One of the innovations arising within the framework of the Dubai Airshow 2017 involves the joint venture between Airbus and Leonardo.
At a press conference at the Dubai Air Show, Christian Scherer, Chief Executive of ATR has indicated that the Airbus-Leonardo joint venture could be restructured into a limited liability company in order to increase management flexibility, accept new investors and get better funding options before the possible launch of a larger turboprop that could include conventional or disruptive technologies such as hybrid electric propulsion.
The proposal has just begun, Airbus and Leonardo have already approved the ATR proposal to consider a conversion of the corporate structure of a French business consortium or GIE, to an LLC. For the time being, both sides are in an internal debate, and the time it might take to restructure is unknown.
Meanwhile, there are some disagreements between the ATR partners regarding the new turboprop, larger and with a capacity of between 90 and 100 seats: Leonardo wants a clean sheet aircraft with new propulsion systems, wing designs and cabin technology available now or in the short term; While Airbus intends the medium-term launch of a regional turboprop with disruptive technologies, including the integration of a hybrid-electric propulsion system, new structural materials and new levels of automation in both the systems and the cabin.
At the moment, ATR has a delay of 3 years in orders and reduced the production of the turboprop family to 80 deliveries per year in 2017.