TYPE: Twin-turboprop airliner.

PROGRAMME: Stretched version of ATR 42; announced at 1985 Paris Air Show; launched 15 January 1986; three development aircraft built; first flights 27 October 1988 (F-WWEY), 20 December 1988 (F-WWEZ, c/n 108) and 18 April 1989 (OH-KRA, c/n 126); French and US certification 25 September and 15 November 1989 respectively; deliveries, to Kar Air of Fiuland, began 27 October 1989 (OH-KRB); UK certification 30 July 1993.

CURRENT VERSIONS: ATR 72-200: Initial production version; two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW124B turboprops, each rated at 1,611 kW (2,160 shp) for normal take-off and 1,790 kW (2,400 shp) with ATPCS; Hamilton Sundstrand 14SF-11 four-blade propellers. Also cargo version, capable of carrying 13 small containers. Now discontinued.
ATR 72-210: Improved hot/high performance version with PW127 engines rated at 1,849 kW (2,480 shp) and Hamilton Sundstrand 247F propellers with composites blades on steel hubs; ATPCS power 2,059 kW (2,760 shp); carries 17 to 19 more passengers than standard ATR 72 in WAT-limited conditions; French and US certification 15 and 18 December 1992, German on 24 February 1993; first delivery December 1992.
ATR 72-500: Launched as ATR 72-210A. Improved hot/high performance version with PW127 engines, six-blade propellers and redesigned interior. First flight 19 January 1996; DGAC certification achieved 14 January 1997; first delivery (to American Eagle) 31 July 1997.
Description applies to ATR 72-500, except where indicated.
ATR 72 Tube: cargo version (formerly Cargo QC) similar to ATR 42 Tube; maximum payload 9,180 kg (20,238 lb) and total cargo volume 75.5 m3 (2,666 cu ft). Door size as ATR 42 Tube, six spider nets standard. Parallel section length 14.75 m (48 ft 4¾ in). MTOW in this configuration 22,500 kg (49,604 lb), MLW 22,350 kg (49,273 lb), MZFW 20,500 kg (45,195 lb).
ATR 72 Large Cargo Door: As ATR 72 Tube; 1.80 x 2.95 m (5 ft 11 in x 9 ft 8 in) upward-opening cargo door in port front fuselage behind cockpit to permit loading of seven LD3 containers or five ULD pallets. Space for 5.8 m3 (205 cu ft) cargo in tapered rear fuselage section. Weights as ATR 72 Tube. First retrofit (to c/n 108) completed for Farnair by Aeronavali (subsidiary of Alenia Aeronautica) in June 2002.
ATR 72 ASW: Projected anti-submarine warfare version, based on ATR 42 but also offering 1,270 kg (2,800 lb) payload including torpedoes, depth charges and anti-ship missiles. None yet built.

CUSTOMERS: Total 301 ATR 72s ordered up to 17 June 2003, at which time 287 delivered. Deliveries in 1998 totalled 21 and in 1999 numbered 23. Orders in 2000 totalled 18 plus six options; 15 (all -500s) delivered in 2001 and 14 in 2002.

DESIGN FEATURES: As ATR 42, but with more power, more fuel, greater wing span/area, and longer fuselage for up to 74 passengers.

FLYING CONTROLS: As for ATR 42 but vortex generators ahead of ailerons and aileron horn balances shielded by wingtip extensions; vortex generators under leading-edge of elevators.

STRUCTURE: Generally as for ATR 42, but new wings outboard of engine nacelles have CFRP front and rear spars, self-stiffening CFRP skin panels and light alloy ribs, resulting in weight saving of 120 kg (265 lb); sweepback on outer panels 2o 18' at quarter-chord. Trials of an all-composites tail assembly were conducted in 1997 and the structure incorporated in all production aircraft from 1998. The major airframe inspection period for the ATR 72 was increased on 2 October 1997 from 24,000 to 36,000 cycles, with a corresponding reduction in maintenance cost, bringing it in line with the ATR 42 family.

LANDING GEAR: Messier-Hispano-Bugatti units with Dunlop wheels (tyres size H34x10.0R16 (14 ply), pressure 7.86 bar; 114 lb/sq in) and structural carbon brakes; nosewheel tyre as ATR 42. Minimum ground turning radius 19.76 m (64 ft 10 in).

POWER PLANT: ATR 72-500: Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127F turboprops, each rated at 1,864 kW (2,500 shp) for normal flight and 2,051 kW (2,750 shp) for take-off, driving Ratier-Figeac/Hamilton Sundstrand 568F six-blade, all-composites propellers. Fuel capacity 6,337 litres (1,674 US gallons; 1,394 Imp gallons), comprising ATR 42 tanks, plus additional 637 litres (168 US gallons; 140 Imp gallons) in outer wings; pressure refuelling point in starboard main landing gear fairing.

ACCOMMODATION: Basic 68 passengers at 79 cm (31 in) seat pitch; other seating configurations range from 64 seats at 81 cm (32 in) to 72 seats at 76 cm (30 in); plus second cabin attendant's seat. Single baggage compartment at rear of cabin; two at front. Forward door, with a service door opposite on starboard side. Service door on each side at rear, that on port side replaced by a passenger door when cargo door is fitted at front. Two additional emergency exits (one each side); both rear doors also serve as emergency exits. Increased-capacity air conditioning system.

AVIONICS: More advanced avionics of ATR 72-500 have been transferred into ATR 42-500.