The Avions de Transport Regional ATR-42-320 is a high wing twin-turboprop commuter airliner for up to 46
passengers and 4 crewmembers. The ATR42-320 is equipped with two 2100 hp Pratt and Whitney PW121 engines.
The Avions de Transport Regional, a joint venture company between Aerospatiale and Aeritalia, with
headquarters in Toulouse, officially launched the ATR-42 project on 4 November 1981. The
ATR-42 project is a result of merging two separate aircraft concepts: the AS35 from Aérospatiale (now part
of EADS) and the AIT 230 from Aeritalia (now Alenia Aeronautica). The two companies had been working
on their respective aircraft concepts since 1978. Both concepts, the AS35 and the AIT 230 were started as a
short-range 35-seat turboprop airliner. In July 1980 was decided to merge the efforts and a marketing study
resulted in February 1981 in starting the development of a 42-50 seat airliner, the ATR-42. The first of
two ATR-42 prototypes, F-WEGA c/n 1001, flew for the first time on 16 August 1984. After the certification
was granted on 24 September 1985, deliveries of the ATR-42-200 started in December 1985. The ATR-42 evolved
and on 16 August 1984, the ATR-42-300 with greater payload range and a higher takeoff weight than the ATR-42-200
was flown first. The ATR-42-300 became the standard production version until 1996. The ATR 72, a stretched
version of the ATR 42, first flew in 1988. The ATR twin turboprop passenger aircraft line consists of the
ATR 42 and ATR 72, of which the ATR 42-500 and ATR 72-500 are the models currently in production. ATR has
built over 390 ATR-42 aircraft.
On 12 July 2003, the 1994-built Avions de Transport Regional ATR-42-320 PH-XLM was photographed at
Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands. The Air Exel ATR-42 was fresh painted in BonairExel colours.
Avions de Transport Regional ATR.42-320 s/n 378 flew first as F-WWLA on 30 May 1994. Cameroun
Airlines and Air Dolomiti operated the commuter airliner as F-OHFE. On 9 November 2001, the ATR-42 was registered
PH-XLM by Air Exel Netherlands BV and the aircraft was painted in KLM Exel colours. Registration PH-XLM was cancelled
on 15 August 2003, and the ATR-42 was registered PJ-XLM in the Dutch Antilles.