Air Transport World

Finnish carriers critique new fleet additions. (Finnair, Finnaviation, KarAir)

Finnish carriers critique new fleet additions

The Aerospatiale/Aeritalia ATR 42, "has had more start-up problems than we like to see with a new type, but there is nothing to make me think that it will not become a good workhorse,' says Esko Kukkonen, Finnair VP engineering and maintenance.

Finnair and Command Airways of the U.S. became launch customers for the ATR 42 with orders in April 1982 and January 1986, respectively. Finnair also kicked-off the stretched version--the ATR 72. Delivery of the first Finnair 42, ship number six off the Toulouse, France, production line, was in March last year, with other following in July (ship no. 22), December (33), March this year (39) and April (44). Kukkonen and Hannu Alanen, Finnair ATR 42 project engineer, reviewed for ATW the airline's progress with the new type to date.

Kukkonen said that there had been problems with the air-conditioning design, in avionics and in general equipment. A continuing unsatisfactory situation existed with the propeller braking system, while the engine mounts needed changing more than usual--an improved mount was due at the end of July. The cargo door actuator had caused considerable frustration and had slowed down the normal fast turnround--to open the door manually took 20 minutes.

Stringent demands

A further problem was caused by the abnormal cold experienced in Finland last winter--as low as minus 36|C--with oil leaking from the Hamilton Standard propeller hubs through the seal of the propeller plate.

While Kukkonen was not happy with the time scale for obtaining spares, he accepted that it was not always the fault of the manufacturers. …

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