Toulousain ATR launches new generation hybrid regional jet

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Toulousain ATR, the world leader in regional aviation, has received the green light from two of its shareholders Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo to launch EVO. By 2030, this new generation of aircraft will consume 20% less fuel and could be hybrid thanks to new engines.

This is big news in the world of regional aviation. ATR, which has its headquarters and assembly line in Toulouse, announced this morning that it is about to launch a new generation of regional propeller-driven aircraft. Designated EVO, this aircraft represents a major evolution of a range of regional aircraft originally launched in 1984 and then upgraded to the 600 version in 2013. Nearly a decade later, ATR is making a significant technological leap towards more environmentally responsible aviation .

from 2.2 to 2.3 liters per passenger per 100 km.

For several months, ATR has been interviewing engine manufacturers to develop these propeller engines to reduce kerosene consumption by 20%, ensure they are 100% sustainable fuel (SAF) compatible, and can be hybridized with electric engines. energy. A specification has been provided that allows Stefano Bortoli, President of the ATR, to announce the color compared to its main competitors, jets: “A kerosene-powered device will emit more than 50% less CO2 than a regional jet. At 100% SAF, its emissions will be close to zero.” Electric hybridization will go a long way in reducing the carbon footprint of an aircraft, especially during the most energy-demanding phases such as takeoff. As a result, the consumption should show from 2.2 to 2.3 liters per passenger per 100 kilometers.

Commissioning is planned for the period from 2028 to 2030.

“We interviewed the world’s largest engine manufacturers so that they could offer us a new engine. Answers are expected in June 2022,” the head of ATR admits. After a technical response, a year-long work with airlines will be carried out in order to freeze the technical configuration of the device by June 2023. Immediately after that, a decision on the industrial launch will be made. The aim is to obtain the EVO certification “before the end of the decade”, as Stefano Bortoli expects for commissioning between 2028 and 2030 in customer companies. If the power plant is completely new, the basic parameters of the aircraft, such as the number of seats (from 40 to 70 seats depending on the version) or the maximum takeoff weight, should remain unchanged.

This new generation of ATR will provide an opportunity to introduce eco-design with environmentally friendly and lighter materials, in particular, refurbish the cabin and improve aerodynamics and performance with propeller engines equipped with eight blades instead of six until now.

Propeller engines will have eight blades compared to six today.

Lotois Ratier Figeac (Collins Aerospace Group) is currently supplying these propellers. This engine will be available on three existing ATR versions: 42 (40 seats), 72 (70 seats) and STOL (short runway landing and takeoff). On the other hand, it will be impossible to install new engines on old ATRs.

54 ATR deliveries in 2024

Today begins a year-long period during which ATR will work with airlines to best define the future of EVO. “We are at the beginning of our efforts to study a new aircraft with the requirement to keep the aircraft competitive for our customers. AVO will have to offer our customers the best technology at the lowest possible cost,” ATR president insists. . For his part, Fabrice Vautier, Commercial Director of ATR, elaborates: “EVO will show a double-digit reduction in operating costs, in particular due to a 20 percent reduction in both fuel consumption and maintenance costs.” This is enough to solidify its position as a world leader in regional aviation and even take market share from jet aircraft, which use much more fuel-efficient jet engines. Arguments that convinced the two joint shareholders of ATR (Airbus and Leonardo) to give the go-ahead. “It is a good investment for ATR because we are increasing our production capacity with fifty new aircraft deliveries planned for 2024,” said Stefano Bortoli.