The Toulousain ATR, world leader in regional aviation, has obtained the green light from its two shareholders Airbus and the Italian Leonardo to launch EVO. By 2030, this new generation of aircraft will consume 20% less and can be hybrid thanks to new engines.
This is big news in the world of regional aviation. ATR, whose headquarters and assembly line are located in Toulouse, announced this morning that it was going to launch the new generation of regional propeller aircraft. Baptized EVO, this aircraft constitutes a major evolution for the range of regional aircraft initially launched in 1984 then modernized with the 600 version in 2013. Almost ten years later, ATR is making a major technological leap towards more responsible aviation. from an environmental point of view.
2.2 to 2.3 liters per passenger over 100 km
For several months, ATR has been interviewing engine manufacturers to develop these propeller engines with the aim of reducing kerosene consumption by 20%, making them 100% compatible with the use of sustainable fuels (SAF) and with possibility of making the motors hybridizable with electrical energy. A specification provided which allows Stefano Bortoli, the president of ATR to announce the color against its main competitors, the jets: “Propelled by kerosene, the device will emit more than 50% less CO2 than a regional jet. With 100% SAF, its emissions will be close to zero”. Electric hybridization will greatly contribute to reducing the aircraft’s carbon footprint, particularly in the phases requiring the most energy, such as take-off. In the end, consumption should show 2.2 to 2.3 liters per passenger per 100 kilometers.
Entry into service planned between 2028 and 2030
“We have questioned the world’s major engine manufacturers so that they can offer us a new engine. The answers are expected for the month of June 2022” confides the boss of ATR. Following the technical response, a year-long work will be undertaken with the airlines in order to freeze the technical configuration of the device by June 2023. The decision on the industrial launch will take place immediately after. The objective is to obtain EVO certification “before the end of the decade” anticipates Stefano Bortoli for entry into service between 2028 and 2030 with customer companies. If the propulsion unit will be entirely new, the fundamentals of the aircraft such as the number of seats (40 to 70 seats depending on the version) or the maximum take-off weight should remain unchanged.
This new generation of ATR will be an opportunity to introduce eco-design with eco-sourced and lighter materials in particular, to renovate the cabin and improve aerodynamics and performance with propeller engines equipped with eight blades instead of six so far.
Lotois Ratier Figeac (Collins Aerospace Group) is currently supplying these propellers. This engine will be available on the three existing ATR versions: 42 (40 seats), 72 (70 seats) and STOL (landing and take-off from a short runway). On the other hand, it will be impossible to mount the new engines on old ATRs.
54 ATR deliveries in 2024
Today begins a one-year period during which ATR will work with the airlines on the best definition of the future EVO. “We are at the start of our effort to explore the new aircraft with a requirement to maintain the competitiveness of the aircraft for our customers. AVO will have to offer the best technology at the lowest possible cost for our customers” insists the president of ATR. For his part, Fabrice Vautier, commercial director of ATR specifies: “EVO will show a double-digit reduction in operating costs, notably enabled by a 20% reduction in both fuel consumption and maintenance costs” . Enough to cement its position as world leader in regional aviation and even to take market share from jets that use much more fuel-efficient jet engines. Arguments that convinced the two joint shareholders of ATR (Airbus and Leonardo) to give the green light. “It is good for ATR to invest because we are increasing our production rates with fifty deliveries of new aircraft scheduled for 2024” figures Stefano Bortoli.
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