Italian airframer Tecnam has rolled-out the first P2012 Traveller and is preparing the piston-twin for a June maiden sortie which the manufacturer hopes will trigger a wave of fresh interest in the new model.
"The aircraft’s Lycoming TEO-540-C1A engines were powered up [on 1 April], for a successful and smooth taxi onto the ramp in Capua [near Naples]," Tecnam says.
The 11-seat aircraft was launched five years ago and sits at the top of the manufacturer's 20-strong family of light singles. “It is a next-generation piston-twin that will deliver innovation and a step change in air transportation," the company claims.
Set for US and European certification in December 2018, the P2012’s flight-test programme will involve two aircraft and around 300h of flight testing, says Tecnam managing director Paolo Pascale.
The 2012 is being co-developed with US commuter airline Cape Air. The carrier has signed a letter of intent (LoI) for 100 aircraft to replace its 80-strong fleet of Cessna 402Cs and four Britten Norman BN-2 Islanders. Although the contract is bound by a non-disclosure agreement, it is hoped the tentative deal will begin to be firmed up when flight testing begins.
“Cape Air is committed to working with Tecnam to meet the current development of the P2012 ,” says Jim Goddard, senior vice-president, fleet planning for the Hyannisport, Massachusetts-based operator.
“The P2012 remains on track to meet the future needs of Cape Air and our demanding operating profile," he says. "We are excited to continue our work with Tecnam to achieve both of our organisations' desired goals.”
The aircraft – funded through a combination of private and Italian government investment – has fixed landing gear, large panoramic windows, and four doors, including a sliding passenger door and a cargo door.
Although the base price has yet to be released, Tecnam has disclosed provisional performance data. Fuelled by Avgas and Mogas, the P2012 is projected to have a maximum take-off weight of 3,290kg (7,250lb), maximum cruise speed of 210kt (390km/h) at 8,000ft and a long-range cruise speed of 170kt.
“The P2012 has received a good reception from the market,” says Tecnam’s international sales and marketing director, Walter da Costa. “We have many leads and opportunities, and these companies are ready to move ahead as soon as the aircraft has made its maiden flight.
"When we achieve certification, the Traveller will be flying across the five continents,” he adds.