By Chase Hagl
ATR Announces Next Generation EVO Aircraft
French regional aircraft manufacturer ATR announced on Wednesday its plans for the development of a next-generation version of their best-selling turboprop aircraft. Through the addition of hybrid technology, the aircraft looks to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel and is scheduled to enter service in 2030.
The aircraft manufacturer is committed to addressing the impact and consequences of climate change, and therefore is doing its part to find sustainable solutions. The ATR EVO aircraft will feature a new powerplant with hybrid capability. The new innovative technologies look to improve performance, economics and sustainability, making the aircraft a viable option for customers in the less-than-90-seat market.
“Our next generation of aircraft will be a step forward in responsible flying through further incremental innovation. When it enters the market, the new ATR ‘EVO’ will pave the way towards a decarbonized future for aviation,” said ATR CEO Stefano Bortoli in a statement. “Key benefits include a 20% overall fuel improvement and 100% SAF compatibility. This means that the aircraft will emit over 50% less CO2 than a regional jet when powered by kerosene. When using 100% SAF, its emissions will be close to zero.”
The Toulouse-based company will work with airlines, engine manufacturers and systems providers in the coming months with the aim to launch the program by 2023.
The incorporated technologies developed by these companies look to help the already successful aircraft stand out that much more to customers, customers in an industry that is continuously pushing towards a more sustainable future.
“The ATR ‘EVO’ will be even more economical, with double-digit operating cost savings achieved in particular through 20% lower fuel burn and 20% overall maintenance cost reduction. This means airlines can serve thin routes more profitably, and communities can benefit from more connectivity, more essential services, and more economic development,” Fabrice Vautier, ATR Senior Vice President of Commercial, said in a statement. “Our aim is to continue to offer customers and society ever more inclusive and responsible air transportation.”
The ATR EVO will also feature an improved cabin, utilizing lighter, bio-sourced materials.
Leading Regional Aircraft Manufacturer
The manufacturer has been developing models of its highly-successful ATR 42 and 72 turboprop aircraft since the ’80s, having a presence all across the world. The largest passenger operator of the aircraft in the US is Fort-Lauderdale-based Silver Airways. The carrier currently has 17 ATR 42/72 in service.
The turboprop aircraft has a bit larger presence in the US among cargo carriers with Coeur D’Alene, ID-based Empire Airlines operating 17 ATR 42/72 aircraft, and Denver-based Mountain Air Cargo operating 16 ATR 42/72 aircraft.
In total, the aircraft has been chosen by 200+ companies in 100 countries around the world. According to ATR’s website, ATR aircraft open more than 100 new routes on average every year. The company attributes the aircraft’s popularity to its sustainability and competitive fuel burn: 40% less fuel and emits up to 40% less CO2 than regional jets.