The Part 135 dedicated aircraft market is today based on old ‘heritage’ models, many of which are coming to the end of their useful commercial life.
The arrival into service of the next-generation 11 seat P2012 Traveller has been much anticipated by many airlines, who have been demanding a replacement for the many hundreds of ‘heritage’ aeroplanes in the FAR23/CS23 category currently in service around the world.
Airlines have been demanding a replacement for many hundreds of airplanes in the Part 23/CS23 category currently in service around the world – as many are now coming to the end of their useful commercial life.
The main rationale behind the design, development and introduction of the P2012 Traveller is to ensure that not only passenger’s demand for comfort and safety are met, but also that potential operators of the P2012 Traveller are now able to afford an airplane with significantly improved direct operating costs, more efficient and modern maintenance procedures and appreciation for ensuring that the industry takes into account global environmental considerations such as the need for lower fuel burn and less noise emissions. As shown in the table, all the aircraft within the 8-11 seats segment were introduced more than 45 years ago and many are still in commercial service use today, flying with an average age of 50 years!
With a forecast of an annual reduction of only 0.1% flight hours for the next 20 years1, the need of a modern and far more efficient aircraft is self-evident. It is noticeable that almost all aircraft listed in the table are characterized by a twin-engine arrangement, with the Caravan as the only single-engine aircraft in this category that has had commercial success. However in most countries commercial passenger transportation with a single engine aircraft is forbidden.
One of the essential features potential operators have also requested for this next-generation aircraft is to have short take-off capability, enabling them to operate on very short or even non-prepared runways. The P2012 has been designed to have a very low minimum control speed and this results in a take-off distance of about 1970 ft over the obstacle. The following table shows the technical comparison between the Tecnam P2012 Traveller and its direct competitors (including aircraft no longer in production).
1 GAMA data: Actually in US more than 1.100 piston airplanes operate as Passengers Carrying Platforms. They have now an average age of 45 years and within 20 years they will be 65 years old.