Tecnam’s top-of-the-range P2012 Traveller took another step towards certification on 22 December, when the Italian airframer's second flying prototype joined the test campaign.
Equipped with seating for nine passengers and a Garmin G1000NXi flightdeck, the production-conforming piston-twin is described by the company as the “template” for all P2012 customer aircraft.
The new arrival joins the initial test vehicle, which made its maiden sortie on 21 July 2016 and has since flown more than 250h from Tecnam’s headquarters in Capua, near Naples.
European and US type certification remain on track for the fourth quarter of 2018, leading to service entry of the rugged, all-metal Traveller in early 2019.
US regional carrier Cape Air is the launch customer and a co-developer of the €2.2 million ($2.6 million) high-wing aircraft, which was unveiled by Tecnam in March 2011.
The Lycoming TEO-540-C1A-powered twin will replace the Hyannis, Massachusetts-based operator’s fleet of 80 out-of-production Cessna 402s, and will be delivered at a rate of 20 a year between 2019 and 2023.
Tecnam says the Traveller’s arrival is “highly anticipated” by airlines and charter operators, which have been demanding a replacement for the “many hundreds of heritage aeroplanes in the FAR23/CS23 category currently in service around the world, and coming to the end of their useful commercial life”.
While it will not disclose the size of the Traveller orderbook, Tecnam says it is attracting “significant” interest in the flagship from VIP, cargo and air ambulance operators across the globe, with many having already paid €100,000 ($118,200) to secure a 2019 delivery position.
The Traveller has a maximum take-off weight of 3,600kg (7,930lb), a cruise speed of 190kt (350km/h), a range of more than 900nm (1,665km) and a fuel capacity of 800 litres (211USgal).