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The ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop short-haul regional airliner built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR.

ATR and Airbus are both built in Toulouse, and share resources and technology. It seats up to 78 passengers in a single-class configuration and is operated by a two-pilot crew.

atr 72 cockpit

ATR 72 Development

The ATR 72 was developed from the ATR 42 in order to increase the seating capacity (48 to 78) 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, and made its maiden flight on 27 October 1988. Exactly one year after that, on 27 October 1989, Finnair became the first airline to put the plane into service. Since then, at least 408 ATR 72s have been delivered worldwide with orders pending on at least 28 more.

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Passengers are boarded using the rear door (which is rare for a passenger plane) 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.

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.

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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 #2 (right) engine, allowing the turbine to run and provide air and power to the aircraft without the propeller spinning. The downside to the prop brake is improper usage; many airlines have burned out these brakes, so some companies have removed them from the aircraft entirely.

Types Of ATR 72 Aircraft - Variants

ATR 72–100
Two sub-types were marketed as the 100 series (−100)

ATR 72–101
Initial production variant powered by two PW124B engines and certified in September 1989.

ATR 72–102
PW124B powered variant certified in December 1989

ATR 72–200
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).

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 72–500

ATR 72-212A
Marketed as the −500 and certified in January 1997 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 72–600
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 at 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 RNP capabilities. It will also include the new lighter and more comfortable seats and larger overhead baggage bins. The −600 series ATR aircraft were introduced during the second half of 2010. The ATR 72–600 Series launch customer is Royal Air Maroc Express (deliveries begin in July 2011).

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Other ATR 72 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.

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 and has been selected by Turkish Navy and Italian Navy for ASW and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) duties. Ten aircraft will be delivered to the Turkish Navy beginning in 2010. Italy's order of four aircraft will begin deliveries in 2012. For ASW and ASuW missions, the aircraft will be armed with a pod-mounted machine gun, lightweight aerial torpedoes, anti-surface missiles, and depth charges. They will also be equipped with the AMASCOS (Airborne Maritime Situation and Control System) maritime surveillance system of Thales, as well as electronic warfare and reconnaissance systems, and will also be used for maritime search and rescue operations.


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

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.

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ATR 72 Specifications General characteristics

Crew: 2
Capacity: 68 to 74 passengers
Length: 27.17 m (89 ft 2 in)
Wingspan: 27.05 m (88 ft 9 in)
Height: 7.65 m (25 ft 1 in)
Wing area: 61.00 m2 (656.6 sq ft)
Aspect ratio: 12.0:1
Empty weight: 12,950 kg (28,550 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 22,500 kg (49,604 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127F turboprops, 1,846 kW (2,475 shp) each

atr 72 american nose view

ATR 72 Performance

Cruise speed: 511 km/h; 318 mph (276 kn)
Range: 1,324 km (823 mi; 715 nmi)
Service ceiling: 7,620 m (25,000 ft)
Takeoff Run at MTOW: 1,165 m (3,822 ft)

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Airlines That Operate The ATR 72

Republic of Ireland Aer Arann (8 + 8 on order) as a franchise of Republic of Ireland Aer Lingus Regional.
Cuba Aero Caribbean (5)
Algeria Air Algérie (12)
Réunion Air Austral (3)
Myanmar Air Bagan (3)
Botswana Air Botswana (2)
New Caledonia Air Calédonie (2)
Guadeloupe Air Caraïbes (3)
Republic of Ireland Air Contractors (12)
Italy Air Dolomiti (10)
Madagascar Air Madagascar (2)
Myanmar Air Mandalay (1)
Mauritius Air Mauritius (2)
New Zealand Air New Zealand (11 + 12 on order)
Spain Air Nostrum (5)
French Polynesia Air Tahiti (7)
Vanuatu Air Vanuatu (1)
France Airlinair (8)
Italy Alitalia Express (10 - in storage)
Israel Arkia Israel Airlines (5)
Guernsey Aurigny Air Services (3)
Germany Avanti Air (1)
Azerbaijan AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines (4)
Brazil Azul Brazilian Airlines (20)
Thailand Bangkok Airways (8)
Albania Belle Air (1)
Nepal Buddha Air (3)
Malaysia Berjaya Air (4)
Bosnia and Herzegovina B&H Airlines (2)
Spain Binter Canarias (19)
Turkey BoraJet Turkey (4)
Uruguay BQB Líneas Aéreas (2)
Canada Calm Air (2)
Cambodia Cambodia Angkor Air (2)
United States Cape Air (2)
Trinidad and Tobago Caribbean Airlines (5)
France CCM Airlines (6)
Philippines Cebu Pacific (8)
Equatorial Guinea Ceiba Intercontinental (2)
China China Southern Airlines (5)
Denmark Cimber Sterling (4)
Venezuela Conviasa (7)
Slovakia DanubeWings (3)
Denmark DAT Danish Air Transport (2)
United States Empire Airlines (7)
Poland EuroLOT (10)
Puerto Rico Executive Airlines as a franchise for United States American Eagle (39)
Switzerland Farnair Switzerland (12)
United States FedEx Express (21)
Malaysia Firefly (9)
Canada First Air (2)
Finland Flybe Nordic (10 + 2 on order)
Kenya Fly540 (1 (Ghana)
Sweden Golden Air (5)
Cape Verde Halcyonair (2)
Spain Helitt Líneas Aéreas (3)
Iran Iran Aseman Airlines (5)
United States Island Air (1)
Spain Islas Airways (5)
Israel Israir (2)
Serbia Jat Airways (4)
India Jet Airways (20)
Indonesia Kal Star Aviation (3)
India Kingfisher Airlines (25)
Laos Lao Airlines (4)
Malaysia MASwings (10)
Indonesia Merpati Nusantara Airlines (1)
United States Mountain Air Cargo (9) operated for United States FedEx Express
Myanmar Myanma Airways (3)
Spain Naysa Aerotaxis (10) operated for Spain Binter Canarias
Thailand Nok Air (2)
Poland OLT Express (9)
Oman Oman Air (2)
Tanzania Precision Air (9)
Morocco Royal Air Maroc (4)
Thailand Royal Thai Air Force (4)
Colombia Satena (1)
Tunisia Sevenair (3)
Australia Skywest Airlines (8) operated on wet lease for Australia Virgin Australia
Spain Swiftair (13)
Syria Syrian Air (2)
Cape Verde TACV Cabo Verde Airlines (2)
Romania Tarom (2)
Taiwan TransAsia Airways (9)
Indonesia Trigana Air Service (3)
Brazil TRIP Linhas Aéreas (20)
Bangladesh United Airways (2)
Nigeria Overland Airways (1)
Russia UTair Aviation (17)
Ukraine UTair-Ukraine (5)
Vietnam Vietnam Airlines (16, 2 leased by Cambodia Cambodia Angkor Air) 2 operated on wet lease for Vietnam VASCO
Indonesia Wings Air (17 + 43 on order)

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Major firm orders include:

Nigeria Overland Airways (5)
Spain Air Nostrum (10) as a franchise for Spain Iberia
Brazil Azul Brazilian Airlines (20, with 20 options)
Philippines Cebu Pacific (2, with 8 options)
Malaysia Firefly (12, 10 options)
Finland Finncomm Airlines (3)
Korea Hansung Airlines (20)
India Kingfisher Airlines (38)
Malaysia MASwings (10, 3 options)
Brazil Pantanal Linhas Aéreas (2)
Morocco Regional Air Lines (8) as a franchise for Morocco Royal Air Maroc
Bangladesh United Airways (2)
Australia Skywest Airlines (18) to be operated by under wet lease for Australia Virgin Australia
Indonesia Wings Air (43)

atr 72 cabin photo

ATR 72 Notable Crashes Accidents and Incidents

On 31 October 1994, American Eagle Flight 4184 crashed due to icing in Roselawn, Indiana killing all 68 people on board. The accident had a significant effect on procedures for dealing with ATR in-flight icing as well as US airlines' utilization of ATR aircraft in specific geographical areas. After a period of mandatory grounding, American Eagle and Delta Connection permanently stopped using the plane on temperate routes. Since the Eagle incidents, ATR had improved the anti-ice boots, though ice-related incidents continued with the type, including a 2002 crash (see below) and a 2009 event where a smaller ATR-42 variant crashed during landing, in icy conditions. Despite this, ATRs are still used in European markets, including the Nordic countries. The ATR is also operated in the High Arctic by various Canadian Airlines.

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 plane 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 plane's major components, resulting in the aircraft's loss of control. The investigation identified that flight crew did not respond to the severe icing conditions with the appropriate alert situation awareness and did not take the necessary actions.

On 6 August 2005, Tuninter Flight 1153, a Tuninter ATR 72 en route from Bari, Italy, to Djerba, Tunisia, ditched in the Mediterranean Sea about 18 miles (29 km) from the city of Palermo. Sixteen 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.

On 24 August 2008, an Air Dolomiti ATR 72 en route from Munich, Germany, to Bologna, Italy, abandoned take off after the pilot announced a smoke alarm. The airline treated the plane'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 plane before fire department workers extinguished the flames.

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.

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 on 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 taken by the crew. 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.

On 13 February 2012 Danish Air Transport DX627, operated by an ATR-72 with 16 passengers on route from Bergen to Moss (Oslo) Airport Rygge had trouble with the front landing wheel and performed an emergency landing at Rygge Airport. All passengers and crew escaped unharmed.

On 2 April 2012 UTair Flight 120 crashed soon after take-off from Roschino International Airport in western Siberia. 33 of the 43 passengers and crew on board were killed (10 survivors); the crash is still under investigation. The flight was from Tyumen to Surgut with 39 passenger and 4 crew members.

atr 72 cockpit photo

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