Italian airframer Tecnam has secured European certification for the next-generation P2006T piston-twin, following its launch in April.
The upgraded model features the Garmin G1000NXi flightdeck – the latest iteration of the G1000 line – ADS-B In and Out as standard, and a host of interior upgrades, including a new seat design with electronic switches to control height and comfort, and an improved lighting system. US validation is expected shortly, says Tecnam.
The company, based in Capua, near Naples, has delivered more than 200 P2006Ts since the first example entered service eight years ago.
In late July, it handed over a second P2006T fuselage for NASA’s X-57 Maxwell electric-powered propulsion research programme. The first demonstrator, equipped with a high-aspect wing supporting a 14-motor electric propulsion system, has been in flight testing with NASA for more than a year and an early version of the modified P2006T is expected to be ready in early 2018, Tecnam says.
NASA’s goal is to prove that battery powered electric motors distributed across the wing can produce a 500% reduction in the total energy needed to propel a general aviation aircraft at 150kt (280km/h).
Although currently Tecnam’s only in-production piston-twin, the P2006T will be joined by the P2012 Traveller when the latter enters service in 2019.
The airframer is now preparing the production-conforming and final P2012 test aircraft for its first flight in September.
Assembly of MSN2 was completed in late July and the airframe is described by Tecnam as “the template for P2012 customer production aircraft”.
The clean-sheet P2012 was launched in 2011, and the first test aircraft made its debut flight on 21 July 2016, since accumulating about 150h.
European and US certification remain on target for 2018, leading to first deliveries to launch customer and co-developer Cape Air in 2019. The US regional carrier has a letter of intent for 100 of the Lycoming TEO-540-powered aircraft which will replace its fleet of ageing Cessna 402 and Piper Navajo piston-twins.
Tecnam says the P2012 is also attracting significant interest from the VIP, charter, corporate, cargo and air ambulance markets.