Tecnam Introduces P2012 STOL To Serve Challenging, Remote Airports

The Italian aircraft manufacturer says the modern piston twin will outperform aging rivals in comfort and useful load.

The Tecnam P2012 STOL edition emphasizes the airplane’s short-field performance. [Courtesy: Tecnam]

Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam introduced the P2012 STOL, a modified version of its P2012 Traveller piston twin with enhanced short-field performance. The aircraft targets passenger and cargo service “across the most demanding commercial airports in the world,” including unimproved strips as short as 1,000 feet, the company said.

Tecnam is focused on what it considers a neglected segment of the air transport market where there is room for growth. Many short-haul operators serving small, remote airports use aging fleets of aircraft that were designed decades ago and no longer meet modern customers’ expectations, the company said.

The P2012 STOL can be set up with seats for nine passengers and two crew members. Its maximum takeoff weight is 8,113 pounds and it can be configured for passengers, cargo, or a variety of combinations.

For decades, STOL aircraft markets have left operators with few options for supporting and expanding their operations, the company said. “Tecnam's response to meeting the needs of these businesses is a modern aircraft that addresses current needs with an innovative solution,” said Giovanni Pascale Langer, Tecnam’s managing director.

The P2012 STOL’s competitors include well-established models like the Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander, Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, and de Havilland Twin Otter. Tecnam said a comfortable, well-equipped interior will set the P2012 STOL apart from other aircraft in the segment. The airplane will have a window for each passenger, USB ports, air conditioning, individual fresh and hot air outlets, reading lights, seat pockets, and cup-holders.

“Tecnam took up the challenge of providing a modern, safe, and efficient solution to one of the most demanding aircraft commercial missions: the STOL mission,” said Francesco Sferra, P2012 sales and business development manager and experimental test pilot at Tecnam. He also said the new aircraft can outperform its older rivals while meeting today’s more stringent regulations for commercial ops.

At its MTOW, the new aircraft’s ground run is 900 feet, while clearing a 50-foot obstacle on takeoff requires 1,395 feet. At a maximum landing weight of 8,003 pounds, landing over the obstacle takes 1,180 feet with a ground roll of  510 feet.

Tecnam said the aircraft completed flight tests earlier this year and will begin the validation process next year.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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