Italian general aviation aircraft manufacturer Tecnam has returned to EBACE to debut the Continental GTSIO-520-S-powered version of its P2012 Traveller piston-twin.

Although lacking the FADEC of the standard Lycoming TEO-540 C1A-powered model, it is cheaper and offers better take-off and landing performance, says Francesco Sferra, P2012 sales and business development manager for special mission platforms.


Source: BillyPix

Sferra: STOL version of P2012 will make no runway inaccessible

The Continental-engined P2012 boasts a take-off distance of 682m (2,237ft) and a landing distance of 558m and delivers a range of 1,350nm (2,500km), against respective figures of the 790m, 743m and 1,000nm for the Lycoming-powered model.

In addition, the Continental engine drives a three-blade MT Propeller while the Lycoming powers MT’s four-blade version. Both engine models are rated at 375hp (280kW).

“This aircraft will appeal to those operators who like to fly the classic models but really need the extra range and landing capabilities,” says Sferra. The aircraft was announced in mid-2023 and is scheduled to enter service with an unnamed commercial customer in the third quarter.

“This customer has two aircraft on order, both of which we expect to hand over by the end of September,” says Sferra.

Tecnam also announced during the show that the short take-off and landing (STOL) version of the P2012 has received European Union Aviation Safety Agency certification for steep approaches of up to 10°.

Launched in March 2023, the first examples of the 11-seater were handed over in early May to Seychelles operator Island Development Company. A further three units are scheduled for delivery in the next quarter to Caribbean carrier St Barth Executive.

Sferra says that, with the latest approval, “there is no inaccessible runway for the P2012 STOL”.

Tecnam implemented a series of modifications to achieve the STOL performance, including a 2.6m (8.5ft) extension to the wing, growing wingspan to 16.6m from 14m on the baseline model, dedicated flaps and updated flight controls. As a result, take-off distance is 425m and landing distance 360m.

The market for small commercial STOL operations is largely served by single-engined turboprops such as the Cessna Caravan and Daher Kodiak series, and the ageing Britten-Norman BN2 Islander twin.

“The single-engined types lack the versatility of piston-twins, but the P2012 is the only aircraft in this niche to have been developed since the 1960s,” says Sferra.

Tecnam believes the addressable market for the P2012 STOL “runs into the thousands”.

“This aircraft fully loaded will be able to access some of the shortest runways and unpaved trips in the world, not only served by charter and commercial operators but also by private owners,” says Sferra.

Sferra: STOL version of P2012 will make no runway inaccessible