Tecnam’s next-generation, 11 seat P2012 Traveller has just been awarded full type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). With Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification expected to follow shortly, Tecnam are on track to commence deliveries in early 2019.
Tecnam expect the P2012 to open up profitable opportunities in the short-haul transportation segment particularly with airlines who have been demanding a replacement for the many hundreds of ‘heritage’ aeroplanes in the FAR23/CS23 category currently in service.
It’s been a brisk route to market. The P2012 Traveller development project was officially announced in 2015, with Tecnam investing in new state-of-the-art production facilities in Capua, Italy. The first P2012 prototype swiftly followed, making its maiden flight in July 2016.
The two prototypes used in the certification programme have flown a total of 600 hours with Tecnam Experimental pilot Lorenzo De Stefano. The flight test programme included sorties in severe environments: in real icing conditions and very hot temperatures, at altitudes and speeds not usually encountered in everyday operations with diving speeds and flutter conditions being rigorously tested.
Particular care has been applied to cabin safety, evacuation and fire protection tests, exceeding the CS23 EASA and FAR23 FAA requirements and reaching Commuter category standards (for aircraft up to 19 passengers). For other features, such as seating safety, Tecnam met the more restrictive CS-23 FAR 23 rules.
Michele Olivia, Head of Design at Tecnam, was at pains to point out her colleagues’ hard work: “I need to say thanks to all our engineers of Tecnam Design Office, authorities’ representatives and our partners, but especially to the technicians of the Experimental Department that set-up the aircraft for testing, often working until late at night, to let us be ready for the following morning’s tests. I am especially proud that we have successfully completed the project that the late Professor Luigi Pascale started. We know we have achieved all that he envisioned in the development of this game changing aeroplane.”
The Aircraft Configuration
The aircraft is configured as a high wing, twin engine machine powered by two Lycoming 6 cylinder, turbo pistons TEO540C1A. The P2012 Traveller is the first piston aircraft with electronic management of engine power, which, when coupled with Garmin autopilot, enables a reduced workload for pilots and an extended lifetime for the engines. The anti-ice/de-icer is a TKS Ice Protection system from Cav Ice, making the aircraft FIKI compliant and capable of flying in most weather. Design and manufacturing of the seats is exclusive to Tecnam, ensuring safety and Italian styling.
The P2012’s versatility aims to open up new unexplored opportunities as a passenger aircraft including missions as a Medevac, VIP or cargo platform. The first P2012 Traveller will be delivered to United States regional airline Cape Air in early 2019. Cape Air is based in Hyannis, Massachusetts and is one of the largest independent regional airlines in the US.