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Atr 72

ATR 72
An ATR 72-202 in Eurolot livery
Role Regional airliner
National origin France/Italy
Manufacturer ATR
First flight 27 October 1988
Introduction 27 October 1989 (Finnair)
Status In service
Primary users Azul Brazilian Airlines
Wings Air
FedEx Express
Jet Airways
Produced 1988–present
Number built 754 as of December 2014[1]
Unit cost
72–600: US$24.7 million; US$74M / 3 aircraft = US$24.7M per aircraft (2014)[2]
Developed from ATR 42

The ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop short-haul regional airliner built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR. A stretched variant of the ATR 42, the aircraft seats up to 74 passengers in a single-class configuration, and is operated by a two-pilot crew.


  • Development 1
  • Design 2
  • Operational History 3
  • Variants 4
    • ATR 72–100 4.1
    • ATR 72–200 4.2
    • ATR 72–210 4.3
    • ATR 72-212A 4.4
    • Other versions 4.5
  • Major operators 5
    • Civilian operations 5.1
    • Military operators 5.2
  • Accidents and incidents 6
  • Specifications (ATR 72–600) 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
    • Notes 9.1
    • Bibliography 9.2
  • External links 10


The ATR 72 was developed from the ATR 42 in order to increase the seating capacity (48 to 68) by stretching the fuselage by 4.5 metres (15 ft), increasing the wingspan, adding more powerful engines, and increasing fuel capacity by approximately 10 percent. The 72 was announced in 1986,[3] and made its maiden flight on 27 October 1988. One year later, on 27 October 1989, Finnair became the first airline to put the aircraft into service.[4]

Since then, at least 750 ATR 72s have been delivered worldwide.

Since 2008, ATR has been a participant in the European Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative. On 8 July 2015, a “green” ATR 72-600 flying technology demonstrator made its first flight; it is to be used to trial new composite insulating materials, electrical distribution system and energy dispersal modifications, and air conditioning systems to evaluate their effect on overall efficiency.[5]


Aer Arann ATR 72 on take off

Passengers are boarded using the rear door (which is rare for a passenger aircraft) as the front door is used to load cargo. Finnair ordered their ATR 72s with a front passenger door so that they could use the jet bridges at Helsinki–Vantaa airport. Air New Zealand's standard rear door aircraft can use jet bridges at airports with this equipment. A tail stand must be installed when passengers are boarding or disembarking in case the nose lifts off the ground, which is common if the aircraft is loaded or unloaded incorrectly.

The ATR aircraft does not have an auxiliary power unit (APU) as normally equipped. The APU is an option and would be placed in the C4 cargo section. Most air carriers normally equip the aircraft with a propeller brake (referred to as "Hotel Mode") that stops the propeller on the No. 2 (right) engine, allowing the turbine to run and provide air and power to the aircraft while on the ground without the propeller spinning.

Operational History

The Turkish Navy, which initially decided to purchase ten ATR 72–500 MPA, later modified its order to eight ATR 72–600 aircraft: Two 72–600 TMUA (utility) versions, and six 72–600 TMPA (ASW/ASuW) versions.[6][7] The two ATR 72–600 TMUA aircraft were delivered to the Turkish Navy in 2013.[8]


ATR 72–100

Two sub-types were marketed as the 100 series (−100).

ATR 72–101
Initial production variant with front and rear passenger doors, powered by two PW124B engines and certified in September 1989.
ATR 72–102
Initial production variant with a front cargo door and a rear passenger door, powered by two PW124B engines and certified in December 1989.

ATR 72–200

Aurigny Air Services ATR 72–200 lands at Bristol Airport, England

Two sub-types were marketed as the 200 series (−200). The −200 was the original production version, powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW124B engines rated at 2,400 shp (1,800 kW).[9]

ATR 72–201
Higher maximum take-off weight variant of the −101, a PW124B powered variant certified in September 1989.
ATR 72–202
Higher maximum take-off weight variant of the −102, a PW124B powered variant certified in December 1989.

ATR 72–210

Two sub-types were marketed as the 210 series (−210), the −211, (and with an enlarged cargo door, called the −212), is a −200 with PW127 engines producing 2,750 shp (2,050 kW) each for improved performance in hot and high-altitude conditions. Difference between the sub-types is the type of doors, emergency exits

ATR 72–211
PW127 powered variant certified in December 1992.
ATR 72–212
PW127 powered variant certified in December 1992.

ATR 72-212A

A CCM ATR 72–500 during boarding, showing the front cargo hold, rear passenger integrated stairway, and parking tail stand.
An Air Nostrum ATR 72–600 climbing after take-off

Certified in January 1997 and fitted with either PW127F or PW127M engines, the −212A is an upgraded version of the −210 using six-bladed propellers on otherwise identical PW127F engines. Other improvements include higher maximum weights and superior performance, as well as greater automation of power management to ease pilot workload.

ATR 72–500
Initial marketing name for the ATR 72-212A.
ATR 72–600
Marketing name for ATR 72-212A with different equipment fit. The −600 series aircraft was announced in October 2007; the first deliveries were planned for the second half of 2010.[10][11] The prototype ATR 72–600 first flew on 24 July 2009; it had been converted from an ATR 72–500.[12]

The ATR 72–600 features a number of improvements over previous versions. It is powered by the new PW127M engines, which enable a 5% increase in takeoff power called for by a "boost function" as needed, only when called for by the takeoff conditions. The flight deck features five wide LCD screens (improving on the EFIS from previous versions). A multi-purpose computer (MPC) aims at increasing flight safety and operational capabilities, and new Thales-made avionics provide Required Navigation Performance (RNP) capabilities. Finally, the aircraft features lighter seats and larger overhead baggage bins.

Other versions


Bulk Freighter (tube versions) and ULD Freighter (Large Cargo Door). ATR unveiled a large cargo door modification for all ATR 72 at Farnborough 2002, coupled with a dedicated cargo conversion. FedEx, DHL, and UPS all operate the type.[13]


The ATR 72 ASW integrates the ATR 42 MP (Maritime Patrol) mission system with the same on-board equipment but with additional ASW capabilities. An anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant of the −500 (itself a version of the maritime patrol variant of the ATR 42–500) is also in production[14] and has been selected by the Italian Navy for ASW and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) duties. Italy's order of four aircraft will begin deliveries in 2012. For the ASW and ASuW missions, the aircraft will be armed with a pod-mounted machine gun, lightweight aerial torpedoes, anti-surface missiles, and depth charges.[15] They will be equipped with the Thales AMASCOS (Airborne Maritime Situation and Control System) maritime surveillance system as well as electronic warfare and reconnaissance systems, so that they may also be used for maritime search and rescue operations.[16]


A VIP version of the −500 is available with a luxury interior for executive or corporate transport.[17]

ATR 82

During the mid-1980s, the company investigated a 78-seat derivative of the ATR 72. This would have been powered by two Allison AE2100 turboprops (turbofans were also studied for a time) and would have had a cruising speed as high as 330kt. The ATR-82 project (as it was dubbed) was suspended when AI(R) was formed in early 1996.[18]

ATR Quick Change

This version was proposed in order to meet the increasing worldwide demand of cargo and express mail markets,where the aim is to allow operators to supplement their passengers flights with freighter flights.

In Quick Change configuration,the smoke detector is equipped alongside other modifications required in order to meet the certification for full freight operations.The aircraft was equipped with substantially larger cargo door at 1.27 m (50 in) in width and 1.52 m (60 in) height,and the containerized freight loading is made easy by the low door sill height located on an average 1.2 m (4 ft).

It takes 30 minutes to convert the aircraft on ATR 42, while for ATR 72, it takes 45 minutes for the same tasks. Each optimized container has 2.8 m3 (99 cu ft) of usable volume and maximum payload is 435 kg (960 lb).[19]

Major operators

Civilian operations

ATR 72–500 at Joensuu Airport
Caribbean ATR 72–600
A Precision Air ATR 72–500
Cebu Air at Calbayog City Airport.

Operators with at least ten aircraft in their fleet are:

Military operators

Accidents and incidents

  • On 31 October 1994, American Eagle Flight 4184, an ATR 72–212 crashed due to icing in Roselawn, Indiana killing all 68 people on board.
  • On 30 January 1995, an ATR 72-200 of TransAsia Airways crashed into a hillside during flight from Penghu to Taipei. Four crew members were killed.[34]
  • On 21 December 2002, TransAsia Airways (TNA) cargo flight 791, an ATR 72–200, crashed due to icing during flight from Taipei to Macau. Both crew members were killed. The aircraft encountered severe icing conditions beyond the icing certification envelope of the aircraft and crashed into sea 17 km southwest of Makung city. The Aviation Safety Council of Taiwan investigation found that the crash was caused by ice accumulation around the aircraft's major components, resulting in a loss of control. The investigation found that flight crew did not respond to the severe icing conditions with the appropriate alert situation awareness and did not take the necessary actions.[35]
  • On 19 July 2005, TransAsia Airways Flight 028, an ATR72-212A (B-22805), landed at Taipei Songshan Airport. As the aircraft taxied on Taxiway CC after landing, it made an early right turn onto a service road. The aircraft’s right wing hit a flood light pole and stopped. Two pilots, 2 cabin attendants and 24 passengers were on board. One cabin crew encountered minor injury. The front spar of the right wing of the aircraft was damaged.[36]
  • On 6 August 2005, Tuninter Flight 1153, a Tuninter ATR 72–202 en route from Bari, Italy, to Djerba, Tunisia, ditched in the Mediterranean Sea about 18 miles (29 km) from the city of Palermo. 16 of the 39 people on board died. The accident resulted from engine fuel exhaustion due to the installation of fuel quantity indicators designed for the ATR 42 in the larger ATR 72.[37]
  • On 24 August 2008, an Air Dolomiti ATR 72–500 en route from Munich, Germany, to Bologna, Italy, aborted take off after the pilot announced a smoke alarm. The airline treated the aircraft's evacuation as a mild incident. On 26 August, an amateur video, filmed by a bystander, showed 60 passengers jumping from and fleeing the burning aircraft before fire department workers extinguished the flames.[38]
  • On 4 August 2009, Bangkok Airways Flight 266, an ATR 72-212A from Bangkok Airways skidded into a disused tower at the airport on Koh Samui. The pilot of the aircraft died and 10 passengers were injured.
  • On 10 November 2009, Kingfisher Airlines Flight 4124, operated by ATR 72-212A VT-KAC skidded off the runway after landing at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, subsequently damaging the nose section severely. The aircraft came to a halt just a few metres away from the fuel tanks of the airport. All 46 passengers and crew escaped unharmed.[39]
  • On 4 November 2010, Aero Caribbean Flight 883, operated by an ATR 72–212, with 61 passengers and 7 crew members, crashed at Guasimal, Cuba, while en route from Santiago de Cuba to Havana. All 68 people on board were killed. The accident was due to the prevailing meteorological conditions and to the wrong decisions made by the crew.[40] The flight was due in Havana at 7:50 p.m. but had reported an emergency and lost contact with air traffic control at 5:42 p.m.[41]
  • On 17 July 2011, Aer Arann ATR 72–212 EI-SLM was damaged beyond economical repair when the nose gear collapsed on landing at Shannon International Airport, Ireland. The aircraft was operating an international scheduled passenger flight from Manchester Airport, United Kingdom. There were no injuries amongst the 4 crew and 21 passengers on board.[42]
  • On 2 April 2012, UTair Flight 120, a ATR 72–201 crashed soon after takeoff from Roshchino International Airport in western Siberia. 33 of the 43 passengers and crew on board were killed.[43] the crash cause was wrong de-icing procedures. The flight was from Tyumen to Surgut with 39 passenger and four crew members.
  • On 2 February 2013, a Carpatair ATR 72–212A flying on behalf of Alitalia crashed at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in Rome while landing after a flight from Pisa. 16 people were injured, 2 seriously, including the co-pilot. During the interval between the crash that Saturday evening and sunrise on Sunday, the turboprop – which had worn Alitalia's green, white and red livery – was repainted entirely in white.[44]
  • On 16 October 2013, Lao Airlines Flight 301, an ATR 72–600 crashed into the Mekong River whilst on approach to Pakse International Airport, Laos, killing all 49 people on board.[45] This incident marks the first ATR 72–600 to be written off in a crash.
  • On 23 July 2014, TransAsia Airways Flight 222, an ATR 72-500 crashed into hard ground whilst attempting an emergency landing on approach to Magong in Taiwan's Penghu county in the Taiwan Strait, killing 48-51 people and injuring 8.[46][47]
  • On 4 February 2015, TransAsia Airways Flight 235, an ATR 72-600 carrying 58 people crashed in Taipei, striking a road bridge before ending up in a river. This portion of the crash was captured on video by a dashcam in a car on the bridge.[48] 44 people have been confirmed dead, including a rescuer. At least 15 passengers survived.[49] The ATR-72 had just taken off from Taipei Songshan Airport and was headed to the outlying Kinmen islands, just off the coast of south-east China. Initial media reports indicate that the pilot called a mayday for an engine flameout.[49]

Specifications (ATR 72–600)

ATR 72 sideview
Line drawings of ATR

Data from ATR[50][51][52]

General characteristics
  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 68 (1-class, 31 in (79 cm) pitch) to 74 (1-class, 29 in (74 cm) pitch) passengers
  • Length: 27.17 m (89 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 27.05 m (88 ft 9 in)
  • Width: 2.57 m (8 ft 5 in) (maximum cabin width)
  • Height: 7.65 m (25 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 61.00 m2 (656.6 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 12.0:1[53]
  • Empty weight: 13,010 kg (28,682 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 22,800 kg (50,265 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb)
  • Typical payload: 7,500 kg (16,500 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127F turboprops, 1,846 kW (2,475 shp) each
  • Propellers: 568F-bladed Hamilton Standard, 3.93 m (12 ft 11 in) diameter


  • Cruise speed: 509 km/h; 316 mph (275 kn)
  • Range: 1,528 km; 949 mi (825 nmi) [51]
  • Service ceiling: 7,620 m (25,000 ft) [53]
  • Rate of climb: 6.88 m/s (1,355 ft/min)
  • Takeoff Run at MTOW: 1,333 m (4,373 ft)

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era



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  • Hoyle, Craig. "World Air Forces Directory". Flight International, Vol. 182, No. 5370, 11–17 December 2012. pp. 40–64. ISSN 0015-3710.
  • Jackson, Paul. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group, 2003. ISBN 0-7106-2537-5.

External links

  • Official site of manufacturer ATR
  • Launch of a New Generation – ATR 72–600 – Global Aviation Resource article
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