ATR, a 50:50 joint venture between the Airbus Group and Alenia Aeronautica, Italy, will probably be the first aircraft manufacturer to bring out a 90 seat turboprop aircraft. The turboprop market is limited, and very evidently, the 90 seat turboprop will need to be sufficiently attractive to airlines, so that it can effectively compete, and sometimes complement 90+ seat regional jets and mainline jets.
ATR9X is an academically-only driven open project that has everything to do with a 90 seat turboprop. While the project has nothing to do with ATR, officially, it has everything to do with the aircraft manufacturer’s yet-to-be-announced-90 seat turboprop. Note: No copyright or intellectual property infringement is intended. This is purely an academic activity and must be looked upon solely from this viewpoint.
This independent academic project is particularly interesting on many fronts. First, Airbus’ stake in the venture will heavily influence the design of the aircraft, mostly at the front end of the airplane: the cockpit, so that for an airline, the ATR and Airbus jets are very similar in philosophy. Second, the Airbus Group has its own large turboprop: the A400M, and there may be significant design and/or technological borrows from the large aircraft’s blueprint into the new 90 seat clean-sheet turboprop. Third, with ATR’s turboprop success eclipsing that of its only noteworthy competitor: Bombardier, ATR’s turboprop will be interesting to study, and for all of us involved in this project, interesting to independently design the aircraft.
ATR has openly expressed its strong desire to kick start its 90 seat turboprop project. ATR9X, a project that is neither supported nor recognized by ATR, yet, is open to everyone who wishes to do something beyond the ordinary: the chance to work your creativity, within realistic bounds and project definitions, and come up with a 90 seat design.
Project ATR9X is looking for (but not limited to) ATR72 rated pilots, ATR72 rated maintenance engineers, digital artists, 3D-modellers, CFD analysts, and those who are well versed with developing aircraft models on X-Plane. Anyone who has a strong reason and/or skill to contribute, is welcome to join the ATR9X project design group.
To get a clearer picture of how we plan to proceed with this project, I request you to click here: Introduction.