By the early 1980s, the British Aerospace 748 airliner had exhausted the modernization reserves of its design. On March 6, 1984, British Aerospace decided to develop an improved version of it. The main goal of the company was to capture its niche in the promising market of regional airliners in the fight against competitors such as the Franco-Italian ATR 72.
As a result of the development, the British Aerospace ATR (Advanced TurboProp – Advanced Turboprop) aircraft appeared, which first took off on August 6, 1986. It was a development of the 748 models with an elongated fuselage, swept keel, and many small innovations, which in general significantly updated the design, as well as a completely new power plant. By car, there were two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW126A turboprop engines with a capacity of 2653 liters each. with. (1979 kW) rotating six-blade BAe / Hamilton Standard low-speed propellers with reduced noise. The screws had blades made of composite materials. The fuel was refueled in two tanks built in the wing with a capacity of 6364 liters.
The Dowty chassis is a three-post type with twin wheels on each rack. The main racks were cleaned by turning forward into the niches of the nacelles. The design of the nacelles has become more streamlined than on the 748. The crew consisted of four people (two pilots in the cockpit equipped with a digital EFIS system and two flight mechanics). Passenger seats in the cabin stood in pairs on the sides of the central aisle. The standard layout accommodated 64/68 passengers. Armchairs could be arranged denser – for 72 seats, and freer – for 60 seats.
The first serial APR took off on February 20, 1987. In March 1988, he received certification in Europe, and in August – in the United States. The first new car was received by British Midland Airways, and the first commercial flight took place on May 9, 1988. With the delivery to Loganair and Manx Airlines of the Airlines of Britain Group, the fleet of APRs of this group increased to 16. Other airlines in Europe, Africa, North America, and the Far East also received aircraft. However, despite its innovations, APR machines were not in special demand. Production ended with the delivery of only 64 copies.
Options were offered for naval aviation and AWACS, but no customers were found. The latest version of the APR project was successful. BAe and West Air Sweden set up a joint venture to remake these vehicles into transport vehicles. At the end of 2008, modified aircraft equipped with airborne cargo hatches began to be operated by West Air. Already refitted nine of these machines. A few more aircraft are being converted under the Eurofreighter brand. By September 2009, about 40 APRs remained in operation.
In 1985-1986 the corporation was negotiating with the Ministry of Aviation Industry of the former USSR on the possibility of mass production of an APR aircraft at a plant that the English side had planned to build in the USSR. However, at that time a similar Il-114 aircraft was being developed in our country, and this proposal was not developed.
In 1993, the newly formed Jetstream Aircraft division proposed an improved version of the ATR aircraft, called the Jetstream 61. It was supposed to use PW127D engines with a capacity of 2750 hp each. One of the prototype APR aircraft was converted to a new theater and made its first flight in May 1994. Even though in June 1995 the aircraft was certified and three production aircraft were built (subsequently mothballed), the program did not receive further development.
- Modification: ATP
- Wingspan, m: 30.63
- Aircraft length, m: 26.01
- Aircraft Height, m: 7.59
- Wing Area, m2: 78.30
- Weight kg: empty loaded aircraft 14193; maximum take-off 23670
- Fuel, l 6365
- Engine Type: 2 theater Pratt Whitney Canada PW126A
- Power, hp: 2 x 2560
- Maximum speed, km / h: 570
- Cruising speed, km / h: 493
- Practical range, km: 3600
- Range, km: 1825
- Practical ceiling, m: 12000
- Crew: 2
- Payload: 64-72 passengers