Asobo Studios took to their Official March Developer Stream on Twitch to showcase their rendition of the ATR 42/72 and give us an in-depth look into the rendition’s avionics and unique features.
The aircraft rendition is being developed as part of the “Expert Series” of aircraft by Asobo/Microsoft in conjunction with other flight sim developers. The ATR 42/72 is being developed by S&H Simulation and their lead developer, Mr. Hans Hartmann joined the Asobo developers on their developer live stream.
Mr. Hartmann gives us an in-depth look at the avionics and various systems of the ATR 42/72. The key areas Mr. Hartmann touches on are the multi-function display, engine and warning display, virtual control panel, alerts and procedures, synthetic vision system, terrain display, weather radar, and the electronic flight bag. Unlike the previous preview, Mr. Hartmann looks through the features in the rendition itself instead of presentation slides.
The showcase of the ATR42/72 begins with a work-in-progress teaser trailer showing off the brilliant external modeling of the aircraft. Shots from the trailer show us brief glimpses at the tail section, the engines, the cockpit, the center pedestal, and the EFB. The stream then quickly shifts to the focus topic: the avionics of the turboprop. Mr. Hartmann quickly pans around the cockpit of the ATR 42/72 and gives us a look at the circuit breakers, the MFD and PFD, the overhead panel, and the EFB.
ATR 42/72 MFD
The MFD is showcased first, highlighting how the avionics of the ATR 42/72 are unique compared to other airliners. The MFD contains a virtual control panel at its bottom and can be controlled by a panel on the center pedestal right below the MCDU. It has various modes such as a communication mode for tuning into VHF and HF frequencies. There’s a navigation mode for tuning into ILS frequencies, VORs, and ADFs. And there’s another mode for controlling the display of airports, navaids, waypoints, etc. on the moving map. It can also be used to switch on the TERR or WX radar and also set the transponder and TCAS settings.
Mr. Hartmann continues to showcase the abilities of the MFD which, as it turns out, isn’t just a glorified navigation display. The MFD also functions as a systems display and using a control panel behind the throttle quadrant can be used to cycle through the separate systems of the aircraft. The various systems pages shown are the hydraulics page, the secondary engine display (the primary is permanently shown in the middle), cabin temperature and A/C, the AC and DC electrical system, and an aircraft performance data page.
MFD map mode
The ATR 42/72’s MFD also features a very interesting feature: the map mode. The map mode shows the ground map of the airport you are currently at and is a very neat and distinct feature. A “search” function has also been implemented. This allows the user to click on a search button on the MFD and will list all the parking stands/gates for that airport. You can select a spot of your choice and the corresponding space will be highlighted on the map. Extra charts for navigating around an airport won’t be required as the entire airport map is shown on the MFD making for easier navigation on online networks.
Primary Engine Display
The focus then shifts to the primary engine display and its capabilities. It has several procedures and checklists included and can be used in various stages of flight. You can choose a checklist/procedure that is relevant to you and check through individual items. Once the checklist is completed you are directed back to the main procedures/checklists page. It has a complete list of normal procedures, non-normal procedures as well as emergency procedures. Do note that failures in the rendition are not implemented at the time of writing.
As Mr. Hartmann’s time comes to an end, he does highlight the dozens of testers and real ATR 42/72 pilots that have chimed in with their suggestions. ATR also contributed to the development of the rendition; the procedures/checklists showcased were from actual XML files used in the real aircraft. ATR also provided lots of data to aid in precise development.
What is the ATR 42/72?
The ATR 42/72 is a twin-engine turboprop, shot-haul regional airliner developed in France and Italy by ATR (Avions de transport régional or Aerei da Transporto Regionale). The first model of the series, the ATR 42-300 performed the type’s maiden flight on August 16, 1984. During the mid-1980s the ATR 72 was developed as a stretched variant of the ATR 42. Typical updates have included new avionics, such as a glass cockpit, and the adoption of newer engine versions to deliver enhanced performance, such as increased efficiency and reliability and reductions in operating costs.
The aircraft for all flyers is an exciting one and if the title “Expert Series” is anything to go by, will be a highly detailed and high-fidelity rendition. The rendition of the ATR 42/72 is scheduled to be released on April 25th, 2023 according to Microsoft’s development roadmap. Pricing information as of now has not been revealed by either Microsoft or S&H Simulation. Do read Chudoba Design’s announcement to bring animated people based on motion capture to MSFS and XP here.