-202 approved to have either the 14 SF-11 or 14 SF-11 E. Although the ATR 72-211 and -212 have the option of either the 247 F-1 or 247 F-1E propellers, the -211 and -212 are certified to be equipped with only a single type of Hamilton Sundstrand propeller (the 14 SFL-11). According to ATR, the blade diameter of the 568F-1 propellers certified for both the ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 is 12.9 ft.

    PW127XT

    On Nov. 15, 2021, ATR and Pratt & Whitney Canada announced that the latter company’s PW127M-based PW127XT engine would become “the standard engine for the ATR 72 and 42,” an engine that the airframe manufacturer stated would provide operators with a number of benefits. Those benefits, which according to ATR are the result of the materials and technologies incorporated into the engine, include increases in efficiency and improved maintenance intervals. Indeed, the XT commercial designation stands for extra time, with that additional time being quantified as a 40% increase in the amount of time on wing, allowing for the hot section inspection and engine overhaul intervals to be increased, the latter from 14,000 to 20,000 hr. The reduced maintenance requirements will also provide operators of PW127XT-powered ATR 42 and 72 airplanes with a 20% decrease in maintenance costs of the engine, with Pratt & Whitney stating that in a decade there are “only two scheduled engine events,” assuming 2,000 hr. of flying annually and mission lengths that are typical. The company also notes that the 20,000-hr. engine overhaul interval assumes a “60-min. mission in [a] benign environment.”   

    Supplementing the maintenance benefits of the PW127XT, the engine will be able to use a “50% sustainable aviation fuels [SAF] blend”—which is “in line with ATR’s goal of 100% SAF compatibility by 2025”—while the technologies incorporated into the engine improve fuel efficiency by 3%. Further described by Pratt & Whitney Canada as being “purpose-built for the mission it flies,” the engine manufacturer notes that the components which contribute to the engine’s increased efficiency include the high-pressure turbine module, which is new. Both of the currently advertised variants of the engine—the PW127XT-M and PW127XT-N, the former of which will power the ATR airframes—are expected to produce 2,750 shp of mechanical power. As that designation implies, the PW127XT will “build” on the PW127M series, with the upgraded engine also featuring improvements and technologies from Pratt & Whitney Canada’s Next-Generation Regional Turboprop (NGRT) program. Beyond being certified for newly built airplanes, it will also be available for retrofit on existing “[ATR] 500 and 600” airframes, and it is anticipated that the engine will receive regulatory approval during the “second quarter of 2022.”  

    ATR 42

    As is noted above, the ATR 42 has a smaller fuselage and wingspan than the ATR 72, with corresponding decreases in passenger capacity and performance. Also reduced on all variants of the ATR 42 is the usable fuel capacity, with that type having less than half the usable fuel capacity of the larger airframe. When compared to a 50-seat RJ, ATR promotes the ATR 42 as having a fuel burn advantage of 30%, while the operating cost savings when compared to the same size RJ are marketed as being $1 million per airplane, per year.

    ATR 42-600S

    In addition to the standard ATR 42-600, ATR launched a short-takeoff and landing (STOL) variant that is marketed as the ATR 42-600S, with the S designation promoting the airframe’s STOL performance. Announced at the 2019 Paris Air Show and officially launched several months later in October 2019, the ATR 42-600S is marketed as having a takeoff distance—based on the same conditions as the ATR 42-600—of 2,992 ft., a reduction of 640 ft. when compared to the non-STOL ATR 42-600. Also based on the same criteria as the standard airframe is the 2,536-ft. landing distance of the ATR 42-600S, a distance that is lowered by 633 ft. According to the airframe manufacturer, airports that have a runway length between 2,625 ft. and 3,281 ft. number “close to 500” worldwide, with this version of the ATR 42 promoted for being able to enhance “regional connectivity.”

    Changes to the ATR 42-600S include the addition of an autobrake system that “ensures full breaking power occurs immediately upon landing” and a larger rudder that provides “increased control of the aircraft at lower speed,” with this variant of the ATR 42 also having the ability to “symmetrically deploy its spoilers to improve braking efficiency on landing.” At the time that it was officially announced, ATR noted that they had received 20 commitments from Elix Aviaion Capital and Air Tahiti, the launch lessor and operator, respectively. The ATR 42-600S made its 2-hr. 15-min. first flight from Toulouse Francazal Airport on May 11, 2022, with the airframe that performed that flight—registered as F-WWLY—described as being a “partially configured STOL variant.” Subsequent to the completion of the first test flight, the airframe manufacturer stated that features and hardware that are new—the autobrake, ground spoiler and Multifunctional Computer New Generation (MFC-NG), as well as the “increased takeoff rating systems”—would be evaluated “one at a time.” At the time that partially configured ATR 42-600S flew, ATR also noted that this variant would “enter its final configuration at the end of” 2022 following “the addition of a new larger rudder,” with the program entering the “certification phase in 2023.” While it was originally expected to be certified during “the second half of 2022,” pandemic-related delays have resulted in the entry-into-service date now being expected during late 2024 or “early 2025.”

    ATR 72

    The ATR 72 has larger dimensions, as well as passenger and usable fuel capacity, with all three noted above. Additionally, while the ATR 72-600 is promoted as having the same operating cost savings as the ATR 42-600—$1 million per airplane per year—that figure is in comparison to the ATR 72’s turboprop competitor rather than an RJ. Other advantages that the larger ATR airframe has in comparison to its turboprop competition include fuel burn, as well as seat and trip costs, with those advantages being 40%, 10% and 20%, respectively. Furthermore, the operating cost advantages in comparison to RJs are promoted by ATR as being “at least” of 40%. According to the manufacturer, it is the ATR 72’s PW127 engines—which it states are “designed for short sectors”—as well as the “optimized speed” and the weight of the airplane, that give it fuel efficiency advantages over other regional airplanes. The changes and upgrades made to the ATR 72 variant that is marketed as the -600 include increases in MTOW, maximum payload and passenger capacity, with the increase in MTOW enabled “mainly through landing gear reinforcements.”

    ATR 72-600F

    Noted by the manufacturer as being the first new-build ATR “delivered from the factory in a freighter configuration”—as well as the “first ATR 72-600s [to] operate in a cargo configuration”—the ATR 72-600F incorporates a number of changes in comparison to combi and full-passenger configured airframes. Among those changes are a new fuselage that is windowless, and which also features a large cargo door (LCD) and upper-hinged cargo door that are, respectively, located on the forward and rear portions of the fuselage. The forward LCD measures 116 X 71 in., while the upper-hinged cargo door replaces the airframe’s “standard passenger door.” In comparison to the baggage volume noted above for the passenger-configured ATR 72-600, the ATR 72-600F increases the usable volume to 2,666 ft.3, while the maximum structural payload of the airframe is increased to 19,841 lb. and the floor panels are reinforced to 100 lb./ft.2 Assuming an “all-bulk configuration and typical cargo density in the integrator segment,” the range of the airframe is 900 nm.

    Further promoted as being a design that is “optimized for freighter operations,” two types of configurations are promoted as being possible: bulk and unit-load device (ULD). According to ATR marketing materials, the features of airframe’s bulk configuration include lateral tracks and attachment points on the floor—as well as “up to nine vertical nets”—with the benefits of the bulk configuration including the ease with which cargo can loaded and optimization of available cabin volume. Three ULD configurations are also available for the ATR 72-600F: one that accommodates seven LD-3 containers and two that carry pallets—five 88 X 108-in. pallets or nine 88 X 62 in. pallets—with that containerized or palletized cargo able to be supplemented by bulk cargo in the aft part of the cabin. In the ULD configuration, the containers and pallets are secured by a Cargo Loading System (CLS). ATR states that the benefits of the ULD configuration—beyond the ability to carry industry-standard ULD—include the fact it is “ideal for outsized items” and allows the airframe’s freight to “interline with larger freighters.”

    In addition to the CLS, other interior features of the ATR 72-600F include a cabin liner that has attachment points for nets, cargo panels which are “resistant” and “state-of-the-art LED [light-emitting diode] lighting,” with the cargo area itself noted as being a Class E cargo compartment. Improvements to the positioning of the nets are promoted as “optimizing volume,” while “autonomy on [the] ground” is enabled by battery capacity that has been improved and reliability increased by an air management system which is new.

    ATR 42/72 Converted Freighters

    Supplementing the new-build ATR 72-600F—as well as the combi configurations available for the ATR 42-200/-300/-320/-500 and ATR 72-202/-212/-212A—ATR also promotes the ability of both types to be converted from passenger to freight configuration, with such airframes being of use to both express and general freighter carriers “in the regional segment.” As is the case with the possible configurations for the -600F, two configuration options are available: a bulk freighter and a large-cargo-door freighter. According to ATR, multiple supplemental type certificates (STC) are available for the conversion of passenger airplanes into the bulk freighters, while only a single STC exists for a large-cargo-door freighter. The standard forward cargo door—which measures 51 X 62 in.—and the presence of vertical nets are the primary features of the bulk freighter that are promoted by ATR, with the benefits of such an airframe including the cost, ease of cargo loading and the amount of available volume. Converted ATR 42s are marketed as having a “typical usable volume” of 1,978 ft.3, while a passenger-to-freighter conversion of an ATR 72 has the same amount of volume as the new build ATR 72-600F.

    The benefits of the large-cargo-door freighter conversion include two which are also promoted for the new-build ATR 72 freighter: the size of the LCD and the ability to carry containers and pallets with the previously mentioned CLS. As with the ATR 72-600F, that latter feature includes the ability to carry seven LD3 containers, five 88 X 108 in. pallets and nine 88 X 62 in. pallets, as well as bulk cargo in the aft portion of the cabin. ATR notes that the “typical structural payload capability” of both ATR 42 and ATR 72 airframes that are converted into bulk freighters is higher than LCD freighters, with the exact amount dependent upon the “ATR series and weight variant.” For ATR 42 and ATR 72 bulk freighters, the typical structural payload falls into ranges of 11,700 lb. and 14,000 lb. and 17,400 lb. and 19,200 lb., respectively. Comparable figures for LCD freighter conversions are 11,200-13,700 lb. and 17,000-18,700 lb., with the ranges of the all-bulk configured airframes that are carrying a “typical cargo density in the integrator segment” being 600 nm for the ATR 42 and 800 nm for the ATR 72.

    Special-Mission Capabilities

    In addition to passenger, combi and all-cargo configured ATR airframes, the ATR 42 and ATR 72 are also utilized by a number of government operators in special-mission roles such as maritime patrol. For that specific mission, the airframes are marketed as the ATR 42MP Surveyor and ATR 72MP, with the specific types of maritime patrol missions able to be performed including anti-illegal immigration, drug trafficking, piracy and smuggling operations; exclusive economic zone patrol, fisheries protection, the monitoring of sea lanes and search and rescue (SAR). Described as being a “derivative of the ATR 72-600 [that is] designed to perform a variety of missions,” from a performance limitation and specifications standpoint, the ATR 72MP retains the same maximum operating altitude and MTOW as the civilian variant, while also being promoted as having an endurance of 10 hr. (plus a 45-min. hold). However, it was the ATR 42 that “was the first multi-mission maritime patrol and SAR platform based on ATR commercial aircraft made by Leonardo,” with that airframe utilized by government operators that include the Italian Coast Guard and Customs Police, as well as the Nigerian Air Force. The launch customer for the ATR 72MP was the Italian Air Force—which designated the airframe P-72A—with the airframe also able to be utilized for anti-submarine warfare and marketed as the ATR 72ASW.

    Environmental Performance: Emissions, Fuel Burn and Noise

    From an environmental perspective, both the ATR airframes and Pratt & Whitney Canada engines are promoted for their improvements in fuel consumption and decreases in emissions. With respect to the airframe’s engines, Pratt & Whitney Canada states that turboprop airplanes powered by PW100-series engines “consume 25-40% less fuel and produce up to 50% fewer emissions than similar-sized [RJs],” while also be able to utilize biofuel. Based “on an average route of 300 NM” and 2,000 flights per year, the ATR 72-600 is promoted by ATR as producing 40% lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when compared to Bombardier’s CRJ900, as well as Embraer’s E175 and E175-E2. The ATR 72-600 also reduces the amount of CO2 released per airplane per year—also “on [an] average route of 300 NM”—by 4,000 metric tons.

    According to ATR, the environmental benefits of both the ATR 42 and ATR 72 are realized because of the inherent efficiency of turboprops on short-haul flights. Indeed, while, from a component standpoint, both a turbine and turboprop engines “use a thermodynamic turbine,” because turboprop engines incorporate a gearbox and “large propeller,” such an engine “moves a greater quantity of air for less thermal power.” The airframe manufacturer notes that turboprop-powered airplanes consume less fuel on takeoff because such an airplane’s acceleration “uses less power,” while turboprops—when operated on shorter flights—are also more efficient because there is no opportunity to climb to higher altitudes or accelerate to higher airspeeds. Another environmental benefit of ATR airframes is their external noise levels, with the noise produced in comparison to a “modern [RJ]” noted as 13 dB less. Additionally, the margin to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Chapter 14 standards is promoted as being 9 dB.

    ATR EVO

    On May 18, 2022, ATR unveiled its plans for updated versions of the ATR 42 and ATR 72, with the updated airframes—described as the ATR “EVO”—expected to incorporate a number of technologies that yield economics, performance and sustainability improvements. Those improvements are slated to include new engines that will have “a hybrid capability,” an “eco-design” which replaces the current six-blade propellers with eight-blade ones, a cabin that incorporates “biosourced resin,” a new deicing system that is “more electric” and improved systems. According to ATR, the company has “issued a request for information [RFI] to the main engine manufacturers for the development of [a] new powerplant that will combine existing and future-generation engine technology.” Regardless of the engine that is ultimately chosen for the ATR EVO airframes, it must be able to utilize 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) upon entry into service. Beyond utilizing SAF, the airframe manufacturer is also seeking to ensure that the ATR series can be “adapted” to utilize other “propulsion technologies” such as hydrogen. Supplementing the improvements to the cabin, deicing and propulsion systems and propellers, improvements to how pilots operate the airplanes are also possible. Those improvements include flight management system (FMS) upgrades and a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system, the latter of which would make the ATR “the first commercial turboprop” to have such a system.

    While a FADEC system would provide pilot-workload benefits, the sustainability benefits of the ATR EVO airframes include fuel burn that is reduced by 20% in comparison to the current-generation ATR 42 and ATR 72, as well as CO2emissions which are reduced by the same amount in comparison to the current ATR variants. CO2 emissions will also be lowered by 50% when compared to a kerosene-powered regional jet, and, according to ATR, when powered by 100% SAF, the airframe’s “emissions will be close to zero.” Beyond reducing emissions, the reduced fuel burn—when combined with overall maintenance costs that are also lowered by 20%—is described as allowing the ATR EVO to have “double-digit operating cost savings.” One of the benefits of the operating cost reductions is that they allow airlines to profitably “serve thin routes,” resulting in “more connectivity.” The previously noted “biosourced materials” which are planned for the cabin will be lighter, while the “next-generation” airframes will also have time-to-climb performance that is improved. At the time the ATR EVO was announced, the company stated that its plan was to launch the “program by 2023,” with entry into service possible by 2030.

    Program Status/Operators

    Both the ATR 42 and ATR 72 are produced at company’s facilities at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in southern France, facilities that are located alongside those of shareholder Airbus.

    References

    • AWIN Article Archives
    • ATR, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. and Pratt & Whitney Canada Commercial Materials
    • FAA TCDS (ATR), EASA TCDS (ATR and PW100 Series) and Transport Canada TCDS (DHC-8 Series 400)
    Channel
    Commercial Aviation
    Market Indicator Code
    Commercial
    Article page size
    10
    Profile page size
    2
    Program Profile ID
    1132

Some of these aviation news pages are compiled with a RSS feed from several news sources. As such, we can not take any responsibility for the correctness of these items.

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