ATR is a French-Italian aircraft manufacturer headquartered on the grounds of Toulouse Blagnac Airport in Blagnac, France. It was formed in 1981 by Aerospatiale of France (now EADS) and Aeritalia (now Alenia Aeronautica) of Italy. Its primary products are the ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft.
Alenia Aeronautica's manufacturing facilities near Naples, Italy, produce the aircraft fuselage and tail sections. Aircraft wings are assembled at EADS Sogerma in Bordeaux in western France for Airbus France. Final assembly, flight-testing, certification and deliveries are the responsibility of ATR in Toulouse, France.
The ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop used primarily as a regional airliner. The ATR 72 was developed from the ATR 42 because airlines needed an aircraft with increased passenger capability. The ATR 72 increases the maximum seating capacity from 48 in the ATR 42 to 78 in the ATR 72. This was accomplished by stretching the fuselage by 15 feet. The ATR 72 was announced in 1986 and made its maiden flight on October 27, 1988. The first delivery was in 1989.
The ATR 72-500 is powered by two 2,400 shp PW127F engines designed for improved hot and high performance and increased cruise speed. The propellers are completely electrically controlled and are made from composite material.
The cabin noise has been greatly reduced because of the new six-bladed propellers and better insulation. The ATR 72-500 has an increased maximum takeoff weight that allows for more passengers or cargo.
The ATR 72-600, introduced in 2007, is an upgraded version of the previous models. It comes equipped with two 2,400 shp PW127M engines and upgraded avionics.