The first ATR 72-600F for parcel giant, Federal Express (FedEx), broke cover at Toulouse’s Blagnac Airport on September 16. On the same day, the Franco-Italian-built turboprop, F-WWEX (c/n 1653), had its maiden flight.
FedEx became the launch customer for the ATR 72-600F in November 2017 after making a commitment for 30 examples, with options for 20 more. According to the manufacturer, the type will become the first from its portfolio to be handed over directly from the factory in a freighter configuration.
The ATR 72-600 has a windowless fuselage with two doors, a forward large cargo door (LCD) – measuring 116in x 71in – and a smaller hinged example at the rear. The Pratt & Whitney PW127M-powered airframe will have a maximum structural payload of 19,600lb and a range of 900nm.
Speaking at the time of the deal, David L Cunningham, president and CEO of FedEx Express, said the freighter would play an important role in its global network, providing a “fast, economical service to small and medium sized markets”.