Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
1337Delta764
Topic Author
Posts: 5977
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:02 am

Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:48 pm

I was wondering, is there any particular reason why ATR never made a regional jet? Similar to how Dornier converted the 328 turboprop into the 328Jet, would have an ATR 72Jet been successful?

Does it have to do with EADS being the parent company of Airbus? It would have been interesting if ATR were to convert the ATR 72 into an ATR 72Jet.
 
Okie
Posts: 4250
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:30 am

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:02 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
Similar to how Dornier converted the 328 turboprop into the 328Jet, would have an ATR 72Jet been successful?

The problem with the 328J was a straight wing (low mach number speeds) trying to be pushed by a jet the was designed for higher mach number application with swept wings.
The efficiencies were terrible.
The ATR has the same issue the wing is designed for lower speeds than a jet is efficient.

The manufacturers for less than 100 seat swept wing jet aircraft is pretty crowded now.

Okie
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:48 am

When the plans for what was to have been called the ATR-82 were being bandied about, ATR actually considered making it a turbofan powered a/c before deciding to stick with turboprops. Of course this variant never made it beyond the paper stage. While one could potentially use the fuselage for a regional jet design, they would have to design a new wing and tail for such a plane. At this point, ATR would be foolish to try to jump into the regional jet market when they have a great thing going with their current offerings and whatever updates they have planned for them.
 
User avatar
mercure1
Posts: 5189
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:13 am

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:57 am

Maybe a little history lesson is in order.

ATR (Avions de Transport Regional) was a 50/50 joint French Aerospatiale and Italian Aeritalia venture formed specifically to build a turboprop regional aircraft. Both manufacturers were in the process of developing their individual models in the late 1970s, but it was felt that they should instead work together.

Think of this a little like the GE-Snecma venture formed to build the CFM engine. Specific partnership for a specific product.

Through various European mergers, the venture company now falls under the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), same company as Airbus.

At the end, ATR never built anything else as its mandate and partnership agreement was for a single specific product. Its really unknown if Aerospatiale or Aeritalia or EADS now would want ATR to make other product types. It could be the parent companies have other ideas.
mercure f-wtcc
 
prebennorholm
Posts: 7156
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:47 am

The "political" aspects mentioned by Mercure1 in reply #3 are correct. In addition there are technical aspects as well.

The turboprops in operation today belong to two groups:
1. Slow and low flying planes with short range (ceiling FL250).
2. Faster and higher flying planes with longer range.

The ATR definitely belongs to Group 1 together wih planes like Fokker 50, BAe ATP, Q300 and such.
While the Do 328 belongs to group 2 together with planes like Saab 2000 and Q400.

Jet engines have a rather terrible performance at slow speed, low altitude and thick air. Therefore group 1 can never be candidates for jet conversion. But group 1 has other advantages: Lower cabin pressure difference = lighter fuselage structure, no need for passenger oxygen masks, just to name a few.

The Do 328 Jet got slightly faster with jet engines, but I think that the primary reason for making it was reduced cabin noise and vibrations. And it happened at a time when fuel cost was a much smaller fraction of operating costs.

It also happened while Fairchild-Dornier was dreaming of becoming a major player in the airliner business with their 428, 528, 728 and 928 projects. Head on competition with the E-jets and CRJ-700/-900/-1000. They managed to produce one and a half 728 prototypes before they folded.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:41 am

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 3):
Maybe a little history lesson is in order.

Yes, indeed, a little history...

Back in the late '90s, every man and his dog - a slight exaggeration but not by much   , were trying to market regional jets, ATR included. Why?... on the one hand, there were too many players in the regional game and no one was making money while, on the other hand, BBD and EMB were beginning to erode the turboprop market with their RJs. After a few iterations, the ATR Airjet concept ended up being a Snecma/PWC SPW14 powered RJ with wing mounted engines and a five abreast cabin. The flavors were: 60 seat Airjet 100; 70/75 seat Airjet 200; and 90-95 seat Airjet 300.

The regional aviation scene was quite scrambled eggs at the time (others would say it was "exciting").  
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
User avatar
scbriml
Posts: 19942
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:37 pm

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:57 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
I was wondering, is there any particular reason why ATR never made a regional jet?

Two main reasons:

1 - Too many players in the sector.

2 - ATR are far too busy pumping out TurboProps.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
FlyHossD
Posts: 2186
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:45 pm

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:38 pm

Quoting srbmod (Reply 2):
When the plans for what was to have been called the ATR-82 were being bandied about, ATR actually considered making it a turbofan powered a/c before deciding to stick with turboprops. Of course this variant never made it beyond the paper stage. While one could potentially use the fuselage for a regional jet design, they would have to design a new wing and tail for such a plane. At this point, ATR would be foolish to try to jump into the regional jet market when they have a great thing going with their current offerings and whatever updates they have planned for them.

I attended one of their presentations to my carrier. It would have been as minimal of a change as possible (like the Do328 to Do328J). I do remember discussion of other configurations at that meeting, but it was clear that ATR wanted to keep costs low - or not bother.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 5):
After a few iterations, the ATR Airjet concept ended up being a Snecma/PWC SPW14 powered RJ with wing mounted engines and a five abreast cabin. The flavors were: 60 seat Airjet 100; 70/75 seat Airjet 200; and 90-95 seat Airjet 300.

Yes, I remember those, too. Seems like decades ago (oh wait, it was).
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:48 pm

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 7):
Yes, I remember those, too. Seems like decades ago (oh wait, it was).

I keep forgetting that a lot of A.netters are of more "recent" vintage and would not be familiar with what was going on 20 years ago... the plethora of turboprops and the jet dreamers (schemers?) around every corner.  
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
r2rho
Posts: 3096
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:13 pm

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:49 pm

Funny how times (and fuel prices!) change... the regional jet madness almost killed ATR back then, with production dropping to minimal levels, and IIRC, even the option to terminate the program was on the table. Seen from that perspective, ATR would have had good reasons to enter the regional jet market just to not fall out of trend. Fortunately however, ATR survived through those rough years (in the process, likely optimizing their production to be viable even at low rates), and came back very strong when fuel prices started killing the 50-seat jet. Now ATR is selling props like mad, and with hindsight, it turned out to be the right decision to stay out, even if it meant going against the general trend of the time.
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:39 pm

Quoting r2rho (Reply 9):
and IIRC, even the option to terminate the program was on the table.

That was one option but they looked at various mergers as well, none of which went through and ended up with the short-lived AI(R) (and unsuccessful) arrangement.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:04 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 4):
The turboprops in operation today belong to two groups:
1. Slow and low flying planes with short range (ceiling FL250).
2. Faster and higher flying planes with longer range.

The Q400 is also limited to maximum altitude of FL250 like all other Dash 8 (and ATR) models, presumably due to lack of drop-down passenger oxygen masks.
 
User avatar
JetBuddy
Posts: 2651
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:04 am

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:30 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 11):
The Q400 is also limited to maximum altitude of FL250 like all other Dash 8 (and ATR) models, presumably due to lack of drop-down passenger oxygen masks.

The Q400 is offered with oxygen masks as well, and a maximum operating altitude of 27,000 and range of 1560NM.. which is pretty good for a turboprop.

(My first A-net post.. yay! Been reading the forums for years, it was time to sign up.)
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:29 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 11):
The Q400 is also limited

The limit is a structural design limitation.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
columba
Posts: 5265
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:12 pm

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:32 pm

Another question since American Eagle is in the process of phasing their ATRs out, any chance there will be new orders coming from North American (US and Canada) carriers ? With the -600 ATR seems to have a very good product.

I also could see older ATRs finding their way up north (Alaska Northern Canada) as freighters, seems to be the logical replacement for some of the oldies still flying there.
Air Berlin - gone but not forgotten
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Why ATR Never Made A Regional Jet?

Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:08 am

Quoting columba (Reply 14):
I also could see older ATRs finding their way up north (Alaska Northern Canada) as freighters, seems to be the logical replacement for some of the oldies still flying there.

Some older ATRs are already being used as freighters (and combis) in northern Canada. This ATR-72-200 operated by YWG-based Calm Air was built in 1993 and seved with several carriers in Europe before being acquired by Calm Air in 2010.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jason Pineau Photography



Same aircraft with one of its previous operators (Ctyflyer Express):


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Charles Falk



Another ATR-72-200 now operating in the Canadian Arctic with First Air. Built 1994, Acquired by First Air in 2011.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Daniel Lapierre Forget



Previous operator:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Charles Falk

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos