YouTube – ATR 72
Range (max. pax.):
2 x 2,475 shp ea.
89 ft. 2 in.
89 ft. 9 in.
ATR ((Aerei da Trasporto Regionale) produces their ATR 72 airliners in Italy and France. The design dates back to its smaller predecessor that first took flight in 1984. The turboprop ATR 72 has been upgraded through the years with longer fuselages, larger wings, the addition of higher performance engines and more advanced avionics.
The ATR 72 is primarily used for shorter flights, typically around 300 miles, between less populated areas where speed and large passenger capacity is not a primary concern. The distances between airports do not justify the speed and altitude with the associated expenses of jet aircraft. Nor do they have large airports with long runways that can accommodate jet aircraft. The ATR 72 also uses less fuel and is generally quieter than jet aircraft. Before the ATR 72 was deployed, flying such routes would have been unprofitable.
The latest version in the line of aircraft, the ATR 72-600 has new engines developing more take off power, additional computerized functions to ease the pilot’s workload, an all glass cockpit, greater passenger comfort with the widest turboprop passenger cabin, additional carry on luggage storage, and more ergonomically designed seats.
On Oct. 31, 1994 an ATR 72 was lost and all 68 on board perished near Roselawn, Indiana. Excessive icing was blamed.
On Jan. 30, 1995 four crew members were lost when an ATR 72 went into a hill on a flight from Penghu to Taipei.
On Dec. 21, 2002 an ATR 72 was lost at sea 17 km southwest of Makung City as a result of excessive icing.
On July 19, 2005 an ATR 72 clipped a light pole at Taipei Songshan Airport. A crew member was slightly injured. The aircraft suffered damage to a right wing spar.
On Aug. 6, 2005 an ATR 72 ran out of fuel and ditched in the Mediterranean approximately 29 km from Palermo. There were 39 people on board the aircraft of which 16 were lost.
On Aug. 24, 2008 an ATR 72 caught fire while taking off from Munich airport. All passengers and crew escaped injuries.
Some 940 ATR 72 aircraft of all types have been produced to date.