Posted on: 14 March 2011 by Mark Howells
ATR has gained EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) certification to operate both ATR 42-500 and ATR 72-500 aircraft at ground temperatures as low as –45°C.
Following EASA’s certification, Russia’s IAC (Interstate Aviation Committee) has also provided specific technical validation for these low temperature operations in Russia and other CIS countries.
This certification follows cold-weather tests performed in 2010, involving flight and ground testing of an ATR 72-500 at Yakutsk in Siberia, north-eastern Russia. EASA certification applies also to the ATR 42-500 due to the principle of ‘certification by similarity’, systems on the ATR 42-500 being the same as on the ATR 72-500.
ATR conducted inflight and ground tests to check the performance of engines, flaps, doors, avionics, flight controls and hydraulic, electrical and pneumatic systems at ground temperatures below –40°C. Tests included parking the aircraft overnight (soak cooling for 12 hours) and then starting re-heating systems, equipments and the cabin. EASA, as well as Russia’s IAC and Russian carrier UTAir supported ATR during the cold-weather test campaign.
The ATR 72-500 and 42-500, as well as older ATR 72 models, were previously certified by EASA and the US FAA to operate at ground temperatures to –35°C. After gaining EASA’s certification, ATR will apply also for –45°C ground operations certification with the US FAA.
This certification will enable ATR 42-500 and ATR 72-500 aircraft to operate in a larger range of cold environments worldwide, including Siberia, northern Europe and the US.
ATR has also launched, with Interstate Aviation Committee, a process to certify ATR aircraft for operations on unpaved runways within the Russian Federation. ATR aircraft are already certified by EASA for operations on unpaved runways.