Tecnam Unveils P2012 STOL

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Tecnam unveiled a short takeoff and landing (STOL) variant of its twin-engine P2012 Traveller on Friday. The P2012 STOL has a 16.6-meter (54.5-foot) wingspan, 2.6 meters (8.5 feet) wider than the standard P2012, and swaps the Traveller’s Lycoming TEO-540-C1As for Continental GTSIO-520-S engines. At its maximum takeoff weight of 8,113 pounds, the P2012 STOL will offer a takeoff distance of 1,394 feet and landing distance of 1,181 feet, nearly halving the standard Traveller’s takeoff distance of 2,596 feet and landing distance of 2,438 feet.

“Finally, after decades a new solution for aviation market has arrived,” Tecnam said. “Tecnam proudly presents the P2012 STOL that makes the world`s extreme commercial airports accessible with comfort, safety and style.”

The Tecnam P2012 STOL has a top cruise speed of 185 knots, 905-NM range and useful load of 2,831 pounds compared to the original Traveller’s maximum cruise speed of 194 knots, 950-NM range and 3,117-pound useful load. Both versions come equipped with the Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite. Expected pricing for the P2012 STOL has not yet been announced.

Video: Tecnam
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Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Uhmmm, what exactly is the “new solution for the aviation market after decades?” I believe the Twin Otter (used), Caravan, Kodiak, Dornier 228, Beaver, Helio Courier, and several others have been “making the world`s extreme commercial airports accessible with comfort, safety and style” for some time now (well, the Beaver is debatable on comfort…). While the proposed performance is impressive, for the same price or less, I’ll opt for something that takes Jet A and has greater remote support, thank you.

    • They mean it’s a replacement for the Islander. Since they’ve made like 1,300+ of those things, and most are decades old, it’s a great market to target. Avgas (G100UL?) piston puddle jumpers occupy a specific market niche for low operating costs, particularly at lower altitude. Jet A turboprops are great for certain applications, but you will have higher fuel burn and the hardware is more expensive to buy and maintain. Operators of twin piston Cessna, Piper and Islanders could have made the switch to turboprops long ago, instead they just want a new twin piston to replace them.

      • Especially these days, fuel costs will be a consideration for business/charter outfits, who won’t let the grass grow under their birds. I rode aboard a puddle jumper (Islander) between Concord, CA and KSFO, and it was an adventure.

  2. It would be interesting to put it in context with the aircraft that are already servicing these same airports. How does the performance compare with the Twin Otter, or Islanders, for example? Some of these airports are also served by Caravans–and though it is a single engine, it IS a turboprop.

    Interesting that they swapped Lycoming 540s for Continental 520s–do you suppose that has something to do with the need for turbocharging in some parts of the world?

    It’s pretty hard to compete with something like the Twatter–turbine reliability, heavy duty fixed gear–large cabin volume, super STOL, great climb gradient. It DEFINES the STOL commuter class. An attempted “replacement” will likely end up being like the “replacement” for the DC-3-companies tried to produce that replacement for over 50 years–the best “replacement” was to simply convert the DC-3 to turbines, and let them soldier on!

    • The specs are meant to be an Islander replacement – passenger load, take off and landing distance, etc. Twin Otters carry twice the passenger load, so not a 1-to-1 replacement. Cape Air also operators a few Islanders, I’m sure they told Tecnam EXACTLY what they wanted in a replacement.

      DC-3s are (still) great (go Basler!), but all the new utility aircraft have things that can’t be retrofitted to that airframe. The Skycourier has so many features that will make it perfect for its application: square cross section, container-sized cargo door, high wing, fixed gear, etc. New utility planes like the Skycourier or P2012 STOL may not make many trips to Antarctica, but you only need a few Basler 67s to fill that need.

      • Valid points, BUT:

        Given that most of these “shuttle” aircraft are not that far from the airport that “feeds” the STOL-port–does speed make much difference? For the most part, the marketplace has said “No.” An extra few knots over less than 100 n.m. is negligible.

        Given that most of the airports on the video are vacation destinations–that usually means LOTS of baggage–and bulky things like skis or SCUBA tanks–compromising the payload.

        Since most of the destinations aren’t connected by road, that means that everything to serve the hotel industry has to come in by air or boat–lots of air freight. “There is too much room and weight allowance for the vacation destination”–said NOBODY–EVER.

        You have to ask yourself–“Would you rather fly with turbine engines, or temperamental GEARED piston engines?” Frankly, I’d rather fly in a Caravan with one reliable PT-6 (we’ve flown a Caravan to 83 countries around the world, plus Antarctica)–or better yet, TWO PT-6s on a Twin Otter.

        I don’t see this as “right-sized” for the market.

  3. One of the good things about Geared 520 is that it’s single engine service ceiling performance is better than a PT-6-20, or -21. Take a C-90 King Air takeoff and engine failure off KTVL and it’s almost a guaranteed off airport landing.

  4. I’m no fan of Tecnam. The build quality on there older birds was dirt. I haven’t seen any of the new ones too close up, so cannot say if they’ve gotten better or not.

    That being said, the comments here are borderline silly, and they remind me of comments on lots of car sites from people who really cannot understand why anyone needs “X”. The fact that car companies sell hundreds of thousands of cars with “X” is simply proof to these people that the public is stupid. “X” includes things like AWD, raised suspensions, and traction control.

    Instead, we are treated to insistence that no new models are needed because the old planes are just better.

    Which is why there are hardly any new planes or new aviation enthusiasts, and a new antique plane costs stupid money.

    • Quote attributed to Santayana and Winston Churchill is appropriate here—“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

      There is a REASON why geared/opposed engines are no longer offered—THEY DO NOT WORK! If they DID work—we wouldn’t have turbines—the specific fuel consumption is better for piston engines—but they are not reliable.

      You don’t see piston engine airliners—airlines (and passenger) gladly pay more for reliable engines.

      For business aircraft—the geared supercharged engines on Queen Airs were so unreliable that they were reolaced with turbines—begetting the KING AIR—perhaps the most reliable prop-driven GA airplane—the lowest cost to insure—and the biggest seller. (the Queen Air did enjoy a successful afterlife—when Ed Swearingen hung 400 hp direct drive Lycoming in it—getting rid of the problematic 340 and 385 hp geared Lycomings)

      Piper learned the lesson on the p Navajo—Eliminating the geared Lycomings, and begetting the Cheyenne.

      Commander famously had a number of models stillborn—remember the 720 Alticruiser? They became the 680 and 690.

      There is a REASON why Cessna no longer makes 421s—the engines just didn’t hold up. The Conquest 1 (Cessna 425) with PT 6s replaced it—as well as the Conquest II with Garrett’s.

      Single engines—Helio tried geared engines—and replaced them with direct-drive engines.

      Piper was going to revolutionize business air travel with the infamous Malibu despite a valiant effort to make them work—none of Pipers big pressurized piston engine singles stood up to operation at high weights—or problems of operating a marginally-powere single in the flight levels (IF you could REACH the flight levels!)

      Cessna—the leading producer of “working” utility singles in the world—didn’t even attempt a piston engine on their Caravan utility airplane—they went straight to a turbine—and cornered the market.

      There is a REASON that big horizontally opposed piston engines don’t work (let’s not stop it at horizontally opposed engines—even large RADIAL engines have a reliability problem )the reason that the military, the airlines, and the corporate world abandoned them!)

      Yet this “new” model—with a cost of over a million dollars—floats a proposal for a STOL aircraft (even HARDER on engines!) powered with an unreliable engine???

      There is a REASON why “working airplanes” (like commuters, and Ag planes)—are powered with turbines—despite their poorer fuel specifics—it’s because they WORK—and they are DEPENDABLE. Tecnam will apparently have to learn the lesson for themselves. Perhaps somebody should provide them with Churchill’s quote.

  5. Eric W.,
    U duh Mannn ! I agree completely with absolutely everything you wrote (above).
    Tecnam products have always reminded me of Lancia autos: sexy supermodels upon first looks then ongoing maintenance headaches. Oh, well