ATR has announced the successful first flight of ATR 72-600F, its new purpose-built regional freighter aircraft.
The flight took off at 2 p.m. local time from its Saint-Martin site on Sept. 16 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 the 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 the 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.
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 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.
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