Tecnam’s flagship P2012 Traveller has taken a break from flight testing to make its international debut at Aero Friedrichshafen.
The Italian airframer – headquartered in Capua, near Naples – marked the introduction of the €2.2 million ($2.3 million) piston-twin with the launch at the show of a slot deposit programme, designed to add to what it describes as "an already healthy orderbook".
Tecnam says a deposit of €100,000 secures a 2019 delivery position and freezes the price of an ordered aircraft.
US regional airline Cape Air is launch customer for the Lycoming TEO-540-powered P2012, with a letter of intent for 100 units to replace its fleet of ageing Cessna 402 and Piper Navajo piston-twins. Tecnam chief executive Paolo Pascale says the Hyannis Port, Massachusetts-based carrier will take delivery of the first 10 aircraft in 2019.
"We have had a phenomenal response to the P2012 from aircraft owners and operators across the globe," he says. "We are now looking to expand our dedicated 5,000m² [53,800ft²] manufacturing facility in Capua to accommodate the growing demand."
Pascale attributes the P2012's popularity to what it he calls "its unique position in the market".
"There are no other piston-twins of this size under development," he says. The market has been "crying out" for a replacement for the many hundreds of heritage types in the US FAR 23 and European CS-23 categories, he says, such as the long-out-of-production Cessna 402.
The P2012 was unveiled at Aero in 2011 and made its maiden sortie in June 2016. The first prototype has flown more than 100h to date, Tecnam says, and the second test aircraft is scheduled to join the certification campaign in September.
"European and US certification are running in parallel, with final approval on target for December 2018," Pascale says.
Tecnam plans to deliver between 25 and 35 P2012s in 2019, and will ramp up production in the second and third years, he says.
The P2012 is available in a number of configurations including commuter, VIP, air ambulance, skydiving, cargo and surveillance.
Aero also marked the launch of second generation versions of the P2002 Sierra and P2010 piston-singles and the twin-engined P2006T. The updated models have a host of new features including new engines, upgraded avionics, as well as interior and exterior enhancements.