Aircraft History, Specification and Information
ATR 42
ATR 42-320 - TMA Trans Maldivian Airways - 8Q-ATM
ATR 42-320 - 8Q-ATM (sn 194)
TMA - Trans Maldivian Airways
Photo taken January 09, 2009
Male International Airport - Republic Of Maldives (MLE / VRMM)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The ATR 42 is a twin-turboprop, short-haul regional airliner built in France and Italy by ATR (Aerei da Trasporto Regionale or Avions de Transport Régional). ATR and Airbus are both built in Toulouse, and share resources and technology. The name "42" comes from the aircraft's standard seating, which varies from 40 to 52. The aircraft was the basis for the ATR 72.

Design and development

Trans Maldivian Airways - TMA - ATR 42-320 - 8Q-ATN
ATR 42-320 - 8Q-ATN (sn 96)
Trans Maldivian Airways - TMA
Photo taken September 21, 2008
Male' International Airport,
Republic of Maldives (MLE / VRMM)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The ATR 42-300 was announced in 1981, making its maiden flight on 16 August 1984; French and Italian certification followed in September 1985 and its first revenue flight was in December of the same year with Air Littoral of France. This initial version of the ATR42 was on production line until 1996. The next upgrade for product was ATR42-320 (also withdrawn in 1996) differed in having the more powerful PW-121 engines for better hot and high performance. ATR42-300QC is a quick change freight/passenger version of the standard -300 series.

Current production version is -500 series. It is totally new generation aircraft with new engines, new propellers, improved hot and high performance, increased weight capacity and an improved passenger cabin. The 50-seat ATR 42-500 was first certificated in July 1995.

As of January 2009 at least 401 ATR 42s have been delivered worldwide with up to 18 aircraft on order.


There are six major variants of the ATR 42.

ATR 42-200

The -200 was the original ATR 42 prototype and only a few were built for testing purposes. It was powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW120 engines rated at 1800 shp.

ATR 42-300

The -300 was the standard production version. This model was manufactured until 1996. It was powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW120 engines rated at 1800 shp.

ATR 42-320

The -320 was an improved version of the -300 powered by PW121 engines (1900 shp). It was designed to have better performance especially in hot and high conditions.

ATR 42-400

The -400 is the official name for the passenger version of the ATR 42 "Surveyor". the -400 is an upgraded version of the -200/300/320 using six-bladed propellers on otherwise identical PW120/PW121 engines. The primary users of this aircraft type are Conviasa & CSA Czech Airlines.

ATR 42-500

The ATR-500 is the current production version. The first delivery was in October 1995. It is a completely new design with many new improvements for performance and passenger comfort. It has new engines, new propellers, a newly designed cabin and increased weight capacity. It has six-bladed propellers turned by PW127E engines rated at 2,400 shp (1,800 kW) for improved hot and high performance and greatly increased cruise speed. The engines are flat rated for +45C. Propellers are completely electrically controlled and are made from composite material. It also has an increased maximum takeoff weight, allowing for more cargo and greater range (up to 1,500 nm). Due the six-bladed propellers and better insulation, it has a highly decreased noise level inside the cabin with new "elegance" style cabin. The newest version have CATII capability and dual Honeywell HT1000 FMS installation.

ATR 42-600

On Tuesday 2 October 2007, ATR CEO Stéphane Mayer, announced the launch of the new -600 series aircraft at a Press Conference held in Washington, D.C..

The new ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 will feature the latest technological enhancements while building upon the well-known advantages of the current aircraft, namely its high efficiency, proven dispatch reliability, low fuel burn and operating cost. It will include the new PW127M as standard engine (new engines provide 5% additional thermodynamic power at takeoff, thus improving performance on short runways, in hot weather and on high altitude. The incorporation of the “boost function” enables use of this additional power as needed, only when called for by the takeoff conditions.), Glass Cockpit flight deck featuring five wide LCD screens that will replace the current EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System). In addition, a Multi-Purpose Computer (MPC) will further enhance flight safety and operational capabilities. The new avionics, to be supplied by Thales, will also provide CAT III and RNP capabilities. It will also include the new lighter and more comfortable seats and larger overhead baggage bins. The -600 series ATR aircraft will be progressively introduced during the second half of 2010. The ATR 42-600 Series launch customer is the Royal Air Maroc (deliveries begin in March 2012).

Using a temporary test registration F-WWLY the prototype ATR 42–600 first flew on 4 March 2010.

Other versions

Cargo Variant
Bulk (Tube Versions) and ULD Freighter (Large Cargo Door). An STC exists to convert all ATR 42 variants to all-cargo transport aircraft. FedEx, Aviavilsa, UPS, and DHL are major operators of the type.

ATR Surveyor
The ATR 42 "Surveyor" is a maritime patrol version of the -500, and VIP transport and in-flight inspection versions of the -500 also exist.

Civil operators

The largest operators of the ATR-42 are FedEx Express, Airlinair, TRIP Linhas Aéreas,and Mexico City-based Aeromar respectively. Number of aircraft as of 2010:

  • Aer Arann (5)
  • Aero Caribbean (3)
  • Aero Express Del Ecuador (1)
  • Aerogaviota (4)
  • Aeromar (14)
  • Air Antilles Express (4)
  • Air Bagan (2)
  • Air Botswana (3)
  • Air Contractors (6)
  • Air Dolomiti (6)
  • Air India Regional (7)
  • Air Malawi (1)
  • Air Mandalay (1)
  • Air Saint-Pierre (2)
  • Air Tahiti (4)
  • Airlinair (17)
  • Aviavilsa (1)
  • Aviateca (17)
  • Azerbaijan Airlines (2)
  • Blue Islands (1)
  • B&H Airlines (2)
  • Buddha Air (3)
  • Bulgaria Air (2)
  • Calm Air (5)
  • Cape Air (2)
  • Cebu Pacific (8)
  • Cimber Air (3)
  • Contact Air (5)
  • Czech Airlines (8)
  • DAT Danish Air Transport (5)
  • DOT LT (5)
  • Dutch Antilles Express (3)
  • Empire Airlines (11)
  • EuroLOT (3)
  • Farnair Switzerland (3)
  • FedEx Express (26)
  • Finncomm Airlines (4)
  • First Air (8)
  • Fly540 (3)
  • Flywise (4)
  • Halcyonair (2)
  • Indonesia Air Transport (3)
  • Israir Airlines (3)
  • Kal Star Aviation (4)
  • Kingfisher Red (2)
  • Línea Turística Aereotuy (2)
  • Mountain Air Cargo (10)
  • Olympic Air (1)
  • Overland Airways (2)
  • Pacific Sun (2)
  • Pantanal Linhas Aéreas (6)
  • Precision Air (4)
  • Pakistan International Airlines (7)
  • Royal Air Maroc (4)
  • Santa Bárbara Airlines (5)
  • Satena (2)
  • Swiftair (6)
  • TACA Regional (9)
  • TACV Cabo Verde Airlines (1)
  • TAROM (7)
  • Trigana Air Service (7)
  • TRIP Linhas Aéreas (14)
  • UTair Aviation (12)
  • West Wind Aviation (3)

Some 70 other airlines operate smaller numbers of the type.

Military and government operators

  • Gabon
    Gabonese Air Force
  • Italy
    Italian Coast Guard (3 ATR 42 MPs)
    Guardia di Finanza (5 ATR 42 MPs)
  • Libya
    Libyan Government (one ATR42 MP on order for 2009 delivery)
  • Nigeria
    Nigerian Air Force (two ATR 42 MPs on order for 2009 delivery, one delivered as of December 2009, second delivered in early 2010)

Accidents and incidents

On 15 October 1987, an Aero Trasporti Italiani (ATI) ATR 42-300 crashed on Conca di Crezzo, Italy during flight from Milan-Linate to Cologne Bonn Airport, Germany. All 37 on board died. Icing conditions existed.

On 21 August 1994, a Royal Air Maroc ATR-42 crashed into the Atlas Mountains, killing all 44 people on board. It was claimed the pilot deliberately disengaged the autopilot and crashed the plane.

On 11 October 1999, an Air Botswana captain boarded an ATR 42-320 aircraft and took off. Once in the air, he asked by radio to speak to President Festus Mogae (who was outside the country at the time), Air Botswana's general manager and others. In spite of all attempts to persuade him to land and discuss his grievances, he stated he was going to crash into some planes on the apron. After a flying time of about two hours, he performed two loops and then crashed at 200 knots (230 mph) into Air Botswana's two other ATR 42s parked on the apron. The captain was killed, but there were no other casualties. He had been grounded on medical reasons, refused reinstatement, and regrounded until February 2000.

On 21 February 2008, Santa Barbara Airlines Flight 518 crashed in the Andes near Mérida, Venezuela, during a flight from Mérida to Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas. The aircraft was carrying 43 passengers and 3 crew. All died.

On 27 January 2009, an Empire Airlines ATR-42 cargo plane under contract from FedEx Express crashed on landing at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport at 04:37 CT. The plane, which had been traveling from Fort Worth Alliance Airport, landed short of the touchdown zone and skidded off the runway amid light freezing rain. There was a small fire on the plane and two crew members were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

On 11 February 2010, Trigana Air Service Flight 168 made a forced landing in a paddy field at Bone, Indonesia. Two people were seriously injured and the aircraft was written off.

On 13 September 2010, Conviasa Flight 2350 crashed 6 miles west of Manuel Carlos Piar Guayana Airport, Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela, on a domestic scheduled passenger flight from Del Caribe "Santiago Mariño" International Airport, Porlamar, Isla Margarita. Of 51 passengers and crew on board, 34 survived the accident while 17 died.

There have been a total of 22 hull-loss occurrences.


General characteristics
Crew: 2
Capacity: 42–50 passengers
Length: 22.67 m (74 ft 5 in)
Wingspan: 24.57 m (80 ft 7 in)
Height: 7.59 m (24 ft 11 in)
Wing area: 54.5 m2 (587 sq ft)
Aspect ratio: 11.1:1
Empty weight: 11,250 kg (24,802 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 18,600 kg (41,006 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127E turboprops, 1,610 kW (2,160 shp) each

Cruise speed: 560 km/h; 350 mph (300 kn)
Range: 1,555 km (966 mi; 840 nmi) with 48 passengers
Service ceiling: 7,600 m (24,934 ft)
Takeoff Run at MTOW: 1,165 m (3,822 ft)

Last updated June 24, 2011
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "ATR 42".
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