Aviation

ATR readies first STOL prototype for early stage flight tests | News

Turboprop manufacturer ATR is nearing completion of the first phase of modifications to a 42-600 test aircraft to turn it into a short take-off and landing (STOL) variant.

Changes to MSN811 (F-WWLY) to bring it to the “partial STOL configuration” include reinforcement of the rear fuselage, installation of the auto-braking and ground spoiler systems, plus the control computers for those systems.

STOL-c-ATR

ATR says the next phase of ground testing will be followed by the first flight of the STOL variant.

Simone Stanchi, STOL programme director, says the early flight-test phase will run until around year-end.

“Eventually we will stop the aircraft again for a second conversion to bring the aircraft into its final configuration,” he says.

In particular, this second modification phase will see the installation of a new, large rudder, he says, ushering in another round of testing, including flights supporting certification; European approval is scheduled for the second half of 2024.

A fully configured 42-600S will be capable of landing on runways as short as 800m (2,625ft).

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